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Published on July 7th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


USED 1997 Fiat Marea Stationwagon review

Fiat’s designers and stylists have worked miracles in the last 13 years. Look at the Punto, one of the most innovative small cars on the market when launched and still looking good after all these years on the road. That was followed by the Bravo/Brava twins, two of the most stylish cars to be offered to the ordinary family motorist for a long time. They also took their pen to create a stationwagon that looked not only sporty but also desirable. This was the Fiat Weekend and its saloon sister the Marea. Based on the styling of the Bravo/Brava twins they are fashionably modern in every way.

Sit into the driving seat and the door closes with a dull clunk behind you. This whole sturdy, built like a vault feeling, comes through everywhere in the car. Grip the thick rimmed steering wheel, close your eyes and you get the feeling that you are sitting in a well known German car. The multi-adjustable seat is superbly comfortable and attractively upholstered.

The main instruments are in a hooded binnacle directly in front of you. Two stalks on the steering column control the lights/flashers and the wash/wipe equipment.The centre console is adjacent to the instrument binnacle, yet seems to be independent of it. It houses the a/c controls and the sound system. Look closely and you will find that the sound system’s controls have been duplicated on the steering wheel for finger tip control.

The turbo diesel engine with the high pressure boost produces 74 Kw. When the turbo charger comes into action at around 2,500 rpm, the car accelerates like its petrol engined brother. Without the boost the performance is your normal diesel lethargy but it can be kept in the best rev range by use of the gearshift lever across the rev range. Unlike Fiats of old, the gear shift is beautifully precise and pleasantly light and smooth. Maintenance is questionable as some will swear by its low running costs whilst others will swear at it! Being a diesel it should relatively low to run and the only questions should come from the electrics and gearbox electronics. Check also for cracked and wobbly plastics which is common problem with abused Fiat’s. Prices for a used unit is hard to determine as they are not many on sale and so price tends to be either somewhat in the sedan range which is RM12 to RM18,000. This would seem very reasonable as long as they unit is in good condition and with a full Torino Motors service record.

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