Fiat Ulysse (2003-2006)

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.

Key Dates

1/03: The second-generation Ulysse goes on sale with a 2.0-litre petrol engine plus a choice of 2.0 or 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines.

Fiat Ulysse (2003-2006) Checklist

  • The balljoints in the front suspension can fail, so listen for creaks and check if there have already been any replacements fitted.
  • ECUs play up, so check for rough running, poor cold starting and misfires.
  • Electrics can be very troublesome, so ensure everything works - sliding doors, central locking, air-con, radio, sat-nav - the lot. Then check again.
  • Interior trim gets broken easily, especially if boisterous kids have been on board.
  • Tyres wear rapidly; swapping to 16-inch items with lower profile rubber can make the difference.
  • Handbrakes can fail, refusing to hold the car.
  • Power steering systems fail; see how heavy the system is.
  • Cam belts can corrode after water gets into the engine compartment, leading to premature failure of the belt.

We Like

  • Cheap
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Great diesels
  • Well kitted out
  • Unusual

We Don't Like

  • Poor reliability