UK CAR Road Test
Fiat Tempra Estate 1.9 SX Turbo D
Maybe I'm just the wrong person to test this car because I've been spoiled by some really nice cars recently. They have not been anything special mind, just boring normal cars. On paper the Tempra doesn't look that bad. It's figures all look reasonable and just looking at the car from the outside, everything appears hunky-dory. Slightly old fashioned in a sharp, square sort of way but a clean and unfussy appearance. It looks like a good sized medium estate car - no better, no worse. It also promises to be practical with its rear load cover and roof bars, but with a diesel engine, the electronics should be somewhat simpler - as this is a Fiat, anything which reduces wiring, connectors and electrics in general is a promising start. Trouble is, Fiat saved 5 foot of wiring under the bonnet and put miles of it into the dashboard instead. FIAT seem to have struck a deal with N.A.S.A for dashboard supply!
The first time you sit in this car you can't do anything but gape at the dash (get into one at night for an even more stunning visual display). This covers 2/3 of the entire width of the car and is built, sort of stacked up like tenement blocks. Now seeing as I'm writing this, it should be fairly obvious I have no qualms about computers and their place in the modern world. Trouble is this dash is twice the size of a normal dash binnacle, gives you no more information and is damned ugly into the bargain. I really cannot see the point - progress is supposed to be an improvement !
The Interior is rather on the cheap and hard plasticy kind of side, but at least the multi-adjustable seats are comfortable. There is a down-side to these though, as despite height adjustment, they still make you feel like your sat on the car more than in it.
The gear-box is okay, easy to use, but nothing special - when it's warmed up that is. Till then, it's lumpy, stiff and cluncky.
Steering is rubbery but sharp and the car corners enthusiastically but with far to much body roll. Ride quality is okay, if not great for this class of car.
The engine, ahh the engine! What can I say about it?
Fastish - well it's okay when the turbo is spinning.
Economical - not bad but nothing to write home about.
Refined - dream on! It's as rough as a bears a**e! All diesel clatter without a hint of sound proofing and bogs down to a crawl should the turbo stop spinning. The engine dominates the cars character so much I really couldn't be bothered to look at it any further.
If you're some mad, weird, fetishist and due to some strange need or longing want your car to sound like a Hackney cab and are an auto electrician to boot, then you might spend many happy hours with this car! Me, I'm definitely not and don't want to spend another minute with it!
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