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Fiat X1/9

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£9.99 Best Offer by: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped See more offers
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      18.05.2001 21:49
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      • unreliable

      Always impressed me with its looks, and the image of being a 'poor man's Ferrari'. Indeed, it is hard to find another example of mid-engine, rear-drive with Bertone styling without shelling out for the Ferrari badge. When driving, the X19 does not disappoint. I traded up from a 750 cc Panda, and the difference in grip and acceleration was nothing short of breathtaking! The sure-footedness of the car really flatters the driver, and gives you the impression that you are invincible, until you have to hit the brakes. These are discs all round, which was the reserve of supercars until Fiat introduced the model in the 1970's. However, their stopping power doesn't seem to be able to compensate for the lightness of the car, and it's ridiculously easy to get into a skid, even in the dry. The mid-mounted engine also means it gets very hot in the cabin, but on sunny days this can be fixed by removing the targa top, which folds into the front boot quite easily. All this good news on the driving experience front is rather spoiled by the overall ownership experience. I paid £1700 for a low-mileage example with some service history, but still had to shell out the same again to keep it on the road for 6 months! quite apart from the fact that the X19 rots like a fallen apple, I had to get a new fuel pump, get the carb tuned twice, get both rear discs replaced, gearbox partially rebuilt...get the message? More than all this, I just got sick of wondering whether the thing would start every time I got into it (I had to call the AA out 6 times in as many months). Now I have traded the X19 in for a Scirocco, whixh while it doesn't feel as fast has been problem-free, and is so much more substantial (the VW sun-visor snaps into place more satisfyingly than the doors on the X19). I would consider buying another x19, but only as a second, summer car.

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