FSO Cars Polonez (1978 – 2002) Review

FSO Cars Polonez (1978 – 2002) At A Glance


+Cheap, roomy, and a tailgate, PSA diesel option in later cars

-Unrefined, noisy, heavy to drive, uneconomical in petrol form

The FSO - or Polski-Fiat prior to 1983 - Polonez was essentially a re-skinned 125P with a more contemporary hatchback body style. It was launched in 1978 and went on sale in the UK the following spring, and despite looking a whole lot modern than its stablemate, it was still sold at a bargain-basement price. The reviews weren't good, and despite being good value for money, the combination of heavy steering, poor economy and a rear seat that didn't fold were enough to have the critics, er, criticising.

In the UK, the Polonez was sold on the value for money ticket, and once the 125P went out of production in 1991, it was the benefactor of a number of improvements and upgrades, including the arrival of the facelifted Caro in the 1990s. The pick of that range was the Peugeot XUD powered diesel model, which was the cheapest way of buying an oil burner at the time. Fairly unlamented to this day, and saved from extinction by the a small band of enthusiasts, as well as cars coming in from Poland.