Fiat Idea

Well I'm looking for good / bad info on the Idea. Desired model is the 1.3 multijet (90 bhp/147lbft year 2006).
Reliability experiences etc. also desired.
Plan to tow a low air drag but fairly heavy caravan (Eriba) of a gross laden weight of 1000kg which is the spec limit for the Idea.
Current Cars: Stilo Abarth (current tower) Coupe 20V (non turbo) Barchetta MkII Starda/Ritmo 130TC Abarth (last genuine Abarth ever produced)
Past Cars: Punto 1.8 HGT (past tower of 1000kg) Tipo Brio 1.6ie (past tower of 1000kg) Tempra 1.8ie (past tower of > 1000kg) Uno SX Regata 1.3 Uno 70S Fiat 127GT Strada 70CL 600D
As you can see I have a vast and diverse ownership of Fiats and ALL, towing include, have absolutely met my desires with great reliabilty and I can obviously appreciate, adapt and manage their diverse performance differences.
The Idea is possibly to replace the Stilo Abarth and will have to drag the caravan to Italy annual, up into the Dolomite mountains.
So, please, hit me with your opinions, experiences, facts and comments.
Nick /////
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1.3
laden
towing
Hello Nick, I've testdriven the petrolversion of the Idea (1.4) and i thought it was not(!) so much fun to drive. The steering is not very communicative and the suspention is too soft, in my opinion. It was more or less a "French" drive, if you know what i mean. Strange, because technical the car is based on the Punto MKII, and they drive well, as i can subscribe. The interior has some nice gimmicks but is not as MPV-style as the prospect says. I've heard a lot of positive things about the 1.3 Multijet though! Very nice engine, silent, reliable (built for more than 250.000 kms. of use), fuel-effici๋nt and relative cheap to maintain. Maybe the diesel version of the Idea has a "firmer" ride; have a go in a test-Idea! And lots of succes with your choice! Greetings, E-Cie.
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Thanks for the info E-Cie.
Having Fiat run in my veins I'm really struggling in my choice of next vehicle, bearing in mind the towing issue.
Having always maintianed my Fiats since my 600D back in 1972 (except when in warranty) recent experiences with large engine cars, like my Stilo 2.4l Abarth have made me realise that self maintenance is becoming a real problem for the likes of me, and very expensive if out of warranty. I love to open the bonnet on a Punto or Panda and see the room and ease of maintenance. The same cannot be said to the Stilo or Croma, especially the larger engine sizes.
This last weekend I had to replace the radiator on my Stilo Abarth. Absolute nightmare. Bearing in mind it was my first attempt at major surgery on the Stilo and I was being very slow and cautious, it still took the best part of my weekend. Basically one had to totally gut the the LHS of the engine compartment. All lower engine bay wheel arch and pan shields remove. Battery out. Battery box and fuse boxes out. Air filter box out. Air intake tubes/resonators out. Air box to plenum chamber hose out. Air mass flow meter out. The radiator drops out absolutely vertically from underneath the car so high lift ramps or car hoist are also required!
Bloody stupid design error is that one cannot bleed the radiator. The bleed screw is not accessible with the battery box and air intake/resonator tube in place. If you put the battery box and fusebox/wiring back to fire up the engine and run/pump and bleed the system you then have to take the battery box and fuse box back out to refit the air intake tube and resonator.
Whilst under the car I also admired the subframe drop/remove or engine forward shift (requires whole front of car to be removed) to replace the starter motor and cooling hose across the back of the block. A clutch change with the Stilo Abarth (Selespeed) is also very expensive and the selespeed/clutch system is far from ideal for towing in slow moving traffic jams where the electronics slips the clutch most of the time. I soon gave up looking for good news :-)
With caravan pulling capability in mind I'm kind of restricted to Punto, Idea, Stilo, Croma, Doblo, Mulipla or the very expensinve Fiat Espace. The other point is that in the past I only ever change my car after 9 or more years, well out of warranty and fully depreciated. I'm note a 3 year new car person. Can't afford that.
On paper the Idea 1.3 multijet has the low down pulling grunt, modest top end/cpabale bhp, and is maintenance and service friendly.
The alternative (not by me!) is to dump Fiat and buy a different brand. That is what my colleagues want me to do!!!!
Nick /////
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in
problem
open
engine
shields
out.
bleed
the
traffic
gave
The
I've heard about the Stilo's "maintenance-nightmare", even Fiat-dealers sometimes grin when they have to do some Stilo-out-of-the-ordinary maintenance. So therefore i fully understand your story. Having said that i think a 1.3 Multijet is a good option. But they are rather new in the market so can you pick one up for a reasonable price? If you are looking for a lot of space then a Doblo will be a good choice. It's not the world's prettiest car but the buildquality of the Doblo is very good, service friendly and don't forget about the very, very (even sporty) good drive! Drive's almost as well as the Multipla, which in my opinion is the best "driver's" car Fiat has built for many years. 1.9 JTD maybe? Oh, and forget about the "alternative"! You'll be sorry for the rest of your life, i guess! Dare to "deviate from the norm!" (Neil Peart,Rush). Greetings, E-Cie.
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I have no intention of desterting my beloved Fiat.
I've not looked at the Doblo in detail. I know it has the strudy and infamous Fiat common rail 1.9 Turbo diesel engine to push it along, but I've not investigated the friendliness of the service/maintenance issues.
The only complaint I have about Fiats are the dealers here in the UK.
For the 30+ years I've been with Fiats the annual turnover of dealerships is a real nightmare.
The quality of staff and dedication to quality and the so precious brand is a mojor dipressing concern and expense.
My Stilo's radiator replacement (outside of warranty) is I believe a dealer induced fault for which I had to pay (details upon request).
My wife's brand new Barchetta that I bought her had the body sill flanges completely bent underneath the car due to technician problems when it was in the garage. This happened after other problems with my Stilo where I was phoning the garage owner at his home address. I was asked what I wanted and all I said was the the Barchetta was in for some warranty work the following week and all I wanted was no problems. I spent a day on my drive panel beating the damaged sill lines, painting and undersealing.
These recent expeirences have made me downsize in size and complexity so I can continue to look after my Faits as I have done for so many years.
Hmmm. Still have my no engine room Coupe to cherish :-) as well as my Stilo.
Nick /////
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I've
is
is
dealer
in
and
following
Nick, i'm sorry to hear that the (most) Fiat dealers in good old England are a shame! I've heard it before..... All i can say: move over to the eastern part of The Netherlands. :-) There lives a Fiat "maniac" dealer who loves his Fiats, new ones as well as the classic ones. He even owns some oldies, like the 500, 1100, Dino and a 600 D, which "lives" in my garage at my home. Now we are restoring his Fiat Dino coup้ 2400 from 1972. So they do exist, the Fiat-dealers with a heart for car and customer. He knows all his customers by name and they are even welcome in the workshop, should they be interested. He is one of the reasons that my family and i drive Fiats for more than 26 years. I think our Punto Sporting MK2 is lucky!
All i can say about the Dobl๓ is that we have two running at my work, a 1.9 with the common dieselengine (no JTD), a 1.3 Multijet, and two Punto's and two Ducato's as well. The 1.9 is 3 years old and has done 266.000 kms. now. Still running fine with no major problems. Considering the fact that about 400 collegues use these companycars as "racers, trucks, rallycars, bumpercars" etcetera one can say they are very reliable! Only (front)tyrewear could be better, and sometimes something electric starts a life of his own but nothing serious so far. And yes, they are maintained by the same dealer we spoke of before. Could it just be that....... ;-) Ciao, E-Cie.
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E-Cie schreef :

Just curious, where is the east part of Holland is that? (i live in Apeldoorn). Ow ehm.... i eh, sort of sold my Punto a week ago, and i am not buying one back.... deserted Fiat....
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Grt. Frank
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Frank, you fool! ;-) No, just kiddin', hope you like your new transport. I live in the south-western part of Drenthe, in the area of Steenwijk. Oh, and why not another Fiat again, Frank? I got the impression that you were a die-hard too! Well, maybe it was "one dissapointment too far", i guess... Ciao, E-Cie.
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E-Cie drukte met precisie uit :

Ah, a colleague of mine lives there :-) Why not another Fiat? In short: i had this one
http://home.planet.nl/~serne038/diversen/punto/dracopunto2.jpg
2 years ago i bought this one extra, as a fun car:
http://home.planet.nl/~serne038/diversen/cabrio/dracogolf1.jpg
http://home.planet.nl/~serne038/diversen/cabrio/dracogolf2.jpg
http://home.planet.nl/~serne038/diversen/cabrio/dracogolf3.jpg
But... waste of money, 2 cars... this summer bouth costed me 2000,- euro. I just have to have a convertible, but i also want 4 seats in it. And sorry to say it, but Italy has no car for me.... only the Punto cabrio, but that is a little to small....
So, today i bought from the money that came from the Punto this one:
http://home.planet.nl/~serne038/diversen/cabrio/type32.jpg
Now i only have to sell my mk1 golf cabriolet.....
--
Grt. Frank
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Nice. Always liked that colour on a Punto Sporting / GT.

I had a MkI Cabrio for a couple of years. Unfortunately it was a heap of shite. The body was fine, the interior was OK, but the carburettor caused all sorts of problems and I never did get it properly sorted.

Hmmmm, I'd take a Punto over the MkI Cabrio any day - MkIs are *tiny*.

Ewwwww! I think you'll hate that after owning a MkI.
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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SteveH drukte met precisie uit :

True, certain carb. gave/give a lot of problems, but the one i have is more recent, 1990, so that also means computermanagement with injection.

Agree :-)

For the looks... yes i am sure i will. But just had a long drive (more then 2 hours) and i must say, it drives perfectly. I combine 2 things now, fun with practical use this new convertible has als a towball... very handy !)
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Grt. Frank
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Beautiful MK1! But the others are...."Vouwkswogguh!" (sorry, can't speak out loud, i'm afraid!) ;-) Looking good too, by the way. Hope you have a lot of fun with the new one, Frank. Btw: will you still be reading this group in the future? Ciao, E-Cie.
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E-Cie plaatste dit op het scherm :

Yes i will keep reading it. Maybe i can give some good news end of this year, my parents want to sell their Seat Leon. But it was an expensive car, so there is a very good chance that their next car will be either a Fiat Stilo of a Fiat Grand Punto....i try to get them warm for that :-)
--
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GRANDE Punto! Go for it! This new Punto is Grande in two ways. The 'Edizione Prima" is a good offer. Success. Ciao, E-Cie.
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Well, yes. That's what you get for sticking a 5-pot engine, transversely, in a medium sized hatch.
4-pot versions aren't anywhere near as bad...... we have a Marea 20v and a 156 TSpark on the drive - the 156 has loads more space in the engine bay than the Marea, even though they're essentially the same chassis.
On the other hand..... my 75 TSpark has absolutely bags of room around the engine, but it's still a PITA to do some jobs on it - alternator belt tension being the one that springs to mind after the hour of contorting I had to do to sort mine out.
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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says...

We've just bought a 12 month old Idea 1.4 and it's been fine so far - we just had a Brava and a couple of Citroens before hand, so maybe that's why I don't mind the suspension and handling.

Depends what you're looking for - we moved from a Brava, and this has a slightly smaller boot size as standard, but we can slide the back seats forward a bit, and you've got the extra depth of the boot as well which is fine for buggies etc. The other advantage we have, is that we have a disabled son, and lifting him in and out of the Idea is a lot easier than the Brava was.

Don't know if the diesel has firmer ride or not, but all the reviews I've seen say the diesel is the pick of the bunch in the Idea, and the torque is there through the whole powerband.
-- AG
Remove removes from address to remove anti-spam measures. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Alan Gauton E-Mail agauton @ postmaster.co.uk
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the
drive,
We've just bought a 12 month old Idea 1.4 and it's been fine so far - we just had a Brava and a couple of Citroens before hand, so maybe that's why I don't mind the suspension and handling.

drive
Depends what you're looking for - we moved from a Brava, and this has a slightly smaller boot size as standard, but we can slide the back seats forward a bit, and you've got the extra depth of the boot as well which is fine for buggies etc. The other advantage we have, is that we have a disabled son, and lifting him in and out of the Idea is a lot easier than the Brava was.

silent,
Don't know if the diesel has firmer ride or not, but all the reviews I've seen say the diesel is the pick of the bunch in the Idea, and the torque is there through the whole powerband.
--
AG

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