22 May 2013
I am driving instructor and have had this car for four years. It is FANTASTIC!! It gets abused by my learners, but still runs well. This is my second Stilo, my first had problems with the airbag lights coming on, but this was simply fixed by checking the connectors under the seats. After 95,000 miles the electric power steering played up in the old one (2002 model), but imagine how many three point turns the car did! My current Stilo runs like a dream and is very comfortable with plenty of legroom for my 6’ 3" frame. All in a superb car at amazing prices. I would get another if I could!
I bought this car in August 2003 from a Fiat dealership in Aldershot (now defunct) at exactly one year old with 16K on the clock. They had used it to taxi their customers around, and I had been in it myself a couple of times so knew how it had been driven. My Bravo had had an expensive injector problem and now the gearbox was making noises, so I took the Stilo off their hands. Good move! On short trips around town on a cold engine (and it takes a while to warm up) it returns only around 35 mpg, but on motorway trips gives around 47mpg driven briskly (I have seen 53mpg once when, just to see if I could do it, I stuck to the speed limit all the way) and from tankful to tankful it always does about 43/44. It is a great motorway car, easily loping along at around 85 (abroad, of course) and even at a steady 90 it is turning over at just under 3000 revs, the red line being at 4500. It does make quite a bit of road noise, but you don’t realise this until you hit one of those quiet road surfaces, when all you can hear is the quietly pleasing hum of the motor - or, until you put a Glen Miller CD in the slot and find you can’t hear the quiet bits. It is ultra reliable, always starting first twist of the key all year round (except once, when the battery had died). The pre-heater warning always flashes up - has done since day one, and I have ignored it for the last eight and a half years. Ignored, it goes away. Two years ago I drove right down to the heel of Italy and back without a hitch. Over 5 weeks I did 4,049 miles at an average 43 mph and got overall 47mpg after 94hrs 20 minutes behind the wheel, unless the onboard computer was lying. Am I an anorak, or what? It now has 98K+ on the clock, and - touch wood - feels like it will go forever. I have had to replace front road springs and shocks and the EGR valve, and when the radio/cassette packed up I replaced it with a Sony Radio/CD (you can buy a smart dash board insert which fills the gap left by the in-built Fiat radio) and that’s all, apart from tyres and battery. Every year the local dealership phones me to ask if I want to upgrade yet, but I can’t believe any other car would be an improvement. Climbing behind the wheel is like putting on a comfortable old shoe. I keep to the 12000 mile service schedule with, latterly, interim oil and filter changes at 6000, and had the cambelt replaced at the 72000 service. I think this car will see me out (and I’m only 64 and three quarters!) I won’t say buy one and you won’t be sorry, I have read some of the other reviews, and it appears you can’t give them away on ebay, but find a good one with a FSH and only a few previous owners and you’ll have a bargain.
Our second Fiat - we’ve bought two more since. Like ALL manufactures you can get a ’duffer’ and reading some of the other reviews there are obviously some disappointed ex owners. That said this is a very underrated car, which is excellent value. The key is to get a good one or ensuring it becomes/stays a good one is to have it repaired and serviced properly. I’ve had my Stilo for nearly 5 years and love it more than the two brilliant Focus’ it replaced. My only faults have been 2 bulbs and a broken front spring. It has great looks, bags of character and has a superior build quality than anything French. Forza Fiat!
I work as a rep and I had to make a decision on the type of car to buy for the purpose. I do roughly 5000kms a month and I figured a car with a bigger engine could fit the bill. I have put 100000kms on the clock in just over 2yrs, not one problem. Smooth and comfortable with enough grunt to blow off not so daring gti drivers. I’m loving it!
I have owned my Fiat Stilo for seven months now and I love it. All it’s needed since i bought it is a new tyre and wipers and a service, it drives lovely and feels solid. It’s just sailed through its MoT with flying colours. Before I got my Stilo I had a Focus with no end of problems. Best thing I ever did was to get rid of my Focus and buy my Stilo.
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Sorry, the year of car is 2003 not 2007 - Nicola King from England
I bought the Stilo less than 2 yrs old with 37000 klm on the clock, the car has 17inch wheels, skyroof, climatecon, much needed in spain. Bought from a Merc dealer, brill sound system, brill diesel motor, uses no oil between changes, very torque and quick, fastest car I’ve ever had, (I car rallied in the 80s.) I’m 68 now, since I was 17, 60 +cars have gone through my hands, none as fast as the Fiat. Fairly comfortable, a bit noisy on the m/way other than the usual, battery went dead on me twice, which was a new one, ok since. Tyres, oil changes,new rear susp’ bushes 300euroes, the temp gauge and the fuel gauge packed in, need to change all clocks, at 400 euros,forget it! You can access how many miles left in the tank with the right hand stork button. Nice looking car, I would not put it in a garage unless absolutley essential being a diy guy, of course not every one can do it themselves, you need to find a garage that doesn’t rip you off. Every garage in Europe has the legal right to download all info relating to any car, not just the dealership,if you want to buy one get it checked by the aa or rac, even if it costs you. Happy motoring!
Bought for my wife in 2008. Paid a fortune to have it serviced including cam belt. Excellent mpg and general running cost. Electrics not great. Finish not great but hey it was very cheap. Have driven Volvos for 20 years at 22 mpg. Will try to find another.
Bought brand new in May 2004 and so far expenses to date include:- off side track rod end, 50 euros, fitted myself, clean egr valve and fit 2 new aircooler breather pipes, garage (non Fiat) 125 euros. Looking at replacing engine mount(s) in the near future. Thats it in 6 years apart from fuel, uses 5.2 litres per 100 klms, tyres (yes the front tyres do scrub off fast, the knack is to move them onto the rear to enance their life) and yes, the English tyres do last longer than Spanish obtained ones, on average twice as long. Serviced regularly and oil changed every 5000klms. The car goes very well, is fast when speed is required during overtaking, turbo acceleration gives you confidence, comfortable but does tend to roll a little on tight corners, suspension could made been made a little firmer. Every gadget you could reasonably require is included including A.C. and climate control. My friends highly impressed, one of them after just one trip in mine went out and bought a similar model. If they still made this model I would have no hesitation in purchasing again. And whats more, the wife loves it! For me, the best car I have owned. Previous cars being Fords, Volvos and Saabs, all bought from new.
Without doubt the worst purchase I ever made. When it worked, everything was ok, but the faults kept mounting and recurring as time passed. Do not buy a second hand model no matter how cheap.
Hi to all Fiat Stilo owners! I imported my Stilo 1.6 3drs dynamic from England in 2005. It looks and sounds very nice till 6 months ago.At that time started to show wrong warning messages and I paid a lot of money to the FIAT garage in Nicosia whithout any result. Sometimes the engine refused to start. This happens with out any reason and it starts after 2 or 3 attemps. Now the main problem with my Stilo is the air recycle system, which does not work and unfortunatley for me remains in the on position leaving the Cyprus warm air entering the cabin and makes my life hell. I appealed to FIAT and the answer was to put clothes inside the vents to avoid the very warm air. My opinion? VERY NICE CAR WITHOUT SUPPORT FROM FIAT IN EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM. They seem to think that they don’t owe anything to the people who have paid for their car.
Responses to this review
Mario, I have the same problem and unfortunately there is no solution, even in Italy. They don’t pay due care and atttention to anything. My advice to you is to sell the Stilo, at any price, and to buy a ... CAR. I wish you all the best - Themis from Athens
I bought a Fiat Stilo multi WAGON 1.9 JTD MANUAL second hand from a garage, it goes like a rocket, really fast, it never lets you down, starts first time, very great on mpg.
A Wonderful little car. Ive had it for nearly 3 years and it has hardly cost me a penny just the usual service, mot and general wear and tear. I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a reliable and cheap runner. If it wasn’t for my expanding family I would not be getting a new car.
When I bought this car it had a power problem, basically it would go up hills unless you went into first, I suffered with this for about 6 months, then after it passed its mot with no probs I decided to treat it to a visit to the garage, they said EGR valve; wow my car is now a rocket. It always has an array of electrical errors which I now ignore, I just think its dodgey wiring, it usually happens when someone moves the passenger seat, but hey it shifts like you know what and I feel like I have a new car....Oh happy days
I say if you are thinking about buying a Stilo then don’t, for your wallet’s sake at least. Don’t get me wrong, I own a 02 stilo abarth 2.4 20v in British racing green; it goes like the clappers and is really nice to drive handles fantastic and looks the part with the blade roof and big alloys, great interior with the satnav and wicked sound system but just why does it keep braking all the time? I have had the car 9 months now and it’s been in the garage about 5 months of that. It’s had new drive shaft (you cant get a recon so I had to buy a new one £350 ) then the electrics started playing up, another £500, then the engine management light came on engine so another £2000 by now I’m thinking s**t! I only paid £3000 for it so is it worth it so the garage warranteed the work they had done for 12months so I thought great least it will be covered now so I get about 800 miles into the new bottom end of my engine then bang there it goes again. The garage fixed it again at a cost of £2700, luckily covered by the warranty, then the airbag lights came on NOT covered by this warranty so another £300 to fix that. Got my car back again, loving it, great, then bang again. The alternator belt snapped (which was a new one) decided to wrap round the cam belt pulley in turn smashed the valves, which wasn’t covered by the warranty because it was the top of the engine not the bottom, which was prevously done another £1700 to the garage. I get the car back again then the selespeed gears would only go into 1st 3rd and 5th so back to the garage again . By the time it was fixed the bill came to £1200 by now the garage loves me, my bank manager loves me too because I owe him a fortune and the wife is going insane because we can’t afford a holiday this year. Then to top it off 3 days after getting it back again the car goes into meltdown the electrics competely shut down, another trip to the garage and another £900 to fix and now this morning I got in it to go to work and a warning light saying ENGINE CONTROL SYSTEM FAILURE came up on the dash and it sounds like a tank so I call the garage and he says it could be a loose connection but he’s busy and it could be a week before he can look at it and there’s no other garages around here that will entertain it so playing the waiting game again. Back to public transport! So if you are looking at buying a Stilo or Fiat of any type DON’T. Buy a Bently instead, it will work out cheaper in the long run trust me. And I’ve only metioned the big jobs, add another £1500 on silly little things that keep going wrong with it. So all in all a great car to wrap up in cotton wool and shrink wrap and leave it in the garage to look at now and then but if you want a car you can drive buy something German or even French, anything just not Italian, so I will give the Stilo Abarth a rating of of 2/10 because when you drive it you will love it and it looks fantastic and feels great but you will be spending more time standing at bus stops then then acually driving it :-( thanks for reading.
Responses to this review
Hi Mick, could you let me know what electrical problems you had as I’ve got one where the heating and alv parking sensor, rain sensors have gone up the swany. Thanks - Paul Chaffins from England
Same thing went on mine. Fan belt snapped, went into cambelt and buggered engine. I find the clutch really bad, pulls away too fast and that’s with a brand new clutch. Don’t buy one, they are crap. Fiat stands for fix it again tommorow - Carl Trowbridge from London
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This is the second Stilo I have owned and have owned in the past, the 128, 124, Strada, Uno, Punto mk1 and 2, Tipo, Tempra, 131, Brava and Grande Punto all over a period of 25 years. Apart from niggling minor faults, in all those years I have never had a major fault. Only one of these cars was brand new many had high milage. All were reliable cheap to run and fun to drive, my present 1.9 JTD sporting is as solid as a rock economical and will give many similar more expensive cars a run for its money, It cost much less than many similar cars I paid 4000 for a 55 plate with 37000mls. It is fun to drive and handles well. The people who moan about Fiats dont seem to consider value for money or compare faults in similar cars.
Hello everyone, I have had a Stilo Abarth for 4 months now and I also have a loose connection now. If I knew all these problems before I never would have bought it. Suspension has been repaired and there was a leak at the gearbox. So don’t buy them...
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I also had the 3dr Abarth and had problems with the suspension, it was a nice car to drive just wonder how Fiat can only get 170bhp from a big lump under the bonnet. lol - Scot from Scotland
I bought my Stilo from new as I liked the looks and interior. Its now done 49000 miles and the only problem has been front suspension bushes. It will cruise all day at 90mph and at a constant 70 mph will return 50 mpg. It’s fairly comfortable and roomy, does everything I ask of it and I think its a great car for the price. when I was looking for a car I test drove a SEAT at more money and there was no comparison in build quality, especially the interior. Pity they stopped making them as I think its replacement is nowhere near as good looking.
Complete c**p! This thing has cost me a fortune in repairs, mostly electrical but also suspension and steering. The windows and roof have a mind of their own and it eats batteries. The newest of the very long list is the fabled ’loose connection’, the engine is therefore completely dead and no-one can tell me why! I warn you now, walk away. Do not buy a Stilo. Go anywhere else but here!!
Responses to this review
Exactly the same has just happened to my car today!!! I was driving along and it felt like something snapped and then lost all power so had to pull over. On the dash board display it said system failure - loose connection. I had to get towed home as it wouldnt start or anything and now have to wait ’til after Christmas to call the very pricey Fiat garage! - Nicola from Yorkshire
Load of rubbish. Don’t buy a used one if you need to get to work in the morning. Trust me, walk away.
Responses to this review
Best car for the money - Phil from Devon
I have owned 1.2 Stilo 2002 and haven’t had any problems. Very good drive and very cheap on parts look after it and will look after you. I now have a Stilo jtd and like it very much. Only one insurance group higher than the 1.2 petrol and goes like a rocket, very nice with rare electric seats and leather - Mark Franchi from Essex
My Stilo worked fantastically for 2 years and put on 80-odd k miles (41k to 118k) problem-free except for bits and pieces here and there (tyres, pads, odd bearing- only thing major was a new fuel pump). I never got all these airbag/engine warnings that some have suffered. Only things I hated were the front headlamps which are ludicrously hard to change bulbs. Also worth noting is that the back seatbelts struggle to go round some carry-cots/child seats. Otherwise a great drive, superb engine with decent economy (though certainly prefers a motorway run to town tedium, even a 10-mile jaunt on an open road improves it by 10mpg). However 3 weeks ago all of a sudden the car refused to go into reverse, either finding 4th instead or nothing at all. Then it would do it once, but not again for an hour. New cables were suggested and fitted- no change. Decided I need new car as cost of new box astronomical (and will that cure it? Can’t afford to p*** £1000 away). Hey presto first dealer I see says he had another Stilo part ex’ed to him the week before, on driving it away from auction it developed exactly the same fault! Another one I saw today says it’s been seen on lots of them, some with as little as 60k, and is basically incurable (something about the selection process getting fused/tangled IIRC). Such a pity cos it’s got a perfect engine capable of 200k. High-mileage Stilo owners beware- this could be you soon!
What can I say? It is a superb car to own. I bought one second hand and friends told me that I shouldn’t bother buying one, that the engines are pretty s****y and that I will have lots of problems with suspension. But they were wrong. I had had few problems when I bought it with electronics but now I’m loving it. Great engine, handles well, great on economy and great on how it lets you feel. Bad sides are noise on motorway and brakes, when you break hard it feels unstable. Superb car.
I’ve owned my MutliWagon for almost a year now and in that time it has covered about 13,000 miles. As with almost all Fiats I have owned my car has it own electronic idiosyncrasies. The engine warning light has been flashing on and off randomly for the last 6 months. This is sometimes accompanied by the car going into limp mode for 5 minutes or so but otherwise causes no issues. My local Fiat dealer told to ignore it because ’they all do that....’ The car is rather average handling wise but as most of my mileage is done on the motorway this isn’t too problematic for me. Fuel economy around town isn’t great 32-35ish MPG but on a decent motorway run I’ve seen as much as 48 MPG which I feel is good for a car of this size. Do not under estimate the performance of these cars. Even in standard trim my estate is as quick as a colleagues MK3 Golf GTi. If funds allow I intend getting a remap - more power and fuel economy..... These cars are now available for almost no money. My advice, find one with good service history, buy it and run it into the ground. You won’t get more car for your money......
Nice car, design-wise it is 5 years ahead. JTD 80 is probably way worse option that JTD 115. Although mpg is fine and it is good around the city as it has got shorter gear ratio. If you are often on the motorway than you should look for JTD 115 or better. Mine has got 116K on the clock and was fairly reliable. Car suspension and handling is a bit of a disappointment for me. It holds the grip eventually but doesn’t feel safe on hard brakes or corners. Older Fiat Brava did a much better job. It is a sound car mechanically; it would get 5 stars from me, but when it comes to electronics again, doesn’t feel as solid as some competitors, I would give it 4 stars. Flashing warning lights on dash just for fun could be annoying. The interior is dominated by a beautifully designed dashboard with good materials and ergonomics, the rest of interior feels like from another much cheaper car. Almost everything is squeaking and rattling sometimes more sometimes less, but always.
I bought this car 3 months ago when my Vauxhall Astra 1.6 was written off by vandals. I bought a 1.4 Stilo and loved it instantly. The engine was so quiet, good and comfortable to drive. Fuel consumption was great and the sound system is superb. Sadly my Stilo was written off in a crash (not my fault) but I am looking for another one. The car protected the 3 passengers also, well impressed, even after it rolled over the passengers and driver walked out with 2 small cuts between them. I have had, a Carlton, Calibra, Astra, Escort, Peugeot 406, and I loved the Stilo best. Recommended++++++++++.
Wicked car to own... the Stilo is a brilliant car which comes with great features and nicely refined engines. Excellent safety features and comfort too... I’m very happy with my car!
I must say that I’ve been traumatised for want of a better word since I purchased this car. Wish I’d kept my Daewoo which I had from new for last 10yrs. On the same day I collected the car it ended up in a garage because messages were flashing up on the screen saying ASR failure, alernator failure, loose connection with a spanner icon. Garage had it for 4 days and said that they couldn’t find any faults with it and that it was running ok. Collected the car it drove ok from the garage was beginning to enjoy it then whilst driving, car cuts out again and same messages flashing up again! Will need to take it back to the garage to see if they can resolve the problem. Failing that i’ll need to trade it in for a different model. Not impressed with Fiat and would never have another one. Could someone please tell me what the problem is as it is really worrying me.
Responses to this review
I had the same problem of ASR failure, it is hard to spot and belive it or not it was caused by the brake light switch sticking, which is located under your dash on the driver’s side. The good news is it took 5 mins to fix at the garage (when they got the part in) but the price is a bit of a worry I must admit, it cost,including the part and labour, £9.00 yes thats right Nine Pounds! I had this done in september 09. I hope this solves your problem - Chris Hurved from Northamptonshire
First the pluses - good car to look at, big car feel, good MPG, goes like s**t of of a shovel. But the down side is the maintenance to replace a simple thing like the air filter is a nightmare - you have to take half the car to pieces - to replace the cam belt is at least 4 hours work and none of these jobs can be tackled by the faint hearted. They are designed to be difficult because they want you to take it along to your local unfriendly Fiat dealer and pay at least £72 per hour plus VAT. Fiat parts are expensive. It’s a good car until things go wrong.
This is a fabulous car, cheap to run, fantastic punch and good quality and reliability. The 3 door is better looking than the 5 door but is obviously less practical, that said I have no problems seating 5 in my 3 door. I would highly recommend this car but please don’t get a yellow one, they look ridiculous.
I am a proud owner of Fiat Stilo 1.6 16v. I love this car and to be honest nothing can beat the looks of the Stilo 3 door. The engine is beautiful and very refined.... the car does great mileage and is a very nice runner, I have done 120mph in my car which I think is brilliant for a 1.6. The look of the interior is great and it is huge and very spacious... beautiful. I have never had any trouble and I love my car.
The Stilo is a rubbish car! It has cost me a fortune in repairs and my latest one cost £700 to get the electronics working.
I have had my Stilo for a couple of years now, and have found this to be a decent enough car, the car, in my opinion seems to be FIAT’s answer to the VW Golf which I have also owned and doesn’t compare with the drive etc. The Stilo has plus points however, such as high MPG and obviously the price, quite spacious and decent enough boot. My major concern would be the reliability unfortunately.
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