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If you're looking for a two-seater sportster, you're probably thinking MGF, MR2 or MX-5 - but this Italian alternative is worth a closer look. Based on Punto mechanicals, the front-drive Barchetta is great to drive and superb value - but watch out for less generously specified unofficial imports, while the insurance is a stinging group 16. However, unlike many Fiats of recent years, the Barchetta is generally well put together and is unlikely to break down on you every week - unless neglected.
Distinctive, great to drive, affordable and with a great club scene, the Fiat Coupé bridges the gap between used and classic, offering a lot of car for the money. The Turbo editions are especially rapid, but low values also mean these cars appeal to those who cane them at every opportunity - so you must tread very carefully before buying.
Available for less than two years in the UK, Fiat's second take on the Croma proved as forgettable as its first, offered from 1985. Half-way between a conventional estate and an MPV, the Croma is hard to pigeonhole, but that's not to say it's talent-free. Indeed, as a used buy you won't get more carrying capacity for your money; just make sure you focus on the diesels only. And while you won't revel in the car's dynamics, you'll love the value that it offers.
The Fiat Idea came and went so quickly that the chances are you didn't even know it existed. Overshadowed by siblings the Panda and Punto, the Idea was Fiat's rival to the Vauxhall Meriva and Honda Jazz, as it was a high-roofed supermini with a focus on practicality. Idea stood for Intelligent Design, Emotion and Architecture, and while there was a healthy dose of usability and flexibility, this isn't a car to excite the senses. Still, it wasn't a bad Idea.
It took Fiat to come up with a car that didn't have the obvious failing of every other MPV - that of being able to carry people or luggage but not both. It's just a shame that the company chose to style the original Multipla in such a challenging way - but in 2004 a far more attractive derivative went on sale. Buy one of these and you could have perhaps the most practical MPV available.
Fiat's forté has long been producing great small cars, so it came as no surprise when its Panda claimed the 2004 Car of the Year award. Even now the Panda looks fresh and continues to impress owners with its wide-ranging talents such as its agility, economy and practicality. It's also far better built than some cars from the Fiat stable, so reliability tends not to be much of an issue. In short, the Panda makes a brilliantly affordable runabout.
After the MkI Punto of 1994-1999, the MkII version looked sharper, drove much better and was far less likely to rust thanks to its galvanised bodyshell. But interior space was still on the tight side and reliability was never quite sorted. The MkII Punto offers good value for those on a budget however, but check the car isn't riddled with faults.
Many people pass Fiat by, but the one thing the marque does well is city cars such as the Seicento. Fun to drive and cheap to run, the Seicento makes a lot of sense for the used car buyer because they're so affordable. As with most Fiats though, be wary of cars being offloaded because they're riddled with problems.
Sharply styled and eminently affordable, the Stilo engenders polarised views - especially among owners. The cars seem to be either totally reliable or an utter nightmare to own, with virtually no ground in between. Buy a good one and you'll pay far less than for any of its rivals - but buy a bad one and you'll regret it until the day you sell it on.
If you don't want a Citroen C8 or Peugeot 807, how about a Fiat Ulysse? They're all the same car of course, but while the others are occasionally spotted, the Fiat is already almost extinct. That's because the car sold badly thanks to a reputation for poor reliability - a reputation that isn't entirely undeserved. Indifferent dealers did little to help Fiat's reputation, but find a good specialist and this could be just the cheap MPV you've been looking for.