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Dear Signore Direttore, I have come to your hotella.... Goes the hillarious line.
I never bought the Fiat Stilo. I tested it thoroughly for two days during a whole weekend though, in case I would buy it. Result: NO I won't.
*** Body : Tired looks. Reminds of the 80's boxy designs. Panel, door and hatch clearances are uneven. In the showroom, I saw water in the taillight of a top model "0 km" Stilo. (The model with that folding glass top and all; don't remember the XL, HGT etc code)
Doors do not open and close easily. The dealer claimed they did so because of new gaskets, seals and linings but none of my new cars did that.
The body gives you the impression that it is sturdy and rugged, as it proved so.
*** Interior: Such a fancy model with folding tablettes, a folding glass roof and lots of goodies. But also with insufficient seat positioning, too soft; almost goose down filled feeling seat. Good steering wheel adjustment though.
The stereo and digital full auto air conditioning controls are complicated. In order to use the systems mentioned, one needs to complete a full comprehensive course of Cambridge or Oxford, along with an MBA from MIT... I am not that smart...
Complicated, strange controls like the "speed warning setting" left me thinking what on earth they had in mind. I mean OK it is a nice feature if I am mindless and driving on a radar zone but why not be vigilant myself ?
I suppose the keyless entry system should be re-designed. Can you imagine yourself wearing a Fiat insignia as a medallion so you can drive your car ?
The plastics quality is next to that of a Lada Samara or Dacia or an old Skoda Favorit. I was shocked to see that there were plastic shavings on the panel next to the seatbelt adjustment throughs and sunvisor edges. I also uttered an "ouch" when a piece of plastic shaving on the handbrake lever stung my palm.
I tried the tablette on the front seat while sitting in the back seat. I did not exactly find them too useful or luxurious as claimed.
*** Engine : The 1.6lt. 16V 105HP engine proved to be noisy and underpowered. The engine and gearbox somehow do not match.
Acceleration is inadequate. You need to be very patient and extremely careful while overtaking in two-way roads. Be careful to leave enough distance before you flash your indicator to leave your lane for overtaking.
The hard pushing to maintain tempo causes an incredible burn of an average of 9.5 lt/100 kms. And that is under highway conditions.
*** Mechanics : As mentioned above, the gearbox feels as though it is not a good match for the underpowered engine. The engine is underpowered and the gears too tall. This may give you good consumption figures.
Gear change fairly and quite smoothly. However, when the moving parts are cold, the gears shift hardly. That difficulty disappears after the car is warmed up.
Brakes are weak for the 1000 odd kilos the car is. ABS is there but I never felt it kick in. Probably the good tyres provided too good grip for the ABS to react.
The wheels and linkages are noisy. Bumps, potholes and road knobs are felt directly under your seat as though you are riding Fred Flinstone' s convertible.
The 205/60x16 Pirelli P6000 tyres are a good choice.
*** Comments from my friends and neighbours (Unedited):
"Hey your new car ? Why this ? Nothing better ??"
"Hey congratulations, so you bought this ? Ummm doesn't it look a bit old fashion ?"
"Aaww c' moonn don' t tell me you bought this !!"
"Nice car... can I see inside ? "
(After a ride together) "You should return this car and go for something else"
"I would have bought a nice Japanese at the same price"
"This car and an enthusiast like you ? You two just would not match"
*** Finale : I' m afraid I have not much of good to say about this car. I once drove a Fiat Chroma and it was not a bad car at all.
But this one feels like it was designed, built and marketed hastily to compete with the market's ever fast model changes. The car goes 39 to 61 percent as good versus bad ratio. I would state the price is fair enough regarding all you get for price...
Fiat is a brand I still trust. And I would love to see this car refined (better yet replaced with a new model) instead of facelifts.