FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - cristobal
Hey since the first time i´ve seen the idea i´ve been instantly attracted by its looks......but is it really a reliant car??? Are here any idea owners/drivers who can tell me their honest impressions and advises?? I don´t want to be a permanent user of the fiat´s mechanics shop...... so please HEEELP!!!
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - Gromit {P}
AFAIK, the Idea is built on the Punto platform, so I would expect similar reliability from it. It uses 1.4 petrol and 1.3 diesel engines, so that should avoid the headgasket problems commonplace with 1.1 and 1.2 petrols (can any resident FIAT experts confirm this for sure?)

As a Punto owner, I have to say that so long as you keep the car serviced and have the regular coolant changes recommended on this site, you should have no major worries with an Idea. I'd expect it to do exactly what it says on the tin and not cost a lot in the process. Put it this way: if I was in the market for a mini MPV, the Idea (and Dolbo) would be on my shopping list.

- Gromit
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - artful dodger {P}
>>AFAIK, the Idea is built on the Punto platform, so I would expect similar reliability from it.

I agree. It will depend a lot on how good your Fiat dealer is, they are fairly thin on the ground and some can be very poor.

The other factor to watch is depreciation on a new one, as it can be quite steep. It might be better to buy a pre-registered or ex demo one.

I am certainly not biased against Fiat's as I drive a Fiat Marea Weekend and have found it very reliable for the past 2 years since I bought it. I would have no hesitation about buying another Fiat - despite what some other people say about their reliablity. Personally I think they are more reliable than some of the more fancied European brands, especially the French small cars.

So if you like the Idea, then why not buy one and enjoy.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - peterb
I had one as a hire car in Tuscanny earlier this year with the 1.3 diesel engine.

LOADS of interior space - we were four-up and the passengers all really liked the interior and the ride.

The handling is fine, if not up to Ford standards. The engine was fairly powerful for its size and the torque is less lumpy than some diesels.

Overall, the car does all the basics well. It probably wouldn't be top of my shopping list in this sector, but if you fancy one then give it a try.
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - cristobal
Thanks so far for your very useful comments and encouragement :))
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - Paul I
We recent looked at one - no bad the best ones though are the year old ex demos that seem to crop up on the autotrader website - if you don't mind a bit of a trek a good saving can be had 40 % of list is good by my standards
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - paulb {P}
My father had one from about June of last year to April of this year (at which point he traded it for a Grande Punto). It was a 1.4 Eleganza (petrol engine). Nicely put together, comfortable and very well specified, but felt underpowered. I once drove it with 3 passengers from Gloucestershire to home (including the slog up Birdlip hill on the A417).

My overriding impression was that the throttle response was excellent and that the 1.4 was a nicely refined, free-revving little engine, but simply not big enough for the job. To make decent progress required regular trips to 5,000 rpm and below 3,000 it struggled. This meant that I couldn't achieve better than 37 mpg over the trip, which didn't impress.

Depreciation is a problem - when my father traded his in, per Glass's it had lost about £6.5k in the 10 months since purchase. My recommendation to anyone looking to buy one would be to look for one about 9 months old, and with the diesel engine, although they don't appear to do the Eleganza trim with that engine.

I think Fiat would sell considerably more of these if they offered a better choice of engines - say a 1.6 or 1.8 petrol and a 1.9 diesel, or even the 90 bhp version of the 1.3 diesel. The Meriva, which I would consider to be the Idea's most obvious competitior, gives (ignoring the VXR) the choice of 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 petrols, and 1.3 and 1.7 diesels, and it's therefore not hard to see why it sells better.
FIAT IDEA - good car / bad car - Honestjohn
Perhaps surprisingly, there is a test of the 1.3 Multijet at:-

Now 245 tests on the site.



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