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Segment: Compact

After the fall of Polland's communist regime, the FSO carmaker had to work hard to keep its engine running, and the Polonez Caro model proved to be a successful model for a while.

FSO built the Caro on the same platform used by its predecessor, the Polonez. But under the mid-size sedan hatchback was a 1961 Fiat platform. Giorgetto Giugiaro signed its design, and it was decent for 1978 when the first vehicle rolled off from the assembly line. But in 1991, it was hardly considered a good-looking car anymore. The Polish designers tried to adjust the vehicle's form and introduced the Caro in 1991.

The Caro featured the same hatchback-style but with reshaped headlights and a plastic grille. Its flush door-handles were considered a good innovation for those times, but they were left unpainted. FSO started to offer the Caro with an option for light-alloy-wheels, and that was another important improvement for the Polish car.

Inside, it featured retractable seatbelts and a new dashboard design. Its instrument cluster was wide and filled with dials and gauges. The speedometer and tachometer were bigger and placed in the middle, while the fuel-level, coolant temperature, battery charger, and oil pressure were mounted on the sides. Its gear-stick popped through the center stack, angled toward the driver.

Under the hood, the Polish carmakers installed one of its older 1.6-liter engines fitted with a fuel injection system developed by Daewoo. But its suspension, with a rigid axle and leaf springs on the back, was not fit for a '90s vehicle.

FSO Polonez Caro 1991 - 2002 4 Photos
FSO Polonez Caro (1991 - 2002)FSO Polonez Caro (1991 - 2002)FSO Polonez Caro (1991 - 2002)FSO Polonez Caro (1991 - 2002)
FSO Polonez Caro 1991 - 2002
  3 gasoline engines
  • 1.4L 5MT (103 HP)
  • 1.5L 5MT (75 HP)
  • 1.6L 5MT (77 HP)
  1 diesel engine
  • 1.9L D 5MT (69 HP)

FSO Polonez Caro 1.4L 5MT (103 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.4L 5MT (103 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1396 cm3
Power
76 KW @ 6000 RPM
103 HP @ 6000 RPM
102 BHP @ 6000 RPM
Torque
95 lb-ft @ 5000 RPM
129 Nm @ 5000 RPM
Fuel System
Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
99 mph (159 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
12.8 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70 R13
DIMENSIONS
Length
170.1 in (4321 mm)
Width
65 in (1651 mm)
Height
55.9 in (1420 mm)
Front/rear Track
54.1/53.1 in (1,374/1,349 mm)
Wheelbase
98.8 in (2510 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2461 lbs (1116 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
27.6 mpg US (8.5 L/100Km)

FSO Polonez Caro 1.5L 5MT (75 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.5L 5MT (75 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1481 cm3
Power
55 KW @ 5200 RPM
75 HP @ 5200 RPM
74 BHP @ 5200 RPM
Torque
84 lb-ft @ 2900 RPM
114 Nm @ 2900 RPM
Fuel System
Electronic Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
93 mph (150 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
17.1 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70 R13
DIMENSIONS
Length
170.1 in (4321 mm)
Width
65 in (1651 mm)
Height
55.9 in (1420 mm)
Front/rear Track
54.1/53.1 in (1,374/1,349 mm)
Wheelbase
98.8 in (2510 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2450 lbs (1111 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
28.6 mpg US (8.2 L/100Km)

FSO Polonez Caro 1.6L 5MT (77 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.6L 5MT (77 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1598 cm3
Power
57 KW @ 5000 RPM
77 HP @ 5000 RPM
76 BHP @ 5000 RPM
Torque
91 lb-ft @ 3000 RPM
123 Nm @ 3000 RPM
Fuel System
Electronic Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
93 mph (150 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
17.1 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70 R13
DIMENSIONS
Length
170.1 in (4321 mm)
Width
65 in (1651 mm)
Height
55.9 in (1420 mm)
Front/rear Track
54.1/53.1 in (1,374/1,349 mm)
Wheelbase
98.8 in (2510 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2461 lbs (1116 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
28.6 mpg US (8.2 L/100Km)

FSO Polonez Caro 1.9L D 5MT (69 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.9L D 5MT (69 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1905 cm3
Power
51 KW @ 4600 RPM
69 HP @ 4600 RPM
68 BHP @ 4600 RPM
Torque
89 lb-ft @ 8000 RPM
120 Nm @ 8000 RPM
Fuel System
Indirect Injection
Fuel
Diesel
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
87 mph (140 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
19.7 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-Speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70 R13
DIMENSIONS
Length
170.1 in (4321 mm)
Width
65 in (1651 mm)
Height
55.9 in (1420 mm)
Front/rear Track
54.1/53.1 in (1,374/1,349 mm)
Wheelbase
98.8 in (2510 mm)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
35.6 mpg US (6.6 L/100Km)
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