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Fiat Reviews

Fiat is one of the few carmakers to have survived unscathed through more than 100 years of production, although it's not always been a smooth centenary for the company. Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino debuted with a rear-engined two-cylinder machine in 1899 - and is still building two-cylinder cars in the 21st century.

The company will always be best remembered for the nuova 500, but it's an Italian industrial powerhouse that has operations across the globe, including a serious interest in the USA's Chrysler Group. Various licensing deals mean Fiat’s products are built worldwide. Along the way, the company has swallowed up Ferrari, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and the tuning firm Abarth, whose name still graces its more sporting models.

Good: Amazing styling and engineering, like no other Fiat before or since, and the only V8 powered car by the company
Bad: Spectacular prices, and very difficult to get hold of
Good: Pacesetting small saloon
Bad: Rust and low values ensure low survival rate
Good: Much roomier and more capable than the Nuova 500
Bad: Not as pretty or iconic
Good: Iconic chic small car that gains you access to all classic car events no matter how exclusive
Bad: Cramped, noisy, unrefined, rusty - but who cares?
Good: Neat, well-engineered conventional saloon that's much better in 2.1-litre form
Bad: If you want one, and won't settle for a Peugeot 404, head for Italy
Good: Solid, well-engineered and good to drive
Bad: Impossible to find in the UK, especially the super pretty Cabriolet
Good: Great to drive, well engineered and stylish
Bad: Prone to corrosion, rare and hard to get parts for
Good: Good to drive, economical and full of fun
Bad: Rust, rust, rust
Good: Cute, perky and good to drive
Bad: Tough to keep on the roads without strong Italian connections
Good: Solid, great to drive and well-engineered
Bad: People will think it's a Lada 1200
Good: Good to drive, and brilliant engines
Bad: Rot and apathy - and a resemblance to a certain Polish saloon
Good: A good alternative to the MGB and Alfa Romeo Spider - and it's better to drive
Bad: The best ones are left-hand drive
Good: Excellent drivetrain, petite styling, a great drive
Bad: Corrosion was off the scale bad - leading to low survival rate
Good: Wonderful engine, great styling, terrific soundtrack and excellent to drive, early models have an all-alloy engine, good parts and specialist support
Bad: Fragility of earlier 2.0-litre cars
Good: Cheap to run, will turn heads, based on the Fiat 500 so parts availability is good
Bad: You'll look like Noddy, Peter Stringfellow had one
Good: Great styling in coupe form, excellent engine with plenty of power and torque, beautifully light steering and dynamics
Bad: Rust and repair costs, values still low, making full restorations financially questionable, saloon looks like a big Polski Fiat
Good: Great to drive, practical and prof that front-wheel drive family cars could be great to drive
Bad: Horrendous build quality and lack of anti-corrosion mean there's almost none left in the UK
Good: Pretty and good to drive
Bad: If you want one, be prepared to wait
Good: Mini-style handling and lots of va-va-voom
Bad: Rot, fragility, and not built for anyone over 5ft 8in...
Good: Go kart style handling, sharp-wedgy looks, a real miniature supercar for not much money at all
Bad: Cramped for tall people, fragile interiors, crusty bodies and flakey electrics
Good: Cool, economical and tiny
Bad: Painfully slow and miserable to drive
Good: Roomy and good to drive
Bad: Absolutely zero image
Good: Italian Cortina or Marina rival that's dynamically leagues ahead of the opposition
Bad: Survivors even in Italy are almost non-existent
Good: Revvy twin-cam engine, chuckable handling
Bad: Survivors are rare, but worth seeking out
Good: Idiosyncratic styling, cool looking wheels and details, nippy in 1.5-litre form
Bad: Rubbery steering and gearchange, rare, rusty and hard to source parts for
Good: Cheap to buy and run, practical small car, 'Fire' engines just keep on going, 999cc Fire engine non-interference if the cambelt snaps.
Bad: Rust, which weakens an already lightweight structure. Very basic inside. Unsettled ride quality.
Good: Excellent performance, thrilling soundtrack, grippy cornering
Bad: Lacklustre build quality, rampant rust, and rarity
Good: Practical car for those on a tight budget, 'Fire' engines will run and run if looked after, tidy design, in a 1980s kind of way, lived on as Petit Taxis in Morocco
Bad: Low-mileage Unos used for short runs only can spell trouble, so can the 903cc 'Uno 45' engine, pre-1990 models are rust boxes, most scrapped
Good: Roomy, practical, fast and understated in Turbo form
Bad: You'll struggle finding parts, interior is cheaply trimmed
Good: Fantastic, practical design and very spacious inside, ahead of its time, you can pick one up for next to nothing.
Bad: A few build quality problems, sadly, by 2011, most scrapped.
Good: Town-friendly proportions, you'll always find a parking space for it, cheap to buy and run
Bad: Small boot, no power steering, no full-sized spare wheel and not that well built
Good: Stylish design, both inside and out, enjoyable front-wheel drive handling, turbo model very quick
Bad: Too many problems with build quality and mechanical parts, notably engine-related grief
Good: Affordable open-top fun for cruisers, cute retro looks, great front-wheel drive handling
Bad: Left-hand drive only, people trying to palm off over-priced personal imports as official UK cars
 

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