Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For about 10 years, I was a fierce, devoted Fiat owner. I autocrossed them, raced them, drove them across the country twice and defended them against all critics.
Then I realized the farthest any of my three Fiats had ever gone without major repairs was 32,000 miles. Major repairs; I quit counting the little stuff.
For a shorter period, under pressure from my wife and daughter, I was a reluctant Dodge and Plymouth owner. The cars were fun initially, used up by 40,000 miles, had constant problems and the dealers made the Fiat network look like a NASCAR pit crew. I've never seen such incompetence and apathy.
I realize Fiat makes some decent cars now, and it's possible Chrysler dealers have been scared straight. But has anybody else been around long enough that the prospect of this combination makes them laugh out loud?
 

·
Call me a Fred
Joined
·
16,999 Posts
I remember Fiat's as being nice cars for the first week. Then parts started falling off. They were the American Motors of Europe.

British cars were even worse.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,910 Posts
Fix it again Tony.


Actually the PT Cruiser is our favorite rent-a-car.

Wouldn't buy one though.
 

·
Roadies Rejoice
Joined
·
975 Posts
Cory said:
For about 10 years, I was a fierce, devoted Fiat owner. I autocrossed them, raced them, drove them across the country twice and defended them against all critics.
Then I realized the farthest any of my three Fiats had ever gone without major repairs was 32,000 miles. Major repairs; I quit counting the little stuff.
For a shorter period, under pressure from my wife and daughter, I was a reluctant Dodge and Plymouth owner. The cars were fun initially, used up by 40,000 miles, had constant problems and the dealers made the Fiat network look like a NASCAR pit crew. I've never seen such incompetence and apathy.
I realize Fiat makes some decent cars now, and it's possible Chrysler dealers have been scared straight. But has anybody else been around long enough that the prospect of this combination makes them laugh out loud?
Everyone has an anecdote about some car they used to own. I owned only Chrysler products for many years and never drove any one of them less than 150,000 miles with nothing but regular maintenance.

My understanding is that the modern Fiat's being sold in Europe in the recent past are highly rated with respect to quality and reliability.
 

·
Le Misérable
Joined
·
4,374 Posts
Cory said:
For about 10 years, I was a fierce, devoted Fiat owner. I autocrossed them, raced them, drove them across the country twice and defended them against all critics.
Then I realized the farthest any of my three Fiats had ever gone without major repairs was 32,000 miles. Major repairs; I quit counting the little stuff.
For a shorter period, under pressure from my wife and daughter, I was a reluctant Dodge and Plymouth owner. The cars were fun initially, used up by 40,000 miles, had constant problems and the dealers made the Fiat network look like a NASCAR pit crew. I've never seen such incompetence and apathy.
I realize Fiat makes some decent cars now, and it's possible Chrysler dealers have been scared straight. But has anybody else been around long enough that the prospect of this combination makes them laugh out loud?
yeah man...this is too funny. I can't decide whether it's funnier than DaimlerChrysler was, though.

My inlaw's company, where I sort of work sometimes, traded in its fleet of Smarts for a fleet of new Pandas a couple of years ago. I broke in two of them and I have to say they are a HUGE step up in mfg. quality from 20-years-ago Fiats (BTW they were both made in Poland), but what you say about the dealer network is spot-on; every time I go to the dealer it's an utter circus. It's like calling your credit card company only in person: blank stares, flat-out denial that they indeed sold us any cars, being sloughed off onto 3 or four different people, made-up stories of sick employees and things that went wrong in Italy, etc. Once I had to go there to get a loaner while they did something to one of the Pandas that they should've done on the spot and I was there for an hour, watching people look for keys, try them out on all the cars in the lot to see which car beeped, and finally having them give me the most decrepit POS Grand Punto in history. Another time, they called to say the registration was ready: when I got there they looked in the paperwork box for 3 seconds, didn't see it and immediately accused me of lying about the phone call. I calmly took the box myself, pulled everything out and found my registration, which was stuck to the bottom of the box by means of some leftover candy or something. At least that's what I tell myself it was.

I've never had to deal with a Chrysler dealer--I had a Sebring convertible for about 20 minutes in the early 90s but came to my senses quickly and got rid of it--but if they make Fiat look competent that is truly, truly scary.
 

·
Steaming piles of opinion
Joined
·
10,503 Posts
My family bought a K-car - the one that was going to 'save' Chrylser from their last bankruptcy.

First day driving it it was noticed that a hard accelleration resulted in an amazingly loud clunk. Scary loud. 'Where's my transmission' loud.

Got it to the dealer. They put it in line. When they finally got around to calling a few days later, it turns out that the problem was that an engine mount bolt was entirely missing. And no, it hadn't fallen out, because it had obviously never been put in.

Obviously, because the engine had never been drilled to accept it.

In it's first four months of life, that car was at the dealer more than in our driveway. There was eventually a list of 'we'll just live with it' items, because the family needed the car, and this was before the days of service loaners and lemon laws.By 42K, it was being made into soup cans and lunch boxes. Hell, it probably got recycled into a Toyota that's still on the road.



They've moved on from there. The Chrysler minivans are still class-leading, at least among the domestics. I understand that Fiat is much different than those that you and I remember. But yeah, I'm old enough that this gets the same chuckle from me.
 

·
"El Bwana"
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
I loved the Fiat I had as well. A very fun car to drive. I remember the heat going out on a cross country trip. Five below in Iowa and I couldn't keep the windshield from frosting over - on the inside.

Fiat is one of our customers and they have been on a tear in developing new cars. Primarily because they got a load of cash from GM after the merger went bust around 2002. (I think).

I am a sucker for things Italian. If I had the scratch, I would get one of these in a heartbeat. Of course, I am sure that it would break my heart once again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,799 Posts
This sounds like my sister's passat. Within the first year it had broken three oil pump bolts, had its engine replaced, broke an axle, and numerous other smaller problems.

Our Jetta was actually quite similar, although not as severe. More problems on the electrical side. Things like headlights just not turning on, blinker not engaging (have to push the lever up and down to make it blink), et cetera.

Makes me feel happy that the only problem my bimmer has is the bushings that need to be replaced.

danl1 said:
My family bought a K-car - the one that was going to 'save' Chrylser from their last bankruptcy.

First day driving it it was noticed that a hard accelleration resulted in an amazingly loud clunk. Scary loud. 'Where's my transmission' loud.

Got it to the dealer. They put it in line. When they finally got around to calling a few days later, it turns out that the problem was that an engine mount bolt was entirely missing. And no, it hadn't fallen out, because it had obviously never been put in.

Obviously, because the engine had never been drilled to accept it.

In it's first four months of life, that car was at the dealer more than in our driveway. There was eventually a list of 'we'll just live with it' items, because the family needed the car, and this was before the days of service loaners and lemon laws.By 42K, it was being made into soup cans and lunch boxes. Hell, it probably got recycled into a Toyota that's still on the road.



They've moved on from there. The Chrysler minivans are still class-leading, at least among the domestics. I understand that Fiat is much different than those that you and I remember. But yeah, I'm old enough that this gets the same chuckle from me.
 

·
It's not TOO Cold!
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
danl1 said:
. The Chrysler minivans are still class-leading, at least among the domestics.
Thata's only casue Ford and GM got out of the market, after getting slaughtered by Honda and Toyota.

We rented a Dodge Caravan last summer to drive to Chicago, it was very porr in relation to the Kia we had rent previously. Repeat, very poor in relation to a KIA
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,737 Posts
We bought a Dodge Grand Caravan 4 years ago. I must say, I've been pleasantly surprised. It's a nice quality vehicle. As for the dealership service, I can't speak to it, because we've never been there. I expect with regular maintenance we'll get 15 years and 150,000+ miles out of this van.

JD Power lists the Caravan as #1 for 3 year reliability, ahead of both Toyota and Honda by a long shot.

I think people just love to pick on Chrysler.
 

·
Game on, b*tches!
Joined
·
13,467 Posts
It's easy to do. I had an Intrepid (1st version) and FORTUNATELY I bought the additional warranty. Tranny went south under 75k miles. Your experience is the exception rather than the rule.
 

·
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Joined
·
8,151 Posts
got a dodge intrepid, otherwise known as chrysler concorde...i tell ya, that's a fun car to work on. last summer, the entire cooling system was going bonkers...for some reason, the stock cooler had a blow-off valve on a removable cap...so, the pressure built up too high, and the cap would pop off instead of having the blow-off valve do its job. after spending about 2 months tinkering with it, playing with tons of jb weld and jerry-rigged brackets to keep the piece on, we brought it to a mechanic. well, as it turns out, chrysler had immediately recognized this problem and put out a recall on the part, but we magically didn't get notified or something. it was grand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,182 Posts
Itch for things Italian...

PDex said:
I loved the Fiat I had as well. A very fun car to drive. I remember the heat going out on a cross country trip. Five below in Iowa and I couldn't keep the windshield from frosting over - on the inside.

Fiat is one of our customers and they have been on a tear in developing new cars. Primarily because they got a load of cash from GM after the merger went bust around 2002. (I think).

I am a sucker for things Italian. If I had the scratch, I would get one of these in a heartbeat. Of course, I am sure that it would break my heart once again.
The fact that building less than 10 years old crumpled under an 'average' earthquake should give some idea of the quality of 'things Italian'....if I corner is to be cut, they will chop it off without giving it a second thought.
 

·
p != b
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
PDex said:
I am a sucker for things Italian. If I had the scratch, I would get one of these in a heartbeat. Of course, I am sure that it would break my heart once again.
//beat me to the punch (Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione)

Unfortunately, everything I've read has said extremely limited production numbers on those. I'd settle for a MiTO GTA instead...


But speaking of Fiat... I'll take one of these:

Preferably in S2000 rally spec - I'll be waiting...
 

·
"El Bwana"
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
MCF said:
The fact that building less than 10 years old crumpled under an 'average' earthquake should give some idea of the quality of 'things Italian'....if I corner is to be cut, they will chop it off without giving it a second thought.
Thirty years ago, I 'd agree with you. Now with the regulations from the EU and a much more competitive market (no more inter-EU tariffs), not so much.

I could be biased, however. My 30 year old Campy Record stuff is still going strong.

Buying most things Italian would be like dating Sofia Milos. Sooner or later she will break your heart.
 

·
Bacon!
Joined
·
9,190 Posts
I loved renting a Fiat while messing around in Italy last year. Fun little car with roof that could be completely slid back. But it was underpowered and I'm not sure it would meet the safety requirements in the U.S.
 

·
Steaming piles of opinion
Joined
·
10,503 Posts
Sledgehammer03 said:
Thata's only casue Ford and GM got out of the market, after getting slaughtered by Honda and Toyota.

We rented a Dodge Caravan last summer to drive to Chicago, it was very porr in relation to the Kia we had rent previously. Repeat, very poor in relation to a KIA
I believe that - the Kia has been getting good press.

My exposure to minivans is an annual rental for a golf trip, so imports need not apply.

The Town and Country Chrysler offering isn't something I'd want, but it does the job and the fold-flat 'stow-and-go' seats are great stuff. The imports weren't doing that very well, the last I knew.

Occasionally we end up with the Chevy beast. In addition to being a cheaply-made, low perceived quality rattletrap (with way too many sharp plastic edges and exposed screws in the cabin) they are exhausting to drive - you end up constantly sawing the wheel to remain in the lane.
 

·
Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
Joined
·
4,614 Posts
As for Fiat, I can't really say and my only experience with Chrysler was a Town and Country mini-van we were upgraded to when we rented a car. That van was really incredible. Fun to drive, lots o' features and solid.

A week ago, I caved into good old fashioned guilt and traded in my Altima for a Chevy Malibu. Goddam what a surprise the new one is. I couldn't find a bad review for it anywhere. Seems like GM got at least some of their sh!t together..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PDex said:
I loved the Fiat I had as well. A very fun car to drive. I remember the heat going out on a cross country trip. Five below in Iowa and I couldn't keep the windshield from frosting over - on the inside.
I am a sucker for things Italian. If I had the scratch, I would get one of these in a heartbeat. Of course, I am sure that it would break my heart once again.
I feel the same way, actually. Even knowing what I know, I really hope things have changed. I'd love to be able to buy a small, nimble, fun-to-drive car with Italian heritage and an American dealer network, but I'm not up for a valve job or new head gasket every 18 months.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top