Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - Chris White
I've just changed jobs. I used to have a 50 mile round trip every day so needed something big and comfy (so chose a Volvo S40 2.0CD).

I now work a 10 minute walk from where I live so I'm looking to change cars to something cheaper to insure, tax and run and I quite like the Fiat Punto ('99 - '03 range).

I've been looking on AutoTrader and for a two year old 1.2litre with about 20 - 30,000 miles in a nice metallic colour you're looking at about £4,000.

Just wondered if anyone had any opinions on the car, good or bad.

Cheers in advance :-)
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - PhilW
Presumably you use your car other than just to go the 10 min walk to work? Otherwise you could get a pretty good pair of walking shoes for yout £4000! (Sorry!)
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - mlj
Lots of people will tell you there are better cars. We have a 2000 Punto 1.2 as a second car and it has been perfect. Masses of room for a supermini and economical. £4K for a two year old seems a bit high, you can get very nearly new for 4995. I would have thought the first figure needs to be a 3.
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - Wilco {P}

We've owned a Punto since 2000. Nothing has ever gone wrong with it - dealers are a bit thin on the ground and not always the best but go the independent route and you'll find plenty of support.

The allegedly "hot" models have a bone-hard wide which gets wearing, the 5 door's are better. The base 8 valve 1.2 engine is supposedly more reliable than the 16 valve.

Agree with mlj re prices - there are plenty of offers if you look in the "best deals" on the site for brand new Punto's - with a facelifted model just launched, don't pay over the odds for an old one.

Good luck with the search.
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - lordwoody
I had a Punto HGT for 9 months, no trouble mechanically but a bit tinny and rattly. It looked good as well but as AD says above, a bone hard ride that drove me back into the arms of Saab, which made me realise even more how lightweight it felt, but that is probably typical of all superminis. The HGT isn't that quick either. I do believe all Puntos have fairly hard ride, mine was fine on main roads, tedious on back roads here in Suffolk. Also heard bad reports about many of the main dealers when it came to servicing, and the independent who serviced mine said parts could be hard to come by.
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - Chris White
Hi Phil

Very good :-)

Yes, I'm walking to work (the joys of fresh morning air and not having to worry about traffic jams or accidents slowing me down) so the car only gets used for evenings and weekends.

Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - tunacat
Chris, a Punto will be fine. You're in the ideal position that work is only a 10 minute walk away, if or when the car's not working!

(How far away is a place of repair though?)

They can't be called BAD cars - it's just that owning a Fiat is a bit more of a gamble than owning say a Toyota.

; )
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - Chas{P}
Had a 1.2 8V 5 Dr Active on hire a few weeks back.

Was impressed overall and the fuel economy was excellent - 50 MPG according to the fuel computer on a 40-50 mile round trip commute on mixed roads including two cold starts. There was plenty of space and reasonably equipped.

Would I buy one? I would certainly not leave it off the list of possibles and would be fairly high up.

Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - lordwoody
I wouldn't take too much notice of the Punto fuel computer-mine used to read 54mpg when I was actually getting about 35
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - paulb {P}
I used to have a 2000 V-reg Sporting 16v - great car, just not as quick as it looked. Bombproof mechanically. Trip MPG was a little optimistic, but then I've never had one that's ever been remotely accurate (although Stilo one comes close).

My mother has an '02 Dynamic 16v - it's had to go back to the garage once since she bought it last year, for a service.

And my wife has a 2000 V-reg 1.2 8v - bought used for £4,200 last January with 20,000 miles on it. Fantastic little car and perfect for the sort of short trips you intend. It has no problem with longer journeys either - both wife and self can get comfortable driving it, which is no mean feat considering I'm 6'6" and she's 5'2". Dead cheap to run, too.
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - daveyjp
We were given a brand new Punto as a rental car in Ireland in July. Within 5 miles I became aware of a really annoying rattle, two pieces of trim fell off within the first day and on the second day the interior light decided to fall out!! The car was very tinny and the 1.2 was underpowered. Indicator operation was a nightmare on roundabouts, the seats were very soft and proved uncomfortable (the drivers seat also worked loose over the 5 days er we had it). We managed a mileage in excess of 45 mpg and the road holding was exceptional. It will come down to personal choice, but I would consider all the other super minis before opting for the Punto.
Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - Chris White
Hi all

Thanks for all your advice about models and pricing.

I have seen that Trade Sales are doing brand new 1.2 Puntos for £5,299 (old shape) which look like a bargain, so I shouldn't be paying £4K for a 2 year old 20K mile model.

Because of an outstanding personal loan on my current car I'm looking to do almost a straight swap with my current car and still be better off (in terms of insurance, road tax and fuel).

Thanks again

Fiat Punto '99 - '03 - Good Car? - puntoo
I have a W reg 1.2.

Good points. Nice looking, Reasonable amount of space, good fuel economy. Cheap to run and reliable.

Bad Ponts. Annoying squeaks and expensive/poor service from dealership (avoid main dealers like the plague). Poor paintwork which sctaches too easily.

Dont go for the base model. Miniumum spec should be central locking and electric windows (oh how I regret that).

I would have thought that 4000 would buy you a W/X reg from a main dealer, however when I last looked at my local dealer they didn't have any 5 door cars in stock.


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