Owning a Fiat Stilo is much like having a mistress.
She is beautiful, you’ll have a good time with her and she will give you lots of thrills.
On the other hand (if you’re not giving her the attention she needs), she will get moody, start letting you down, embarrass you in front of a crowd and everybody will say that you’re a fool for having this affair.
For a short introduction: my Fiat Stilo was a 1.9 JTD (115 bhp), it’s was a pearl black estate, produced in 2005 with the” Dynamique” package.
I owned it for five years and what can I say: sometimes I love it and sometimes I get the urge to burn it to the ground.
If you want to read about the first, loving part (with the bright sides), click here.
In this article, I’ll list the reasons for the latter,” burning to the ground” part.
Also, if you like, click here for the complete history of the Fiat Stilo, provided by Wikipedia.
1. Maintenance costs for a Fiat Stilo:
Most of the replacement parts are more expensive than average.
Still don’t know if this is due to part pricing in my country or do spare parts for a Fiat Stilo cost this much everywhere in the world.
For instance, you have to use SELENIA motor oil (which is 20% percent more expensive), the fuel filter is three times more expensive than average, the brake pads are 50% more expensive, and so on.
All in all, the maintenance costs are above average.
2. Electronic glitches:
You’ll get your fair share as Fiat Stilo is notorious for this.
Myself, I got the “CHECK GLOW PLUGS” problem for no reason what so ever (glow plug replacement and installation check has been done).
Then there is the check engine light, the air-bag light, the tailgate will not open, the ever-present number-plate light error, etc.
Some of these you can fix, most will probably end up by you wasting money.
My advice: if it doesn’t interfere with the driving and car safety, just get used to it.
3. Dual mass flywheel (DMF) :
In short: a horror story!
The price of spare parts and replacement is enormous. Gets you thinking to sell the car in the condition it is for any money you can get.
Don’t get me wrong, the price is high for every car that has the DMF.
The flywheel for the Fiat Stilo is even cheaper than for some cars.
Nonetheless, when it breaks down, you’ll probably weep.
If you want to know when the dual mass flywheel needs replacement, read this article.
How much does such a replacement cost, find out by clicking here to read a separate article on this topic.
4. Rear seats :
Two bad things: position and leg space.
In my own opinion, they were constructed for catapulting the passenger rather than driving around.
I think this is not the case for 2 and 4 door Fiat Stilo.
In the estate, a long journey in the back seats is not a pleasant experience, especially for tall people.
There is enough headroom but the leg space and sitting position are, in my opinion, awful.
5. Changing the Fiat Stilo headlamp light bulbs :
Stilo aside, most modern cars have the same problems.
It’s just not made to be user-friendly.
Regarding the Fiat Stilo: on one side you have to release the wiper fluid container and on the other side, you have to remove the battery.
This, or buy a trained pet octopus that will do the job for you. Human fingers cannot get in there without the mentioned interventions.
6. Interior quality :
Don’t get me wrong, the Stilo is one of the cars that has the most durable interior of all cars.
In the Fiat Stilo, if given at least minimal care, you can’t tell how much the car has been driven.
It’s just that it scratches very easily and you can’t clean the plastic as well as you would want.
Over time it just gets not too worn out, but also not good-looking, if you know what I mean.
7. Climate control system :
If possible buy a Stilo with manual climate control.
The automatic one (however space-age it looks) is not pretty dependable.
The weak spots are the electric motors which regulate the airflow in the cabin. They start to malfunction causing things such as weak airflow, a wrong mixture of hot and cold air, etc.
Replacement or repair of these motors is very expensive. When buying a Fiat Stilo, always check if the climate control system is working properly.
The rest of the system is OK, probably won’t cause you much trouble.
8. Taxes, fees, MOT, s…. :
Varies from country to country, can only tell you that in my country it’s pretty expensive (in the higher part of the price scale).
It’s a 115 bhp engine, EURO 3 exhaust norm, worth making a check on these costs in your country.
You should have in mind that every payment of this kind you make is a form of a non-return investment.
The more time goes by, the more you invest, the less money you’ll get back when it’s time to sell the car.
9. Selling a Fiat Stilo :
You’ll probably get the feeling that you’re selling a piano in a third-world country.
Not that this car doesn’t have its place in the used car market, but its share is much smaller than some of its more popular competitors.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll find a buyer, but when planning to sell your Stilo, take the time factor into consideration. The bright side is that you’ll probably get a fair price (again depending on your market).
The biggest losers in re-selling are the ones who bought a new one.
10. The noises:
Either due to bad sound isolation, construction of the undercarriage, or something else there will always be some sort of annoying noise.
Squeaking, ticking, clicking, humming….ask any Fiat Stilo owner they will tell you the same. As with the electronic glitches, it doesn’t interfere with driving and car safety, just get used to it.