I've never been a fan of Italian cars. They are charming but I have always been put off by high maintenance costs and parts availability. Rewind to the beginning of this year and I needed a cheap runabout to get to work. With the used car market being so inflated I was having trouble finding something suitable for a reasonable price. I called a mate who deals in cars and he had this little beast. I was hesitant to buy such a small and slow car - especially being a Fiat - but I didn't have many options. It only had 125,000km and was in good shape. It cost around $4k.
Fast forward to today and it has been surprisingly 100% reliable. I haven't had any issues with it. I drive it in Sydney traffic daily and the average fuel consumption is 6 litres per 100 kilometres. On more open roads it comes down closer to 5L/100km. Its charm has grown on me. Yes it's slow and not very refined but you can thrash it everywhere and throw it around like a go kart without losing your licence. Its true driving a slow car fast is more fun than a fast car slow. Once your underway it keeps up with traffic fine and handles freeway speeds well (if a little noisy). The gearshift is short, however it doesn't have much feel and is a bit loose. The clutch is very light and is a little hard to get away smoothly on a hill.
The seating position is a little awkward as I'm 6-foot tall. I never can get the position just right. Rear seats are really only suitable for kids, however you could squeeze an adult in there for a short trip.
It was a cheap car to begin with so doesn't have many features, but the air conditioning works well and the power steering has two settings: Normal and City. I always leave it in Normal as City mode is extremely light and you can't feel anything through the wheel.
It's hard to believe this car has been on the market for such a long time. It is quite outdated these days.
Overall I've been quite happy with the Fiat. It has done exactly what it says on the box, and does it without fuss. Would I buy another one? No.