Product Type: Fiat cars
Newest Review: ... any problems were minor and cheap to fix so when i decided i fancied a change i opted for a fiat stilo active and then began the endless... more
Fiat Stilo ultimately disappoints
Member Name: loveclose
Advantages: Great spec that challenges more expensive vehicles like VW Golf
Disadvantages: Poor electrics, poor reliablitly and customer service poor
When bought from new, this car promised much. My wife bought a 1.6 Stilo Dynamic. Packed with features that were more than she wanted at the time, we had a car that on paper at least rivaled the Golf, nay bettered the Golf for room, versatility and equipment levels.
The first 18 months or so were relatively trouble free. The engine was responsive, a good workhorse that would sit on the motorway all day. Then the problems started, and from then onwards, things just went from bad to worse. All four engine coils had to be replaced. Various sensors failed and had to be replaced - not cheap either! And the one fault that seems to be reported just about everywhere else - engine management fault light keeps coming on and despite numerous attempts to solve whatever problem is diagnosed, keeps coming back on.
The engine sensor light is more than just an annoying niggle. When the light comes on, the engine management system 'thinks' there's a fault, and whether there is one or not, makes adjustments to compensate. The result is inconsistent engine performance, frequent loss of power up hills, and stuttery acceleration. Now to my mind, it simply isn't acceptable to have this fault occuring so often and by all accounts on so many vehicles judging by the number of reviews I've read that describe the same fault.
It's so frustrating - Fiat have in the Stilo a real challenge to the Golf. It's packed with really useful features - including sliding rear seats, front and rear fogs, electric windows all round, electric door mirrors, extensive computer. The spec levels are high, but all this is dimmed by very poor electrics, faults with the engine management system, and noisy mechanical parts which have to be replaced, and they're not cheap either.
Beware when any lights fail - access to the front lights (well, the near side font lamp anyway) was only achievable by having part of the bodywork removed - in other words, a garage job, rather than a quick fix. God alone knows how the rear lights are changed - probably a garage job as well.
The air conditioning system is probably the worst of its kind - frequently leaking and having to be regassed.
If all of this were tolerable, then by all means disregard this review and enjoy. But the worst is yet to be!! Our car was let down not just by its poor reliablility, but also by probably the worst service backup I've expereinced. Upgrades or recalls were never initiated unless we spotted them ourselves. Parts that were diagnosed by the engine management system were probably wrongly replaced. And as for customer support regarding things like courtesy cars - quite unbelievable at times.
We've had to give up trying to fix our Stilo. It's being traded in - fortunately by a dealership who is fully aware of the car's history and still given us a good deal. It's a sad end to a car that really promised a great deal, but couldn't deliver due to poor reliability and poor (expensive)customer support.
Summary: Be aware of what you may have to endure! Cheaper option may not be best!