Used Fiat Stilo 2001 - 2007 review

Category: Family car

Rivals do it all so much better

Fiat Stilo (01 - 07)
  • Fiat Stilo (01 - 07)
  • Fiat Stilo (01 - 07)
Used Fiat Stilo 2001 - 2007 review
Star rating

What's the used Fiat Stilo hatchback like?

There are two very different Stilos. The three-door is set up to be sporty, with less space inside and a stiffer ride. On the other hand, the five-door is more family-friendly. It's roomier, rides more softly, and even has trays on the front seat backs, where rear passengers can balance a picnic or a laptop.

Neither version handles with any great finesse, but at least they are safe, predictable and comfortable. And, the car's four-star occupant safety crash test rating from Euro NCAP is good. However, that's more than you can say for its disappointing one star for pedestrian safety.


Rivals do it all so much better

  • The Stilo is a roomy car at rock-bottom prices
  • It has no image and is dull to drive

Never mind all that, though. The biggest attraction of the Stilo is its price. Its value drops like a stone so that, by the time it's three years old, it's worth only a third of what its first owner paid. After that, things calm down, so buying a nearly new model is not terribly sensible, but a two- to three-year-old car is a bargain.

Ownership cost

What used Fiat Stilo hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Fiat Stilo hatchback?

Insurance, fuel economy, servicing - all the main running costs look pretty reasonable.

Our favourite 1.2-litre model sits in an attractively low group 4, and most of the others fall within group 7 or lower. The only one to avoid on insurance grounds is the 2.4 Abarth and its group 14 rating.

Fuel economy, too, is good on most of the models in the range. The 1.2 should top 40mpg overall, the 1.9 diesel gets nearer 50mpg, and even the 1.6 petrol is pretty reasonable, with 38mpg.

You can cut your costs further because servicing is straightforward enough to trust a reliable independent garage, so saving on main-dealer charges. Spares are modestly priced, too, although some repairs take longer than they would on a Ford or Vauxhall, adding to the cost.

However, the worry comes because Stilos aren't that reliable. They get a pasting from the JD Power customer survey, suggesting that repairs may well be a regular feature of life with a Stilo.

Our recommendations

Which used Fiat Stilo hatchback should I buy?

The most basic model, the 1.2 Activ, has a punchy engine and plenty of kit, including remote locking, four airbags and anti-lock brakes. And, because buying a Stilo only makes sense if it's done cheaply, this is the best model to buy. Go for the five-door, though, because it rides more smoothly, as well as being roomier and much more practical.

The 1.9 turbodiesel Activ is also worth going for - the engine is smooth and very economical - but it will cost more to buy than the 1.2. It came in two states of tune, with 115 or 80bhp, but the more powerful one is the one to go for. For one thing, it uses less fuel.

Otherwise, go for the 1.6 petrol, which is keen and quick. There's also a 1.8, but it feels no quicker than the 1.6 and will cost more to fuel and insure. A 2.4 Abarth hot hatch tops the range, but it's an unruly beast to drive and is scarce on the used market.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Fiat Stilo hatchback?