Are Fiat Cars Junk?

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rattlenap
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Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by rattlenap »

I am in the market for an inexpensive used car (under 10k) and came across the following listings in the links below. They have very low mileage and are very inexpensive. Yet they seem too goo to be true. All the reviews I've read on Fiat have been negative. What do you think?


http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2013- ... 36584.html

http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2015- ... 95310.html
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cheese_breath
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by cheese_breath »

Fix It Again Tony
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TravelGeek
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by TravelGeek »

There was a story in the news recently about Fiat Chrysler getting the worst reliability rating.

I think this covers it.

http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/f ... ?a=viewall
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Midpack »

Go look at Consumer Reports reliability ratings. I'm guessing they're not good.

Poorly rated here too https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/fia ... eliability

"Low mileage and very inexpensive" is almost always for good reason.
rattlenap wrote:I am in the market for an inexpensive used car (under 10k) and came across the following listings in the links below. They have very low mileage and are very inexpensive. Yet they seem too good to be true. All the reviews I've read on Fiat have been negative. What do you think?
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hicabob
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by hicabob »

They are quite fun to drive, enough so that I used to request them for rentals. My neighbor, who has 6 cars including a bmw, maserati and mbz has one (abarth of course) and likes it. His has had some shop time though.
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just frank
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by just frank »

You can get a used Nissan LEAF for <$10k too. And it would be a fun driving, reliable commuter car if your use case is <50 miles round trip. And its got 5 seats, a lot of cargo space and has NO oil changes, engine, transmission, fuel system or exhaust system. The only maintenance items are rubber: tires and wipers.

And if you are in CA, no worries about winter range, and you've got EV chargers all over the place, a lot of them free.
Last edited by just frank on Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
cmoneymillz
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by cmoneymillz »

Fun, yes. Reliable? Meh.
I've heard many people complain of reliability, never anything positive.
However, that said, these cars are like honda civics in Italy - they are everywhere!

If you need something reliable, practical, and $ for a daily driver... 05-08 Acura TL :sharebeer
nura
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by nura »

rattlenap wrote:I am in the market for an inexpensive used car (under 10k) and came across the following listings in the links below. They have very low mileage and are very inexpensive. Yet they seem too goo to be true. All the reviews I've read on Fiat have been negative. What do you think?


http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2013- ... 36584.html

http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2015- ... 95310.html
Please trying purchasing Honda/Toyota for same price level, you will get to know what Junk really means, both in-terms for drivability and maintenece.
I would take these a 500 over Civic, Corolloa, Fit, Yaris for these prices any day.
Last edited by nura on Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

In the JD Powers survey of people who would buy the car again, Fiat comes in last. A MINI would be just as fun and probably only being repaired 30% of the time you own it.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

cmoneymillz wrote:Fun, yes. Reliable? Meh.
I've heard many people complain of reliability, never anything positive.
However, that said, these cars are like honda civics in Italy - they are everywhere!

If you need something reliable, practical, and $ for a daily driver... 05-08 Acura TL :sharebeer
Italy being Italy I suspect a lot of Italians don't pay anything like the retail price for a Fiat ;-).

Also there will be "cash only" car repair places (charging half the official rates).

And Italian city streets tend to be narrow, and parking places micro-sized. So a Fiat is well designed for those criteria. Plus the style of driving ;-).

Also generally there is no road salt, and only in the north is there anything like the sort of winter you experience in most of North America.

There may also be patriotism, a bit like French cars in France. But in both countries you see plenty of Japanese cars.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

rattlenap wrote:I am in the market for an inexpensive used car (under 10k) and came across the following listings in the links below. They have very low mileage and are very inexpensive. Yet they seem too goo to be true. All the reviews I've read on Fiat have been negative. What do you think?


http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2013- ... 36584.html

http://www.monzacarusa.com/detail-2015- ... 95310.html
You have a tight budget constraint.

I'd consider a North American manufacturer (GM or Ford, not Chrysler) used car. They have high depreciation. Reliability is often not far behind Japanese (Ford especially I think). You can get some giant wagon loaded with options. OK it's not a chic drive, but it's functional, on a limited budget.

Look at it this way, it's what Americans who don't have much money drive. And it gets them to work, shopping, school for their kids. Parts are cheap.

Yes in an ideal world a Toyota or Honda (Nissan?). Problem is probably for that price, very poor condition?

I wouldn't under any circumstances buy a Fiat, nor a German car (unless one had the capacity for large repair bills). There's a reason they have high depreciation rates.

EDIT: Hyundai, Kia, Subaru as alternatives?
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by aristotelian »

Plus they have that tiny-car-trying-to-look-"Euro" style. I am not a "big car" guy by any means, but that would be a dealbreaker for me.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Sandtrap »

Actionable used alternatives (value per dollar): There are other "American" branded used cars that are actually Japanese cars and the price will often be much lower because of it. IE: Pontiac Vibe is a Toyota Matrix. Etc. Ford Focus?
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munemaker
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by munemaker »

Sandtrap wrote:Actionable used alternatives (value per dollar): There are other "American" branded used cars that are actually Japanese cars and the price will often be much lower because of it. IE: Pontiac Vibe is a Toyota Matrix. Etc. Ford Focus?
Pontiac and the Vibe died quietly in their sleep in 2010. Any other examples?
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

Jack FFR1846 wrote:In the JD Powers survey of people who would buy the car again, Fiat comes in last. A MINI would be just as fun and probably only being repaired 30% of the time you own it.
And the Mini would be considerably safer, I suspect. It's a bigger car, and likely has much better crash resistance.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by adamthesmythe »

I had a Fiat a long time ago. It was unreliable and it became junk.

I would not buy a newer Fiat for a reliable commuter car. For a stylish fun car, maybe. I suspect that even with the low price you are paying a premium for style.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

Sandtrap wrote:Actionable used alternatives (value per dollar): There are other "American" branded used cars that are actually Japanese cars and the price will often be much lower because of it. IE: Pontiac Vibe is a Toyota Matrix. Etc. Ford Focus?
+1 on this.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
They are very good at manufacturing some things.

In my father's day, 60% of all the power plant valves in the free world came from a valley outside of Turin-- competing companies. A real "cluster".

OTO Melara makes a rapid fire 76mm naval cannon which has been widely adopted (on the USS Perry Class frigates I believe).
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by cheese_breath »

Valuethinker wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
They are very good at manufacturing some things.

In my father's day, 60% of all the power plant valves in the free world came from a valley outside of Turin-- competing companies. A real "cluster".

OTO Melara makes a rapid fire 76mm naval cannon which has been widely adopted (on the USS Perry Class frigates I believe).
Good to know the next time I'm looking for a naval cannon. :P
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Nate79 »

It is not a coincidence that certain manufacturers appear at the bottom of the heap of every reliability list.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by fareastwarriors »

Fun to drive but maybe not fun to own/maintain. But that being said, we all can't be driving Honda's/Toyotas... Too bland and boring!

For your situation, you might want to avoid the Fiat.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Sandtrap »

1970's Fiat 124 Spider. Simple. Reliable. No computer. 4 tires, standard transmission, inline 4 with carbs. :happy
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by travellight »

They have an amazing lease deal going on right now in my area on the Fiat 500e: $49/month with 2k down. Net cost is $3800 for 36 months and then just return it. It is under warranty the whole time so if there are issues, it may be a nuisance but should not be a significant cost. I can't find a better lease deal right now to bridge me over till my Tesla 3 reservation yields an actual car.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Dan999 »

From USA today, JD Power survey on new cars:

"Buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can't afford to let their quality slip," says Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, in a statement.

As for best brands, Lexus and Porsche tied for first place for fewest problems with 110 per 100 cars. Lexus has been at the top for six straight years. The worst brand was Fiat, with 298 per 100 cars, followed by Jeep and Infiniti.

Fiat was ranked 31 out of 31 of the car makers listed.
That kind of says it.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by rgs92 »

I hear this all time, but I don't see a lot of dead Chryslers on the road. Do these really fall apart after a few years? I see tons of them in parking lots and a number of my friends who are looking for bargains have them and I don't hear them talking about how bad their cars are.

Maybe the OP could be good enough edit the title to explicitly include Chrysler products to expand the discussion of this good thread.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Whakamole »

rgs92 wrote:I hear this all time, but I don't see a lot of dead Chryslers on the road. Do these really fall apart after a few years? I see tons of them in parking lots and a number of my friends who are looking for bargains have them and I don't hear them talking about how bad their cars are.
Maybe they die in the parking lots instead of on the road?
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by cheese_breath »

Whakamole wrote:
rgs92 wrote:I hear this all time, but I don't see a lot of dead Chryslers on the road. Do these really fall apart after a few years? I see tons of them in parking lots and a number of my friends who are looking for bargains have them and I don't hear them talking about how bad their cars are.
Maybe they die in the parking lots instead of on the road?
They want to die in comfort in the garage with the family gathered around them. :wink:
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Dendritic Tree »

I second the comment about the Nissan Leaf. I don't own one but I know several people who do and they're all happy with it. Obviously it's not practical for road trips. The newer ones get about 100 miles a charge, but the batteries do slightly degrade over time so I would conservatively plan on no more than a 50-60 mile round trip. A friend has a 7-year-old Leaf that has lost a fraction of its battery capacity but otherwise has never had a single mechanical problem. Because people are so worried about the batteries, a low-mileage used one can be had for well under 10k.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

rgs92 wrote:I hear this all time, but I don't see a lot of dead Chryslers on the road. Do these really fall apart after a few years? I see tons of them in parking lots and a number of my friends who are looking for bargains have them and I don't hear them talking about how bad their cars are.

Maybe the OP could be good enough edit the title to explicitly include Chrysler products to expand the discussion of this good thread.
Jeep owners know what they are getting. Ennhhh... reliability but they have fun on the way!

Can't speak to other Chrysler vehicles, but I would avoid, given the odds.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by PandaBear »

cheese_breath wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
They are very good at manufacturing some things.

In my father's day, 60% of all the power plant valves in the free world came from a valley outside of Turin-- competing companies. A real "cluster".

OTO Melara makes a rapid fire 76mm naval cannon which has been widely adopted (on the USS Perry Class frigates I believe).
Good to know the next time I'm looking for a naval cannon. :P
As far as I know, Italian cars kind of suck. The fault is mostly in their electronics. It is like they are stuck in the late eighties/early nineties. Of course, this is for regular Italian cars, your Fiats, Alfa Romeos, Lancias, etc. I have never driven a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Maserati. I'd like to think that those high end manufacturers make a good car. Of course, if you can afford one, I'm sure you can also afford to service it.

That said, saying Italy's manufacturing sucks as a blanket statement is ignorant. Aside from naval cannons, you have Beretta (which owns Benelli and Franchi as well) manufactures very good guns and Prima Power a specialist in metalworking, Cosberg, BLM, etc. As I understand it, the mirrors on the LBT were made in Italy and shipped to Arizona b/c no one in the US could actually make mirrors that big. Took a couple of years to make it if I recall correctly.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

PandaBear wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
They are very good at manufacturing some things.

In my father's day, 60% of all the power plant valves in the free world came from a valley outside of Turin-- competing companies. A real "cluster".

OTO Melara makes a rapid fire 76mm naval cannon which has been widely adopted (on the USS Perry Class frigates I believe).
Good to know the next time I'm looking for a naval cannon. :P
As far as I know, Italian cars kind of suck. The fault is mostly in their electronics. It is like they are stuck in the late eighties/early nineties. Of course, this is for regular Italian cars, your Fiats, Alfa Romeos, Lancias, etc. I have never driven a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Maserati. I'd like to think that those high end manufacturers make a good car. Of course, if you can afford one, I'm sure you can also afford to service it.

That said, saying Italy's manufacturing sucks as a blanket statement is ignorant. Aside from naval cannons, you have Beretta (which owns Benelli and Franchi as well) manufactures very good guns and Prima Power a specialist in metalworking, Cosberg, BLM, etc. As I understand it, the mirrors on the LBT were made in Italy and shipped to Arizona b/c no one in the US could actually make mirrors that big. Took a couple of years to make it if I recall correctly.
Did I say that? What I said related to medicine, banking and cars, particularly the FIAT. Play nice in the sandbox.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Captain Sensible »

TravelGeek wrote:There was a story in the news recently about Fiat Chrysler getting the worst reliability rating.

I think this covers it.

http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/f ... ?a=viewall
The astute reader will note that the FIAT 500 is not on this lemon list. It's a proven design with decent reliability, including several years in Europe before being re-introduced here.

But what do I know? I'm just an actual driver of a 2012 500 Sport, with no problems at all for years now. OK, the dashboard clock drifts badly out of time, but I think that's just to maintain their reputation for sprezzatura. 8-)

So I'd say drive one (esp. the stick!) and make up your own mind. The all-electric 500e is apparently fantastic. I wish it were for sale on the east coast, but apparently it's a loss leader to meet Cali mpg standards across their fleet.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Chuck »

I heard that Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, the chefs British, and it is all organized by the Italians.

(There is nothing about Italian mechanics in there, so that may not be helpful.)
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by rogergaret »

Chuck wrote:I heard that Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, the chefs British, and it is all organized by the Italians.

(There is nothing about Italian mechanics in there, so that may not be helpful.)
I would agree with you except that in heaven the lovers are Brazilian. :D
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Mordoch »

PandaBear wrote:As I understand it, the mirrors on the LBT were made in Italy and shipped to Arizona b/c no one in the US could actually make mirrors that big. Took a couple of years to make it if I recall correctly.
For the record, while this might apply to some other telescope or some other telescope part, the mirrors for the Large Binocular Telescope were definitely made at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab in Arizona. (It in fact is the only place in the world making individual mirrors that big right now, although its possible to make very large telescopes using many smaller mirrors.)
http://mirrorlab.as.arizona.edu/castings

(The facilities are actually based under the University of Arizona football stadium.)
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by ClevrChico »

When my Honda was waiting for a new airbag, my long term rental was a Dodge Dart, which is a Fiat platform. It was an excellent driving car, very solid and put together well.

While it won't be Toyota/Honda reliable, I'd have no issues with a modern Fiat.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by TravelGeek »

Captain Sensible wrote: The astute reader will note that the FIAT 500 is not on this lemon list. It's a proven design with decent reliability, including several years in Europe before being re-introduced here.

But what do I know? I'm just an actual driver of a 2012 500 Sport, with no problems at all for years now. OK, the dashboard clock drifts badly out of time, but I think that's just to maintain their reputation for sprezzatura. 8-)

So I'd say drive one (esp. the stick!) and make up your own mind. The all-electric 500e is apparently fantastic. I wish it were for sale on the east coast, but apparently it's a loss leader to meet Cali mpg standards across their fleet.
Seems JD Power isn't a big fan of the Fiat 500

http://www.jdpower.com/cars/search/FIAT ... pg-ranges/

http://www.autoblog.com/2014/07/02/fiat ... ity-score/

Consumer Reports says

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/fiat-500.htm

"Reliability has been well below average. The 500 scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap crash test."

My personal experience with the 500 is limited to a one day rental. I wanted to like it (i had a choice of cars from the Hertz Gold Choice aisle), but frankly I was glad that I was mostly stuck in heavy Silicon Valley traffic. Obviously not a test of quality and reliability.

I could imagine that the 500e would be fun for tooling around town.

My second car was a Dodge Shadow. No more Chrysler products for me. :)
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Runner01 »

$10k is by no means a tight budget constraint for a quality used car. I personally would skip the unreliable Italian car though and pick up a 5 spd Honda Fit (speaking for experience). They are reliable, economical, roomy enough for fit 5 non obese adults, and kind of fun to drive (with a 5 spd).

Here's a good example. One owner, low miles, and 5 spd for less than $7k. Same color and generation as mine (mine is an 07).

http://m.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/v ... D%5B%5D%5D
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by finite_difference »

travellight wrote:They have an amazing lease deal going on right now in my area on the Fiat 500e: $49/month with 2k down. Net cost is $3800 for 36 months and then just return it. It is under warranty the whole time so if there are issues, it may be a nuisance but should not be a significant cost. I can't find a better lease deal right now to bridge me over till my Tesla 3 reservation yields an actual car.
$3800/36 months = $105/mo. That's well below my $150/mo lease recommendation maximum.

Assuming you won't run into any penalties, then you should take the lease!
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

Chuck wrote:I heard that Heaven is where the police are British, the lovers French, the mechanics German, the chefs Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, the chefs British, and it is all organized by the Italians.

(There is nothing about Italian mechanics in there, so that may not be helpful.)
Actually that's the functional definition of the European Union ;-). And you forgot the Belgian bureaucrats ;-).

Switzerland is not in the EU.

Britain is of course exiting. But British restaurant food has become some of the best in Europe ;-). Who knew?

We can conclude then that the improvement in British dining habits has led to an impetus to leave the EU ;-).
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Kitty Telltales »

Runner01 wrote:$10k is by no means a tight budget constraint for a quality used car. I personally would skip the unreliable Italian car though and pick up a 5 spd Honda Fit (speaking for experience). They are reliable, economical, roomy enough for fit 5 non obese adults, and kind of fun to drive (with a 5 spd).
Two friends of mine, one has a Fiat the other has a Fit. Both love their cars. The friend who owns the Fiat is German and has only driven Fiats. Go figure.
researcher
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by researcher »

ClevrChico wrote:When my Honda was waiting for a new airbag, my long term rental was a Dodge Dart, which is a Fiat platform. It was an excellent driving car, very solid and put together well.

While it won't be Toyota/Honda reliable, I'd have no issues with a modern Fiat.
Experts do not share your opinion. The Dodge Dart is ranked #17 of the 19 cars in its class.
"In nearly every measurable way, the Dart has been surpassed by most of its newer competitors."

The Dodge Dart isn't even being made anymore. It was discontinued after the 2016 model year.

http://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/dart
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ClevrChico
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by ClevrChico »

researcher wrote:
ClevrChico wrote:When my Honda was waiting for a new airbag, my long term rental was a Dodge Dart, which is a Fiat platform. It was an excellent driving car, very solid and put together well.

While it won't be Toyota/Honda reliable, I'd have no issues with a modern Fiat.
Experts do not share your opinion. The Dodge Dart is ranked #17 of the 19 cars in its class.
"In nearly every measurable way, the Dart has been surpassed by most of its newer competitors."

The Dodge Dart isn't even being made anymore. It was discontinued after the 2016 model year.

http://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/dart
I'm not disagreeing, but the brand isn't "junk", which the OP asked. These aren't the Fiats from the 1970's or 1980's. Otherwise transportation wouldn't function in Italy.

Is it ironic that I was driving a Fiat based car while my *Honda* was in storage for a safety problem? :-)
tim1999
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by tim1999 »

I am predisposed to thinking they are junk. I'd never buy one. But anecdotally, there is a guy at work who has one of those "Abarth" editions (or however you spell it) and he loves it. Only issue in 1-2 years was a minor trim fit/finish issue fixed under warranty. And anecdotally, they do not appear to be selling well in my area. The dealer a few miles away that I drive by every other day has a lot full of them, overflowing into a storage lot (basically a mowed field) and the ones on the front line of the main lot have been in the same lineup for what seems like months now.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Valuethinker »

ClevrChico wrote:
researcher wrote:
ClevrChico wrote:When my Honda was waiting for a new airbag, my long term rental was a Dodge Dart, which is a Fiat platform. It was an excellent driving car, very solid and put together well.

While it won't be Toyota/Honda reliable, I'd have no issues with a modern Fiat.
Experts do not share your opinion. The Dodge Dart is ranked #17 of the 19 cars in its class.
"In nearly every measurable way, the Dart has been surpassed by most of its newer competitors."

The Dodge Dart isn't even being made anymore. It was discontinued after the 2016 model year.

http://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/dart
I'm not disagreeing, but the brand isn't "junk", which the OP asked. These aren't the Fiats from the 1970's or 1980's. Otherwise transportation wouldn't function in Italy.
I am never sure what is at root between the success of cars like Peugeot-Citroen, Fiat, Renault, the various VW brands (Skoda, Seat, VW) in Europe and their poor performance in North America.

Some guesses:

- when these cars are/ were made by "transplant" factories in N America, generally the quality was lower (true of BMW/ Mercedes?)

- Japanese cars are common in Europe but the penetration is even higher in N America, and the Japanese are just good at reliability

- conversely Japanese cars aren't as fun to drive, generally, Europeans have a different appetite in terms of firmer rides and closer road holding

- the North American winter is highly stressful for cars: freezing/ warming cycles (heated garages); road salt; temperature extremes which you normally only see in Eastern Europe & Scandinavia

- Americans probably drive their cars more miles due to geography, and so problems crop up faster (if new cars are typically only held 4-5 years by the original buyer)

As to Italian transportation. You get a lot of small garages, still, I expect. And they will do the work (for cash) for a lot less than an official dealer might. Also only in northern Italy do you get winters remotely like North American ones. And distances driven are likely much less.

So Italians have cars which are stylish, fun, but maybe not as reliable as your usual Japanese car. Conversely, you do see a lot of Japanese cars in France, Germany and Italy.

Is it ironic that I was driving a Fiat based car while my *Honda* was in storage for a safety problem? :-)
The major brands have all converged on reliability I believe. But the Japanese still lead, and I think Chrysler, among the North Americans, still lags.

The North American car makes make all their profits, virtually, in the pickup truck/ SUV segments, I believe. So I presume that's where they put their engineering focus.
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by travellight »

finite_difference wrote:
travellight wrote:They have an amazing lease deal going on right now in my area on the Fiat 500e: $49/month with 2k down. Net cost is $3800 for 36 months and then just return it. It is under warranty the whole time so if there are issues, it may be a nuisance but should not be a significant cost. I can't find a better lease deal right now to bridge me over till my Tesla 3 reservation yields an actual car.
$3800/36 months = $105/mo. That's well below my $150/mo lease recommendation maximum.

Assuming you won't run into any penalties, then you should take the lease!
Thanks! It seems to be an easy decision considering it is under warranty the whole time!
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researcher
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by researcher »

ClevrChico wrote:
researcher wrote:Experts do not share your opinion. The Dodge Dart is ranked #17 of the 19 cars in its class.
"In nearly every measurable way, the Dart has been surpassed by most of its newer competitors."
The Dodge Dart isn't even being made anymore. It was discontinued after the 2016 model year.
http://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/dart
I'm not disagreeing, but the brand isn't "junk", which the OP asked. These aren't the Fiats from the 1970's or 1980's. Otherwise transportation wouldn't function in Italy.
I'm not sure how you define "junk."
The OP is asking if he should buy a particular vehicle, given all of the negative reviews.
Would you recommend a car ranked #17 of 19, that has been surpassed by virtually every competitor on nearly every metric?
Is it ironic that I was driving a Fiat based car while my *Honda* was in storage for a safety problem?
Not ironic at all. Nearly every auto manufacturer has been impacted by the Takata airbag recall, including Fiat Chrysler. See for yourself...
https://www.cars.com/articles/is-your-c ... 680509675/

The reason you were driving a Fiat based car is because they are so lousy that Fiat must unload them as fleet sales to rental car agencies.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Valuethinker wrote: I am never sure what is at root between the success of cars like Peugeot-Citroen, Fiat, Renault, the various VW brands (Skoda, Seat, VW) in Europe and their poor performance in North America.
Different requirements, both because of the environment and because of policy and regulations.

Parking is far tighter in most of Europe. Cars that look small in the US look big in European cities.

Much higher gas prices, all those diesels in Europe were the result of taxation policy. Originally it was an accidental result of taxation policy which was designed to favor virtuous industry (trucking) over frivolous personal transportation (cars).

OTOH the lack of diesels in the US is due to having air quality standards with teeth.

The crazy US headlight rules from the '80s.

Some, but not all, of the regulatory difference has been deliberately protectionist.
srt7
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Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

Post by srt7 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:Fix It Again Tony
+1. That's about the gist of it.

Don't buy a Renault - either. Pieces of junk.

Let me clue you in on something - if you want quality and it's Italian - cement work, carpentry, wine, olive oil, art, leather goods, clothing, Italian finished wool, a picturesque countryside, food. Don't go to Italy for cutting edge medicine (doesn't exist), cars (Fiat) or banking (the Medici's are long gone......what's left is a national disgrace!!) or politics (there is more red tape there than 3M can manufacture in 10 years time).
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc
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