Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Fiat Stilo hatchback?
Just when you thought a used Stilo was looking attractive, you have to worry about its reliability. And, it is a worry, so make sure you give any car a really thorough check.
Look out for signs of water leaking into the boot, because it can be hard to work out the source of the problem and put it right. Then, check that the air-conditioning works, because faults are common and repairs can easily top £500. Minor electrical items such as window motors can fail, too.
Gearbox failures are the most expensive of the car's known problems, and head gaskets can blow on 1.2 engines, particularly if coolant changes are left longer than the recommended three years. So, check the service history with a fine-toothed comb.
Last, but not least, insist on a good test drive. Listen out for potential problems from the suspension, as faults are comon, and the only consolation is that shock absorbers are fairly priced, so repair bills shouldn't be too savage.
Watch, also, that the car tracks correctly, because Stilos can pull to one side and wear their tyres unevenly, scrubbing the tread away within just a few thousand miles.