It’s two weeks today since the sleekly shaped Italian beauty came onto the Fu’Gutty fleet – how has it fared so far?
The initial 250 miles home from Chester showed the two faces of the beast straight off.
First up, the poor steering lock and heavy derv lump make it a ponderous thing to pilot around conurbations.
Certainly its something I have adapted to, but the propensity for squeaking from the front suspension just adds to the irritation.
Get her out the towns though, and the magic happens! Motorways are but a comfortable inconvenience as you thunder along to the 5cyl thrum, miles dissapearing without notice.
This is the car I should have bought when commuting to Blackburn. Too late to resolve that, so time to move onto its other party trick.
FWD+ DERV+ 5cyl = understeer? Not so with the 156! Instead it makes for a scalpel sharp way of barrelling cross country.
It revs more like a petrol than any other diesel I’ve encountered, and pulls strongly even when not boosting. This makes it a joyous thing to drive in a spirited manner!
Its schlepped many miles, carted the occasional book case, and even attended it’s first Motorsport event in my care.
Despite having no failures to proceed, there are (as ever) a fair few issues that need resolved:
Front suspension squeaks and clunks (likely replacement needed).
4 different makes of tyre (at least they are all the same size now..)
5th gear can be grumpy to engage if hustling along – there are a couple of potential causes.
Suspected battery drain – the classic “bulb out” light issue in the rev counter.
Boot carpets and load covers are manky and need replaced.
Interior could do with a proper clean- I may have to crack out the Rug Doctor.
60% split of folding rear seat won’t fold down.
Bottom of the front wings are holy enough for the Vatican City.
Overall though, its a world away from the Fabia, engaging to drive and characterful to own. I like it!