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Fiat Palio 1.6i ELX

Broadcast dates : 9th October 2005
15th October 2005

The Fiat Palio has been Fiatís mainstay volume seller in South Africa for the past few years. Itís built locally in Rosslyn and is one of Fiatís so-called "world" cars for developing markets.

The new Fiat Palio 1.6i ELX is an attempt to inject some real excitement into a range that has been seen as utilitarian, rather than sporty.

The Facelift for the Palio 2 has gone some way to achieving that objective. The new grille and headlight clusters, sharper tail-lights and larger diameter alloys give the ELX a sense of proportion and crispness it previously lacked.

Mechanically itís not particularly riveting, but it does enjoy a pleasing power delivery that is typical Fiat.

Fiat, of course, owns Ferrari, but it takes a bit of a reach to equate this car with the machinery from Maranello.

Itís a willing little hatchback, and like many Fiats of the past, the best part is the engine.
The four-cylinder multi-valve mill has an un-burstable quality about it, although visually, some of the detail work could do with some tidying up.

The three-spoke steering wheel contains an airbag, but thereís still no front passenger airbag, which is a bit disappointing. The white-faced dials are sporty-ish, but the woven cloth seats donít make much of a styling statement, although they offer reasonable lateral support.

The quality of some of the plastics, such as on the door handles, lets the side down in terms of overall finish.

As for the rest of the interior, itís pleasant in a dated sort of way. On the plus side, a radio CD is standard on the ELX.

Air-conditioning is also standard as one would expect, and the controls are large and simple to use.

Overall the ELX just misses being sporty, which it needs to be, as itís up against strong opposition in its price range.

The same applies to the carís road behavior, which is rather bland.

Power-wise, the Palio ELX is quite competitive in its price bracket. The 74 kiloWatt peak outguns cars like the Ford Ikon, and is on a par with the likes of Opelís Corsa and Volkswagenís Polo 1.6 models.

With a ten-second 0-100, and a top speed in the 180 plus range, it offers competitive get up and go.

But it lacks ABS brakes which many of its rivals can boast.

Fiat Palio 1,6 ELX
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 581 cc
  • Power: 74 kW @5 500 rpm 
  • Torque: 140 Nm @ 4 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,3 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 180 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 9,3 litres/1200 km (estimated) 
  • Price: R122 000
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