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Fiat Uno

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  • Reliability
  • Lack of comfort compared to new cars (obviously)
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      22.07.2010 14:42
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      Performed well most of the time

      The Fiat Uno 55 was a basic little motor that got you from A to B, using a nippy drive style that was simple and easy to handle. The Fiat Uno series were quite compact and neat little cars and had sharp styling that made them look like a nice little super mini about town.

      They came in either 3 or 5 door versions and had a reasonable amount of boot space considering their small size. Engine size for the Uno 55 was 1.1L and this was enough to make the car nip about town and country at fair speeds, due to the compact size of the car verses the engine capacity.

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      The Fiat Uno was a bit boxy but it was still attractive in its 5 door version. The front grill had the distinctive series of slashed lines set on the diagonal that was the Fiat trademark logo at the time. Bumpers both front and back were plain black plastic that could and did go a bit grey and faded over time.

      The interior seemed solid enough and the seats had a reasonably high seating position for such a small hatchback. The finish of the cabin was very basic by todays standards, but it did the job. The gear stick was simple, skinny and felt rather too light, till we experienced gearbox problems later on.

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      Obviously when compared with more recent designs, the angular lines of the Fiat do seem rather out dated, but at the time the over all look of the car was neat and smart. They came in a variety of shades and many had metallic paint.

      The body of these cars was rather prone to rust and ours did suffer with a very dodgy sunroof that became so rusty around the metal housing, it had to be taped over to stop the rain coming in even after it had been fixed.

      The car we had was rather basic in terms of features and the radio cassette player had to be replaced with something a little better. There were no airbags fitted to the car and I am sure that most of us would not consider driving a car without the benefit of these now. Windows opened with elbow grease and the idea of having an electric one touch window was just a pipe dream. As for central locking.........the words 'dream on' spring to mind!

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      Some of the Fiats do have a bit of a reputation for having gear box problems, which we only found out about after the car had started getting problems. Prior to that the car drove well and offered fair road handling and a comfortable drive. Although we did manage to get the gearbox tweaked it was never the same afterwards although the car was still drivable and road worthy, gear changes became stiff and difficult.

      As a simple easy car to drive and own the Fiat had lots to offer. It was small and compact and easy to park. The steering was light, even though I cannot recall it having power assisted steering. Parking was easy and the car felt sturdy enough when out on the road.

      In summary this model was a good little car with known gearbox issues. If it wasn't for the rust and gearbox issues the car may have continued for much longer as it had previously been very reliable. Rating wise this gets 4 stars when compared with other cars of a similar age and style.

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        15.03.2007 12:11

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        I had the 1400 Uno Pacer. Had endless problems with the rotor, distributor and coil. The 1100 and 1400 turbo was much better models. stay away from the 1400!take my advice...

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        30.07.2005 20:09
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        Its cheap to run and fun to drive.

        The car is very cheap to run. The drive is very enjoyable, although my car only has 4 gears it is very fast. I am attached to the car and would consider kitting it up. I picked mine up for £260. It is in good working order, very economical and nice engine. A very practical ideal first car, it is also stylish looking. It has lots of room on the inside surprising, because when you look at the car from the outside you would know. Very nippy car, steering becomes even better when a passenger is in the car. I have the model with a sun roof which is very good in the summer.

        Bad bits -
        I found that the car could feel like it was tilting when turning.

        There is also rattling sounds when going at speed, but this is all made up by economical value!

        It is also none for being a rust bucket, but that's only if you neglect her if you ask me!

        It is a bit light weight in terms of body you can sometimes feel quite vulnerable if surrounded by bigger vehicles.

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          28.11.2003 19:13
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          • "Lack of comfort compared to new cars (obviously)"

          I purchased my E reg (1988) Uno45 S back in 2000 for £750. It already had about 105k on the clock, but it was worth every penny I paid. It was a brilliant purchase... especially after I totalled my Rover Metro, I didn't have very much spare cash hanging about. It was a nippy little car. But here are a few pros and cons I found with the 2 years that I had it... PROS Very very cheap to run - cheap insurance, delivered a great 55mpg (I even calculated this myself every time I filled up... yes I was penny conscious) Parts are cheap. Local garages as well as Kwik Fit have lots of spare parts readily available if I needed them. Doesn't look THAT bad considering the year and price. Great for city driving. I can fit all of my worldly possessions from university dorms back home in that car! (That's 2 full suitcases and lots of cardboard boxes, plus a 21 inch TV and my whole PC system) No rust if looked after properly. CONS The car starts getting rattly at anything higer than 50 mph. With my particular Uno (apparently it's an all run problem with Unos) - the engine tends to overheat and cut out if you drive for 100 miles at 70 mph non stop. The water tank evaporated very quickly, or might have had a leak (but took it to many local garages and also Kwik fit and they couldn't find a leak anywhere!) The handbrake tends to slip, so I needed to put it in 1st gear or reverse gear on a hill just in case! (It happened before, watched my car slip down the driveway! During my 2 years of driving around the campus and home (lots of sleeping policemans on campus)... my exhaust had a hole in it. Only cost me £70 to fix the back box and the pipe that connects that to the engine bit (and no, I'm not technical!!). ************************** But overall it was a brilliant little car! I'm looking to purchase anoth
          er one for old times sake! Not much creature comfort. Basic radio/cassette, no cigarette lighter, wind down windows, bland grey seats, thin doors... etc.

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            04.05.2003 17:44
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            I have been driving my 1994 Fiat Uno 1.0ie for just over four years. I chose it because, as a single mum, I was looking for economy, a certain level of reliability and low milage for the smallest price possible. I did my homework and according to various guides the Fiat Uno fitted the bill perfectly. Now that I have been using the car for a good few years I can look back and say that it was a bargain. It has been everything that I was hoping for, cheap to run and insure, cheap to repair and fairly reliable. Below are some of the bad and good points that I experienced with this car; BAD The levers/handles that pull the front seats forward broke very quickly. Locks and windows did not recover properly from being frozen in winter, remaining stiff and awkward. There are a few rust problems. Gear change is clunky. Steering can be hard work. GOOD Keeps running even when not looked after properly! Very cheap to run, including insurance. Always starts in bad weather. Loads of sorage space for such a small car, especially with back seat forward. THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE TO IT New starter motor. New clutch pads. Clutch valve thingy replaced. Radiator fan currently not working and about to be mended. On average it has let me down about once a year since I've had it, but most of those problems could bave been avoided if I was one of those people who looks after their car properly and got it serviced regularly - but I'm not - I tend to drive it till it breaks down then get it mended - which makes this car pretty solid and reliable in my book. If you want something that is a pleasure to drive, don't buy one. If you want something that will get you from A to B very cheaply - its perfect. Its a cheeky bargain basement car!

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              04.02.2003 19:44
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              After passing my test in October 99 i was pretty keen to get out on the road, so needed a small cheap car to practice my new found skills in. Unfortunately, Novas and 205s were mostly a little expensive for decent ones, and insurance was way out of my price range at the time. But i soon found a 903cc F reg Fiat Uno 45 Formula, and parted with £800 (it was marked at £1000 but a bit of bargaining soon sorted that out). It was actually very roomy inside for the size of the car, and with the seats all the way back there was still plenty of leeg room in the back. The boot had plenty of space, proven when my mate neil once hid in it. However, the interior was a bit sparse to say the least; there was no cetre console, door cards and interior trims were minimal with no soundproofing, letting a lot of noise in especially when the car got over 50mph. The exterior was in good condition, no rust whatsoever, not even under the wheelarches (I now own a Nova so i know all about rust...!!). I've seen a few others that are suffering from rust quite badly, but i think if the car has been looked after like mine had been then they're quite resistant. The engine was a diffferent matter though. Soon after buying it, the head gasket went and in the process the head cracked and destroyed a piston. So the engine was sent away to be reconditioned, which set me back £500. Also I had problems with the carburettor getting easily blocked, and the drivers side CV joint rubber bush had a tendency to split easily. However my local Fiat dealer was very helpful and quick, and they were pretty cheap as far as main dealer parts go. To drive, the car felt a bit sluggish on acceleration, and didn't handle well round the bends. It had a nasty habit of understeering quite wildly which made roundabouts ... challenging... at times. However, the steering was quite light and you could direct the car on the road with little effort. As mentioned earlier,
              it was noisy above 50mph, and would really struggle to get above 65mph without the doors rattling themselves off. The gear change was at best vague, and at worst non-existant. 3rd gear was probably the worst -you had to guess where it was each time; and it always crunched when engaging any gear. The dashboard was a nightmare; as there was only one stalk from the steering column that had indicators on it, the rest was all on the dashboard on big switches that were either too big and got in the way, or were too small and stiff to move. The main advantage of this car is the insurance, at only group 2 even i could afford it at age 17 on a saturday job! You could also fill the tank for under £20 and drive a good 200+ miles on that, so economy was good. And although it needed a few spares they never cost much more than £15-20 (not including the reconditioned engine!!) As far as first cars go then it was a good car to have; it got me out on the road, was cheap to run & insure, and was relatively realiable, only stranding me once. But i don't think it's really worth much more than that, not even as a town runabout. If i had kept it more than a year then the constant repairs would have added up and not been worth it. It was also lacking in power, the 999cc Fire model would have been a much better choice for extra grunt. With a bit of looking after, the car will go on for a while yet. I saw it the other day in a car park - still free from any sign of rust.

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                06.02.2002 16:25
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                The world of motoring has had two momentous events occur in the past 10 years, that have changed the way we drive for all eternity. These were: (1) - September 1993; Richard David Price of Fintry, Dundee, passed his driving test at the second attempt and was unleashed upon the roads of Scotland. (2) - April 1999; Richard David Price bought his first car, unleashing himself upon the roads of Scotland in a henceforth unlimited fashion. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!!!! *Ahem* sorry about that. Anyway, this is the story of me and my little buggy - a 1.0 litre Fiat Uno, bought from Arnold Clark Kingsway, Dundee, just under three years ago. But before I tell you about me and my buggy's adventures, a little bedtime story for you all..... You see, although I passed my driving test in Sept 93 (at the tender age of 18), I couldn't afford my own car, so I had to make do with occasional borrows of my Dad's death trap - sorry, Ford Fiesta MKII. Eventually, I fell into the trap that is public transport, lost my wallet with my licence in it, and just gave up driving. No conscious decision there, it just sort of happened. Now, fast forward a couple of years.... In March of 1999 (two months after meeting the other half), Mum and Dad had a bit of a windfall from the National Lottery. A hundred grand's worth of windfall, to be precise. So, after paying off the house and settling all their debts, Dad gave both me and my sister £5,000 each to go and buy ourselves motors. Rubbing our hands gleefully, we set off around the dealerships of Dundee. To let you understand how I came to choose my set of wheels, I had a few criteria: (a) must cost less than 5K, the less the better - if I spent under the 5,000, I got to "keep the change". (b) must have an engine size of less than 1.2 litres - in order to take advantage of the cheaper car tax for small engined vehicles. After all, it's one t
                hing to buy a car - you still have to pay to run the thing. (c) must be relatively low mileage - for the same reason of cost of running, I wanted a car I wouldn't be constantly paying for repairs on. So off I went. After finding a couple of decent contenders, a chance look around Arnie's saw me come across the holy grail (I swear there was a glow around the car when I saw it!). A white, four door (none of this 5-door crap, it's a 4-door hatchback) Fiat Uno Start, with 1.0 litre engine, one previous owner, 24,000 miles on the clock, K-reg. Er, wait a minute! 24,000 miles for a K REG ????!!!! Apparently so, I was shown the logbook to prove it. The car had only one previous owner, a woman who just used it for nipping to the shops and picking up the kids! I couldn't believe my luck! And after paying for a year's tax, a year's breakdown cover and a year's fully-comp insurance for only £150 (as part of the deal), just how much did I pay for my wheels? £2,778. I kid you not. So, a bargain was obtained by the boy Price, and three happy years of motoring commenced. No-one was safe..... And now, finally, a bit about the car itself. I'm not even going to pretend I know anything technical about my car - I know how to drive it, to put unleaded fuel in it, and I've even changed my headlight bulbs and a tyre! The car is a great wee runner, as with it's small (998cc) engine it is very economical - about 40 to the gallon, and I fill up on average twice every three weeks (it's got a small tank). I'm told it has a "fire" engine (mee maw mee maw), whatever that means. Although it's not a powerful car, the engine has fuel injection, and as such there is a fair amount of power available immediately when I put the accelerator down (you bad accelerator you!!), which is useful at junctions and roundabouts. About town the car ticks along nice
                ly, with a nice smooth gear change, and responsive handling for a non-power steering vehicle. On the motorways, the car can keep to a decent speed with no trouble at all - 70-80 is no problem for my buggy, and it's mid-range acceleration in fifth gear is surprisingly good, although it doesn't like big hills as any speed tends to bleed off quite quickly. The back seats don't split, but then they don't really need to - as with most hatchbacks, the seats fold forward and the shelf comes out to provide a surprisingly large boot volume for such a small car. It seats two in the back comfortably, three at a push. The equipment fit on the car is, to be honest, rather basic. It came with a cassette stereo which I soon replaced with a CD changer system which nestles nicely under the passenger seat. The car doesn't have a clock or even a cigarette lighter - which you might think is no inconvenience as I don't smoke, but it would be handy for an in-car mobile phone kit. Other than that, no problems inside the car. Although it doesn't have central locking, I don't miss it, with one neat touch being that you can't lock a front door from outside the car without a key, making it impossible to lock your keys in the car. Now, reliability. In the nearly three years I've had the car, it has had the following done to it: Cylinder head gasket repaired (under warranty) Brake system master cylinder replaced (cost a few bob) Main headlight bulbs replaced (consumable anyway) Five new tyres (one as a spare change, the rest at MOTs) Fuel pump replaced Now, for a car that is now ten years old, that's not bad going. I have no problem with taking my car on a long journey, as I feel secure it will get me there and back with no problems. You can't give your car any higher endorsement than that, can you? Insurance costs for my car are quite low - I don't know what group it's
                in, but the main factor in my insurance quote is my own length of time driving and my no-claims bonus, not really what model the car is. I'm happy in this department too. So, all in all, I'm very happy with my first (and so far only) car. Despite Kirsty's constant demands to "christen" the motor as a "Love Bug", I've only ever used it for driving from A to B! In the 3 years I've had it I've doubled it's mileage to 48,000, but it doesn't seem to mind. My buggy is a good friend who I would be lost without, and it's going to be a sad day when we finally part company. Unfortunately, that day isn't too far off - when I finish my PhD, I've got a new job lined up that will pay well enough to allow me to get a new buggy (probably an Astra - drove one as a hire car, loved it to bits). But I know that whatever I drive in the future, it'll have to go some to gain a favourable comparison to my buggy; the best friend a guy on the road could have. ---------- By the way - you might be wondering abut the op title. Well, Fabrica Automobili Internazionale Torino (FIAT) just happen to be the owners of Ferrari. Hence, "Baby Ferrari". Well, it sounds more exotic than Fiat Uno, doesn't it?

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                  28.08.2001 00:12
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                  I've had my little Fiat Uno 45 for three years now, and I have fallen in love. So what if it has its problems from time to time. On the whole it's cheap, economical and easy to drive. The size of the engine (999cc) means that tax and insurance are super-low. It runs a nice fuel economy (I use it to get to & from work 5 miles each day & put in £25 a month). For big journeys it doesnt hold much but then reduced weight is why it consumes less! When I've hade repairs done to the car the dealers seem to have no trouble at all getting parts - the Uno has been going for yonks now, mine is 14 years old I think (D-reg) and the nineties saw the release of new updated models. The main reasons I chose the Fiat Uno were because it was small, looked reasonably good and seemed to move along pretty well. I though I had driven this car to destruction many times but she keeps coming back without so much as a murmur. I drove from Bradford to Birmingham without stopping and even with no 5th gear it was a joy. The original Uno 45 came without a radio - there were spaces for a deck and speakers in the back and one in the front. So, make sure that whatever radio is in there has been put in correctly (mine wasn't as you might've guessed, but a bit of wiring and it was fine). But by far my favourite feature of this car is the ability to twist the windscreen washers to the left - and spray the unknowing pedestrian! You wouldn't believe the fun you can have. Brightens up any day to see the power-suited business man thinking a bird has dropped one on his jacket. Or the irate old granny at the bus-stop. A good buy in my opinion, fun, fast(ish), and full of personality.

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                    07.02.2001 15:00
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                    Having a Father in the motor industry has its advantages.... With a string of cars already to my name, I bought a 1.3 Uno Turbo to blow off the cobwebs about 4 years ago. I'm not going to bore you with performance figures, but this old shed is quick people! Take the badges off and all other road users think your just another weirdo in an old heap, until you blast past them with ridiculous acceleration. I've had turbo'd motors since and none seemed to have the same sense of urgency as the Uno, which is built entirely out of paper and rust (which makes the already dodgy cornering even more life threatening). The car was not designed to have an engine like this in it, in fact the Uno was not really designed to have an engine at all. It would appear it was designed to rust and disintegrate. So the turbo is a fast barrel of fun, if you can find one where the blower is ok (they do go people, and are not cheap to replace!). If you are learning to drive and want a cheap car for a while, try the 1.0 litre with the bomb proof 'Fire' engine. This engine was built to last, unlike the rest of the car. With its cast ally design it surpasses the 957cc Ford engine, fitted into the Fiesta of old. However, although the engine is good, the car is not. You will often see just engines sitting in peoples drive ways, these are not pikey people, it is just where the car has rusted away into nothing and left the block standing there. I kid you not people, avoid the Uno, or forever live in fear of the car collapsing beneath you. Please note, this is just my opinion, please leave a comment

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                      30.11.2000 21:20
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                      I used to part own a Fiat Uno 45 Eleganza with my sister. It was a fairly smart looking car when we bought it, but it didn't last. One (of the many) very annoying features of the Fiat Uno, was it's crunchy gearbox. This I found out later was one of the common faults with Unos. Basically, you couldn't drive and change gear without a spine tingling, bum clenching crunch, that gave you the same sort of feeling as running your finger nails down a blackboard! The steering was ok in a straight line, until you dared to even turn the slightest of corners. After a few months of driving an Uno you will be surprised at the size of your biceps, as steering the thing brings you out in a sweat, it's that hard. The engine is noisy, especially at speed on a motorway. It was so stressful driving on it, that you always had an inkling that you weren't going to make it to your destination, that the car was going to implode at any moment. The only way of describing it was that it was like driving a giant baked bean can on roller skate wheels. My sister finally parted with that car just last week, and I don't miss it a bit!

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