The Fiat Stilo is a small family car produced by the Italian automaker Fiat since 2001. The Stilo was unveiled in 2001 to replace the Fiat Bravo/Brava.
It is available in both 3- and 5-door hatchback versions, as well as a station wagon called "Stilo MultiWagon". Originally, its petrol engines were the 1242 cc DOHC 16 valve engine also powering the Punto and Lancia Ypsilon with an output of 80 bhp (60 kW) combined with a 6 speed manual gearbox, a 103 bhp (77 kW), 1.6 L with a 5 speed manual gearbox, a 133 bhp (98 kW), 1.8 L, again with a 5 speed manual gearbox and a 170 bhp (127 kW), 5 cylinder, 2.4 L engine combined with Fiat's Selespeed 5 speed semi-automatic gearbox, also used on the Alfa Romeo 147. The 2.4 L engine was reserved for the hatchback versions.
The Stilo's styling received mixed reviews, with many journalists and enthusiasts criticising it as being too bland and too German-looking. Critics also attacked the car's excessive weight and its semi-rigid rear axle, which was seen as a step backwards from the acclaimed set-up used in the Bravo/Brava and which resulted in handling many found uninspired and uninvolving. The engine range, particularly the 1.2 and 1.6 petrol units, was also criticised for being underpowered. The car's fuel economy was also seen as poor for its class, a result of the car's heavy weight and the transmission, which used very long gear ratios. Another point of criticism was the Selespeed gearbox, which was seen as too slow in its reactions and particularly inappropriate for the high-powered Abarth version. Nevertheless, the car won praise for its high levels of grip (aided by the unusually wide tires) and its brakes.
The Stilo was ultimately a sales disappointment. An extensive advertising campaign using Formula 1 stars Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello did little to aid the car's sales. In 2004, the 1242 cc engine was dropped in favour of the Punto's 1.4 L unit, increasing the car's power to 95 bhp (71 kW), again combined with the 6 speed gearbox. Also, the taillights were altered and the Abarth version gained a manual gearbox instead of the Selespeed.
The Brazilian Stilo
Only available in a 5 door hatchback version, the Stilo was launched in Brazil in 2003. The engines were the Family I GM engines 1.8L with 8 (103cv) and 16 valves (125cv) versions. For export, the engines chosen are the italian made 1.8 16v VIS engine with 133cv and the 1.9 JTD Diesel of 115cv specially for Argentina and Uruguay.
Later, an Abarth and a Schumacher special edition's Stilo was added; the first with the 2.4 20 valve engine and 177cv, the second with Family I GM 1.8 16v engine.