Fiat Punto (1999 – 2006) Review

Fiat Punto (1999 – 2006) At A Glance


+Better than the original Punto in almost every way. Excellent driving environment. Easy to get in and out of. Practical and inexpensive to run.

-Thick rear pillars on three-door obscure your vision. Reliability should be better.

A lot of journalistic flak has been flung at the latest incarnation of the Punto. Accusations that FIAT has robbed it of its character, ruined its looks, messed up its handling and destroyed its appeal have all been made with varying degrees of vehemence.

The facelift was about as unnecessary as giving Giselle Bundchen a nip and tuck. I agree with my colleagues about that. But the rest of the Punto is fine. It's still one of the easiest cars to get in and out of.

Fiat Punto Multijet 2004 Road Test

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

Sold a car privately but buyer is complaining of clutch issues

"I sold my 2003 Fiat Punto yesterday to a guy who seemed to know quite a lot about them. After the test drive and haggling over the price he bought the car. He contacted me late last night to say that the clutch was slipping (he did say that it didn't during the test drive) and was suggesting that I should pay for a replacement. To my knowledge there was no problem with the clutch but the car has done 77,000 miles. Where do I stand on this? Im concerned that he may want to return the car for a refund although the registration documents have been posted to DVLA. Car has MOT until Sept 2016."
It's down to him, not down to you. He can't successfully sue you for breach of contract because he tested the car and found the clutch to be fine when he drove it. Had he asked you if the clutch was slipping and had you said no when you knew it was slipping then he might have a case.
Answered by Honest John

Grating sound when turning the steering wheel?

"There is a grating sound when turning the steering wheel but only mainly when the car is first started and also there's a water slushing sound which seem to be coming from around the glove-box area "
Reads to me that the bulkhead vent well is flooding because the drains from it either side are blocked. That rainwater is getting into the electric power steering motor clamped around the steering column and is the reason for the grating noise.
Answered by Honest John

Fiat Punto power steering fault

"I've got a Fiat Punto 2003 and two/three times a day the power steering light comes on the dash board and the steering becomes really heavy. When this happens I pull over turn the car off and when I switch it back on again it seems to be OK can you give me any advice as to what it could be."
The car has EPAS. In the Punto an early incarnation of electric power assisted steering in which an electric motor is clamped around the steering column. Holding the steering on full lock shorts out this motor and leads to damage. This EPAS in an 11 year old has already lasted far longer than most do.
Answered by Honest John

Power steering fault after 1 week - is the dealer liable?

"We recently purchased a used Fiat Punto for my daughter who has just passed her driving test. A week after she got it the power steering started causing an electrical fault with the engine. I called the dealer who said he would call us back and try to locate a second hand part. After several phone calls he is now saying that he meant to say the warranty was only for engine parts. Surely he is he legally responsible?"
Yes, he's legally responsible. Law here:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Fiat Punto (1999 – 2006) cost?