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Old 10-01-2016   #1
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New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

Hi there guys. I am a brand new member here! Saw this forum while searching for information on the Stilo Abarth and here I am! From what I have read there seems to be guys with a wealth of knowledge about this car in this forum so I would like to hear what our guys have to say!

I am currently the owner of a GD01 Honda Jazz with the1.3l DSI engine. It's been a great first car. But being a bit of a car nut has lead me to seek out a car that's more exciting! Which has led me to an Abarth Stilo. Or two for that matter. XD but I'll only pick one obviously. Now I have been doing a lot of reading and research online about this car trying to pick out the good from the bad.
This particular model is a 3 door manual. So no selespeed box here to worry about. From what I can tell that's half the battle won already!

Anyways I have been doing some reading about the car. And here is what I have learned.

What I like.
If people have good things to say about the car. It's normally the model with a manual box. The one which is what I might get. The car seems relatively easy to get some cheap power out of it. From stock 175 to 200 ponies with a intake kit and a remapping. And some Eibach's. This from what I have read takes the car from 8.9s to around 7.5s for 0-100 acceleration and thanks to the Eibach's handles a load better too. It also seems to be in good condition. It's owned by a friend who is a fiat enthusiast and services them and maintains them. From what I can tell the 01-03 models were the devil in terms of reliability but the later models (this one being either an 04 or 06) were substantially better. This one also seems to leave out a lot of electronic fluff since it doesn't have the satnav and stuff the EU models got. SA pretty much got a bog standard stilo with a big engine in it from what I can tell. So this seems like a far more exciting car to own with some potential power gains that should be easy enough for me to learn on in terms of modifying cars.

What I don't like.
This car has a reputation. It's either loved. Or its hated. Nobody seems to sit on the fence with this one. It also seems the engine computer dips it's grubby fingers into everything. Intake kit breathing TOO WELL? Well we don't want that! Let's just run the car lean and cut the horses in half until you get that checked JUST TO BE SAFE! Also while it is easy to get around 200 hp out of her with the above mentioned relatively easy stuff. Getting more than 250 is a no-no on stock internals since it seems there is a lot of float between the conrods and the crank and too much power will send something flying. Which means some turbo love is out of the question without some new and expensive internals. But don't think I would want more than 200 With this car. At least until I have better pay. But then I'll probably end up with a new car if the comes to be anyways.

So have any of you owned this car or had experience with it? Is this a good idea? An exciting car to own? (maybe not exciting by today's standards of hot hatch, but by my standards since its around 2x as powerful as Jazzy) Something to see me through until I am really earning some better monies? I can't keep the jazz I am afraid since I would sell her to pay for the abarth.

What do you guys think?
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Old 10-01-2016   #2
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

After the Jazz, 170bhp from the Abarth will feel quite fast! Personally I think the poor reputation is undeserved. Many of the so-called gremlins are due to a poor battery and poor earthing, both easily rectified. The variable valve timing means you get a turbo-like shove in the upper rev range.

If you're doubtful, go for a good test drive. And there's a general Stilo buying guide here:

http://www.fiatforum.com/stilo/27356...iat-stilo.html
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Then:Yellow Stilo 1.6 16V 3-door - not quite standard
Now: Red Stilo Abarth Schumacher GP Prodrive - modded for function over form...
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Old 11-01-2016   #3
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

I agree with the yellow peril! Going from a Honda Jazz to an Abarth is quite the leap.


I would urge you to spend your money on first buying a good car and then concentrate on maintenance not modifying. Ultimately you'll end up with a more than capable and reliable car in the long run this way. Mods will only bring additional complications in time.


Selespeed is a great bit of kit but running at such high pressures that the system does it will cause problems for itself. If you're not familiar with it then better left alone. Pure manual is a lot simpler and therefore a lot less to go wrong.


These cars are a lot like any other car of it's time. They're all electrics and CANBUS systems link it all together so errors can send knock on implications through the system. Fiat have a historic reputation not really deserved with these modern motors. Stilos are very solidly built really. Like anything else if it has been and is properly looked after it'll serve you just fine.


As I said spend your time and money finding a well cared for one. As cars get older they get harder to find but it'll stand you well for the future if you put the extra mile in today!
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Last edited by Artermis; 11-01-2016 at 07:49.
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Old 11-01-2016   #4
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

thanks so much for the advice guys. I had a look in the stickies and couldn't see the buyer's guide anywhere when I made the thread. Maybe I missed it? Anyways that seems to be a general guide across the stilo range. Is there anything particular to the 2.4l that I need to look out for?

Anyways. So my friend owns both cars currently. He likes to buy fiat's and fix them and stuff then sell them. He really is a hands on Diy car guy. Both of them are Black 3 door manuals.

From what I understand the one Abarth was owned by a business man. It seems it's been treated gently through out her life. She is pretty much stock from what I can tell with slightly less milage than the other car. Got the stock wheels and exhaust system. Zane (my friend and owner) is sorting an electrical fault and then she is ready to go.

The other car I think was owned by a bit of a younger from what I can tell. Got these massive 18 or 19 inch alloys on her. And she has a MASSIVE muffler on it. Dunno if it's just the exhaust tip or if it's got an entire sports exhaust system so yeah. I'll have a look when I go to check up on the progress. She looks good except for the rims. But assuming from the childish rims I am gonna assume that the car might of been thrashed a bit. Cause you know how kids like to show off and rev around and stuff. Zane is also working on this car. He is gonna be pulling the engine apart and replacing pistons and rings.

when I go in to see the cars again I'll go through each point in the buyers guide with the cars and I'll pay for an AA inspection too. Don't want unwanted surprises.

So what you think. Slightly newer Gentleman's car or youngers car with new engine internals but ugly wheels and a stupid exhaust tip.
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Last edited by Alastair2308; 11-01-2016 at 10:12.
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Old 11-01-2016   #5
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

Without a doubt the newer Gentleman's car. And I am betting far more history with it??.
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Old 11-01-2016   #6
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

Quote Originally Posted by Muppet1 View Post
Without a doubt the newer Gentleman's car. And I am betting far more history with it??.
Ill second this...

I would never ever buy a car that has had an engine rebuild - ask yourself, why has it been rebuilt?? cos its been fried and thrashed around all over the joint...
Some people will criticize me for that but unless your buying a skyline or s2000 that has a rebuilt engine with forged internals etc etc, then stay away, would rather replace an engine than rebuild it on a cheap on car.

Also, massive wheels - says it all after wheels, engine rebuild...
Go for the business man one... check its paper work and put money into genuine maintenance... get it perfect first.
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Old 11-01-2016   #7
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

Well. I am terribly excited! Thanks for your advice guys. I'm gonna go through the list of things to check in the buyers guide. And then if and once I have pulled the trigger I shall post pics!
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Old 12-01-2016   #8
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

I'd certainly side with the gents above - get the nice car that's not been abused.

I was a lad back in the day and used to like to mod cars too; these days modified cars tend to scare me a little. It's fair enough if you want a different stereo or whatever as technology changes and you want to be able to play your iPod or similar; but I always find that folks seem to spend their money on the mods and not the maintenance.


Look at it like this; I bought my Stilo Abarth last week. I looked at two that were local to me.


One was Black, 2004, 75,000 miles on the clock and last serviced at 65,000 miles - essentially a complete / full service history with a documented cambelt change too. The car was completely stock, as it came from the factory with a previous lady owner. The car was advertised at 1,000.


The other was silver, 2004, 95,000 miles on the clock last serviced at 45,000 (six years ago) miles but had a stainless steel exhaust, drilled and grooved discs, EBC red stuff brake pads, tinted windows and an aftermarket stereo. Oh and an LPG conversion. This was advertised at 1,300.


Do you even need me to tell you I bought the cheaper one?


What the second car says to me is that the idiot that owned it spent so much money on mods they could barely afford the fuel bill (hence LPG) let alone keeping up with the vehicles proper maintenance and you could tell that all over the car just to look at it.


Pick wisely now and look after it and you'll do far better long term. A well cared for stock car is quite likely to out-perform a poorly modified car anyway. You only need to check out the thread that was above this one of the chap asking about tyre sizes as having fitted bigger wheels his car is now much noiser and rides too harsh and wants to know what to do about it.
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Last edited by Artermis; 12-01-2016 at 07:05.
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Old 12-01-2016   #9
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

wow. I gave that thread a read. So you have your stilo? How is it? You happy with it?

A question. Cause I don't plan on doing it to my car. But I am asking because of my moms car. She also has a jazz. Second generation GE3 series. The car came stock with 185/55 R15's. Nut we changed the tires and put 195/50 R15's on. Now I saw you mentioned that tire changes can mess with the speedo calibration. Well my moms car is our by a perfect 10%. At an indicated 100kph moms car is doing 90kph according to GPS. Now my question is. Can a speedo be recalibrated to adapt for tire changes?

I mean I like the stock rims on the stilo. But you know how it is. You might stumble apon a set of lightweight alloys you might like.

I am gonna contact the owner and see what's happening with the Gentleman's car as I have dubbed it. But first I need to get my jazz serviced and brake pads replaced before I put her on the market so I can buy the stilo.
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Last edited by Alastair2308; 12-01-2016 at 08:06.
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Old 12-01-2016   #10
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Re: New here! Could be the owner of the Abarth Stilo soon. Advice appreciated.

I was the one who enquired about tyre size difference and I do agree with some but disagree with others ive moddified my stilo the wheels are the cheaper alternative to oem stilo alloys the size are what most oem wheels are for the stilo mine isnt trashed as said previous mines all for looks as I no its not a ferrari its a 1.2 and wont break no speed records some times people do mods to make there car to look better as sometimes the stock model isnt what people want im 35 so not a boy racer and have kids but enjoy the car scene for many years. I bought the stilo for economic side not performance. Sorry if it comes across as a rant but for people to assume mods are done as people are just mistreating there cars is most cases a myth and please bare in mind lpg convertions arent a cheap thing to pay for and the price of fuel in the uk isnt exactly cheap so the lpg conversion on a 2.3 is a good idea for economics in most cases as said sorry to rant slightly
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