There is no shortage of cars on the market which, although heavily underrated, turn out to be worth more in practice than their overrated competitors. The Fiat Bravo II is a perfect example. Even better seems to be the Fiat Croma II, the existence of which not even everyone knows.
If someone is not convinced by the design and the fact that Michael Schumacher drove it privately, then maybe he will be convinced by the fact that it is a reliable and very decent car.
The history of the Fiat Croma II in a nutshell:
- 2005 – the premiere of the second generation Croma.
- 2008 – body facelift.
- 2010 – end of production of the model. The heir did not appear.
Fiat Croma II Characteristics and construction
The fact is that the Fiat Croma II is a failed car. If it were otherwise, it would still be on offer, and we would see it on the streets every day.
Meanwhile, it is completely different. It is a real rarity, although the model was discontinued just over 5 years ago. I don’t remember the last time I saw this car driving through the city or on the route.
It was the successor to the first Croma, a middle class car, but was not seen as a competitor to the Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra or Volkswagen Passat.
It was not a classic medium, because it resembled the Bravo model a bit, a bit of a minivan, although its dimensions did not differ from the rest.
It has a 2,700 mm wheelbase and a body length of 4,756 mm. The problem was that it was only offered as a station wagon, and Fiat was generally unlucky in this segment.
The Croma is a car that is technically difficult to fault, but the design did not convince people to buy it, and the price was too high for a Fiat. Especially before the facelift, it was just plain ugly. The horrible front end was drastically improved in 2008, not long before production was discontinued.
The car is based on a modified Opel Vectra C plate, so it has independent suspension of all wheels. The interior is spacious and the luggage compartment holds 500 liters.
The body is high and can be associated with a car for a pensioner. It is also well equipped, incl. with a set of airbags, air conditioning and electrics, and you will often find many more options in it.
So what is the Fiat Croma II? A bit like the predecessor. Everything was fine from a technical point of view, but the market didn’t want him. This is why his judgment depends heavily on the point of view. For the manufacturer, it is one of the biggest misfires in recent years, and for users a very pleasant car.
Fiat Croma II Engine Problems And Reliability
The range of power units is essentially diesel, because gasoline engines were not popular. The basic 1.8 16V engine provides the driver with 140 HP of power, but unfortunately it is not the most economical. It is durable and does not cause operating problems, it is also suitable for conversion to LPG.
The same cannot be said for the larger 2.2 16V, which has gasoline direct injection installed. It has a little more power, because 147 HP, but the high value of the torque (203 Nm) makes the driver happy.
Unfortunately, it is not economical and causes a lot of trouble, and it is not one of the motors that mechanics know inside out.
Customers usually chose diesels, and this is a completely different story, because they are successful designs that cannot be overestimated. It is a pity that the Croma did not get the 2-liter Multijet.
The range was the 1.9 JTD Multijet 8-valve (120 HP) and 16-valve (150 HP) diesels, as well as the 5-cylinder 2.4 JTD Multijet generating 200 HP and 400 Nm of torque. In this article we will look at the most popular 1.9 JTDm engines.
- Which is the best gasoline engine? 1.8 16V – simple design without major disadvantages. It’s best to convert to gas and drive to the end.
- Which is the best diesel engine? Any 1.9 JTD Multijet version. The weaker motor is also cheaper to repair, the stronger one offers great dynamics and has large reserves allowing for chip tuning.
What’s breaking down?
Croma is not a particularly emergency car, quite the contrary. It turns out to be durable and pleasant to use, presenting a good level of cost-to-failure ratio. It can be considered more polished than the Vectra C.
The body does not rust, and the interior, despite the use of average quality materials, does not wear out too quickly.
Electronics are not an area that needs special care, but ignition switches and alternators do fail. More attention should be paid to the suspension.
The chassis is practically the same as in the Vectra, so there are known problems with maintaining the correct geometry and wearing the rear suspension. However, non-durable front wishbones, fortunately single arms, pose more problems.
The aluminum lower wishbone has to be replaced completely, but it is not that expensive. The cheapest sensible ones cost from $ 78, while those of better brands – around $100-$150.
Rear wishbones are cheap, their prices are around $22-$44 per piece. You should also take into account the rapid wear of the steering gear. Fiat carried out a service action regarding the parking brake.
The 1.9-liter engines that appeared under the hood of the Croma II are a newer generation, marked JTD Multijet or JTDm. They debuted in 2002 with the second generation Common Rail injection.
They are quieter, more economical and more dynamic than their JTD predecessors. In Croma, they generate a torque of 280 Nm (8V) and 320 Nm (16V). They were combined with manual and automatic transmissions. Neither of them causes trouble.
The real advantage of diesel engines is not even the highly regarded reliability, but the low repair costs. The durability of these engines is also good. They can easily drive 350-400 thousand km.
There are still problems with the intake system flaps, but don’t worry about tearing them off and damaging the engine.
Some predecessors’ faults have been eliminated. JTDM deal with EGR failures or accelerated wear of the mass flywheel.
The injection system and turbochargers are durable, and the hardware and electronics are more likely to fail in the 16-valve version.
It is worth remembering to regularly replace the timing drive with a belt. It’s best to do what every 100,000 km. In fact, that’s it when it comes to the engine and general faults, so as you can see for yourself, Croma is hard to complain about.
Fiat Croma II Operating costs, pricing and parts availability
Fiat Croma is not an expensive car to run, it is rather a good average. The prices and availability of parts should be assessed very well.
Even if someone complains about the running gear, the repair costs are not high. You just have to remember to periodically check the suspension geometry, it’s best to do it every time you repair it. Diesel engines must be heavily worn or neglected to require large financial outlays.
What reduces the cost of maintenance of the Croma are engines common to other Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Opel models, as well as the suspension, almost identical to the Vectra.
Another issue is the reasonable prices of the original parts – it is worth calling the Dealership and asking about the price of the original before buying an element.
A huge advantage of the car is its low popularity, which means that the prices are low and you can still negotiate a lot.
Instead of spending all your money on Toyota, it is better to buy a Fiat like this and for the rest of the money, bring it to a better technical condition. It is worse with resale, although the greatest loss in value has long occurred.
Fiat Croma II Market situation
The market is poor, and there are few sales offers for this model. It is difficult to find such a car in a commission shop. Today, the purchase of this car should be well thought out, because it can be a relationship for the rest of your life.
The youngest cars come from 2011 (registration year) and it is worth driving them for a long time. Interestingly, you will pay no more than $ 6,700 for such cars, and you can easily find copies for about $4,500-$5,500. Check for yourself how much you have to spend on discounted Passats from this period.
Due to the limited supply, prices depend on the technical condition, appearance and equipment rather than the vintage. Cars from 2008 cost the same as from 2010. It is worth remembering that only these are noteworthy.
The ugliness of pre-lift copies will make resale difficult and it will certainly not be a car that can be proud of to anyone. Besides, most of the technical changes were introduced in the years 2007–2008. It was then that some faults were eliminated.
Is it worth it to buy Fiat Croma II?
Looking at the prices and what the Croma II offers, there can be no other than yes. If you buy a large station wagon with diesel, it is difficult to make a wiser choice.
Some appreciate the design, others high-quality interior, others still the equipment, and some the dynamics, but if you do not really care about any of these things, and you are looking for a reasonable used car for $4500-$6500 with a diesel engine, the Croma II can be a bull’s eye.