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Discussion Starter #1
Soon I am going to be on the look out for a cheap second motor.

I have noticed that Fiat Stilo's seem to offer good value for money.


Would you guys consider one?


I know they are far from being Fiats best ever offering, but they are cheap for the age and mileage.
 

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Yes. I did :) And I'd buy another.

They're either really good or a nightmare. Mine's been really good. Had it 5 years in September & done 43,000 miles so far (It's a 2004 54 plate, now on 93,000 miles). Had one breakdown, which was when the crank sensor (made by Bosch I believe) failed in 2011. It didn't even breakdown as such, just refused to start without RAC intervention after being parked up for 3 days.

The 3 door & MultiWagons are worth slightly more than 5 doors, with the JTD probably the most sought after. I'd avoid the 1.6 petrol like the plague. It's not economical, seems to suffer the most engine electronic issues and eats gearboxes. Unfortunately it was one of the biggest sellers in the range, and I think that's where the Stilo got its reputation from.

The 1.2 and 1.4 petrol aren't bad, though the 1.2 particularly will struggle if fully loaded. They can also have gearbox trouble sometimes, but not to the extent of the 1.6. The 1.8 petrol and 1.9 JTDs are the best engines to go for, with the JTD obviously better on fuel (I get 550-600 miles out of a tank). The JTD is also cheaper to tax than the 1.8, at £120 a year. There's also a 2.4 5 cylinder, but it makes little sense as a cheap runabout, more of a weekend toy to be cherished.

Get a one or two owner 1.8 or JTD (the 115bhp JTD is preferable to the 80bhp) and you shouldn't go far wrong. Common failures are front springs snapping, but unlike many cars, Fiat fitted 'spring catchers' under recall, so many people drive for hundreds of miles before noticing the spring has snapped. Mine snapped and one went into a front tyre (fortunately when parked) but Fiat UK gave me vouchers to the full cost of repair, which was pretty good of them. Other suspension parts like suspension arms, top struts can wear early, but parts are fairly cheap. The suspension isn't amazingly quiet even when it's all ok so don't assume a noise from the suspension means it's knackered.

Other issues include the instrument cluster dying, but companies recondition them now, so it's not as horrendous as it was. Sensors and warning lights can come on randomly, but it's often down to low battery voltage rather than an actual fault, so always check battery first. Cars from launch (51 plate) to 53 plate seem worse than those after 53 plate, as Fiat removed several electronic bits when they carried out a minor facelift in late 2003-early 2004 - 3 & 5 door facelift models can be identified by a round Fiat badge on the bootlid instead of the old F I A T badge. Look for evidence of a cambelt change (and waterpump, especially on diesel) or budget for this. Waterpumps can leak & fail before the belt.

Finally, make sure the battery cover & fuse box cover under the bonnet is present. Cars with ones missing suggest owners have had trouble with his area in the past & not replaced them. It can also allow moisture in, which is a big no no with Stilo's.

So long as you look carefully, you can end up with a bargain. Mines cost me £1000 a year over 5 years including maintenance & depreciation. I'd struggle to replace it with anything better this side of 10 grand. Highly under-rated. :thumbs:
 

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i think they are very good, but in my experience you seem to be able to pick up a 147 for about the same sort of price?
 
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Isn't the stilo a bit cheaper to insure and bit cheaper parts price wise.
Other thing is they are probably less abused as not judged as a hot hatch sports car.
Better chance of a well looked after one at a good price.
 
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The Stilo isn't bad, nice interior and a good range of engines, diesel would be better though as the 1.2 or 1.4 are gutless. Rust isn't an issue either, my little td punto is faultless and returns 70 mpg and £30 pound per year tax........oh it is for sale Symon.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Stilo isn't bad, nice interior and a good range of engines, diesel would be better though as the 1.2 or 1.4 are gutless. Rust isn't an issue either, my little td punto is faultless and returns 70 mpg and £30 pound per year tax........oh it is for sale Symon.
How much are looking for it?

You can PM me if you prefer. ;)
 

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Re insurance etc. My 3dr JTD 115 is Group 5 in the old insurance groupings, which I think is quite a few groups lower than the equivalent JTD 147. The same is true for other engines.

The tax on the diesel is a few bands lower in the Stilo, and if you're carrying a family, the Stilo scored 4 stars with Euro NCAP and the 147 3 stars. Not always a big deal but if you check out the photo's on Euro NCAPs website, the Stilo is in notably better shape after the test than the 147 - Stilo was built on a newer platform still used in modified form today in the Fiat Bravo and Lancia Delta.

Finally the parts prices seem more modest for the Fiat. I've always fancied a 147 so tried to justify replacing the Stilo with one a while back but when you weigh up running costs it's hard to justify. The Alfa is for me the 'nicer' car, but for a cheap runabout the Fiat is probably a better bet.
 

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I had a gunmetal grey Stilo Abarth 2.4 Selespeed with Skyblade. Great car that served me well until I made my mind up on what I wanted next.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't think I will be going for a 2.4 as I need a car that is cheap to run and tax.

The reason I prefer it over the 147 as a runabout is that it has less complicated suspension (less to go wrong) and it has a higher safety rating.

I can't say I am a fan of the styling, but the aim is to get a good cheap to run car for not a lot of £££'s, not to get something super stylish.

A good banger if you like.

Do they rust in the floorpan like other Fiats and Alfas of similar vintage?
 

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My 3 door 1.8 Dynamic was a nice car. Seats not the best but only the flaky air con pipes (later rectified) forced me out early.
 

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Not seen anyone on FiatForum mention rust on a Stilo, but I don't go in the Stilo section much as mine's always been good as gold. The odd scabby bit of paintwork on accident damaged cars, but not the same sort of trouble that affects 156 floors and Brava/Bravo/Marea subframes as far as I know. Thinking about it, Car Mechanics magazine did a Stilo feature a couple of months back and one of the lines was 'being a Fiat, it won't rust'! Even I slightly raised my eyebrow at that, but it made a change to read something positive.

I would imagine most are scrapped because of electronic issues that people don't know how to fix, or in the case of the 1.6 a knackered gearbox, before rust has much chance to set-in.

The only corrosion on mine is the aircon condenser and associated pipework, though it sounds like I'm not alone with that :(
 

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'being a Fiat, it won't rust'!
Well, FIAT were the first mainstream maker to fully galvanise their car bodies. When you've got a bad reputation for something, you've got to overperform to get rid of it, and they did. Mercedes had very bad rust problems around the time of the Stilo's introduction.

I see very few "knackered" Stilos around. Okay, I see very few Stilos at all, but all the cars I've seen in my neighbourhood look and sound in good working order, so either the bad ones fall apart completely long ago, or they're fairly solidly put together...
 

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The car I had was very solid. Felt more "quality" than a 147. No where near as good to drive though.

The 3 door looks brilliant IMO (still).
 

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Personally I'd go for a old style Brava ELX. much nicer styling and if you can find one that's been well looked after there sure to be cheap too. The 5 door Stilo looks like a hearse!. We had one as a company car at a firm I was working for, took it out to pick a van up from Leeds and the spring snapped and went through the tyre side wall just as I was accelerating up the slip road to joint the M62! Back onto the Brava, I had the 1.6 ELX for about 4 years and it was brilliant, never put a spanner on it outside of servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Our Previous Banger was a 1.2 Bravo.

It was a great little car, 45mpg very reliable and I managed to sell it for the same as I paid for it after nearly 2 years...

There are other choices in the under £1000 price range that need investigating as well though before I buy anything.
 

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If you're not looking at spending more than a grand, you might end up with a bit of a ropey Stilo. I'd agree with the comment about the old Brava/o - they're under a grand even in great condition, but the cheapest Stilo's look a bit rough on AutoTrader.
 

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The 115 1.9 diesel is very quick, lack's upper range but feels very eager to set off and can get some real power when on the move short shifting..

You get a lot of car for your money, but I didn't actually buy the one I looked at.
 
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