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Fiat 500

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    6 Reviews
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      25.06.2011 16:52
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      Highly recommended.

      I have had my Fiat 500 1.2 Pop since March 2011 and I am in love. I never thought it would be possible to be in love with a car, but seriously, if I could marry this picture of perfection, I most certainly would. Prior to this I had VW Beetle 2.0 - which I equally loved, but after 10 years of being faithful to it, it started to fall to pieces and so I thought I deserved a new model. Out with the old and in with the new!

      ***Appearance***
      I'm going to be honest and admit that I know very little about cars and generally what attracts me to a car initially is the way it looks. And wow....this car looks so cute. It reminds me of what the offspring would look like between a Mini Cooper and a VW Beetle as it has a very distinctive small and bubble like frame and is full of character. It is small - there is no getting away from that - but if you sit inside one, it actually feels a lot bigger on the inside than you would imagine. It comes in a variety of colours and you can individually configure your Fiat 500 to look as you'd like it - but be warned that this comes at a cost. I opted not to have anything configured (alas, no racing stripes!) but I still have a Fiat 500 1.2 which is a beautifully shiny and rich red. I know I may be being a little biased here, but I think the colour schemes and the richness of the colours on the Fiat 500 range are one of the best on the market - and being able to configure your car accordingly says a little about you as a person (and your bank balance!). The car has alloy wheels with a Fiat centrepoint (also in red) which make it look quite sporty and nifty. It certainly is eye-catching.

      The inside of the car looks equally gorgeous! The dashboard is reminiscent of the original Mini except that it is decked out in two-tone metal and good quality plastic. As my car on the outside is red, the inside dashboard area is red and cream (or strawberry and cream as I like to think) and it looks very sophisticated. The steering wheel is also cream and is adjustable depending on your height and arm length. There is a panel with speed, revolutions, range, time etc. on a round disc behind the steering wheel which is illumiscense varies depending on the ambient light and therefore the digits are always easy to read. The inside furnishings can also be configured, but I opted for the standard design for my car which is dark grey and cream and again looks really great together.

      From appearances and size I do think that many would think this is a woman's car, but funnily enough I have had a number of male friends comment on how they would consider switching to this car - and don't forget that the God that is Jeremy Clarkson gave it 5 stars saying that it is "Cute, well made, practical, charming and hard to resist".


      ***The Controls***
      The controls are all easily accessible and easy to use, most of them being situated on the steering wheel or on the panel which is immediately behind the steering wheel. The indicators, windscreen washers, and lights are all operated from controls coming out from the steering wheel and are as standard as in most cars, whereas the temperature controls, MP3 player / radio etc. are all operated from a panel on the dashboard to the left of the driver. The speedometer, rev counter, range display, time etc. are all read from the panel immediately behind the steering wheel.

      The indicators on the car are fine and turn off automatically once the manouvere has been made - although you can cancel it if you need to. Their are windscreen wipers on the front windscreen which have 3 speeds - but I do think that there should be a slower speed than is available as when it is just drizzling sometimes the slowest speed is still too quick. Their is also a windscreen wiper on the back window which is operated by turning a nozzle. Both windscreen wipers clear the windows, but they are a little noisy. The lights are fine also, although a little dimmer than I'm used to, but still bright enough. One particular thing I like though is that the lights automatically turn off when I remove the keys from the ignition and so there is no chance of leaving my lights on and having a flat battery! Yay! There is also the option of using the "follow me home" lights so that the lights will stay on for a specified time after you get out the car and then turn off to allow you to reach your front door safely. The external mirrors are operated electronically and they have a great range of movement to get them exactly where you want them. However, the internal mirror is operated manually, but again is easily adjustable.

      The gearstick is a typical H style gearstick and is responsive without any sticking. I also like the position of the clutch, accelerator and brake pedals as they are not too high and so I can drive without ever getting ankle ache (am I the only one that gets this!?). I also love that one of the options is for the display to tell you when you should move up or down a gear in order to get the most efficiency out of the car. It will also tell you when you're exceeding the speed limit although....ahem....I've turned this beeper off.

      There is a stop/start function on this car which means that the car will power down when stuck in traffic or at a traffic light etc. and then will start again once you engage the clutch. I do find this function to be a little hit and miss as sometimes it seems to work and then other times it doesn't kick in and I'm yet to understand why this is. If you want to turn this function off then you can, but I'm not sure why you would. There is also a "city mode" which means that the car has a lighter weighing to assist with parking - although the car is so small that parking is pretty uncomplicated anyway!

      ***Driveability***
      I was a little worried that going from a 2.0 litre engine to a 1.2 litre engine would be a problem for me - but it really hasn't been. I have driven other 1.2 litre engines and the simple fact of the matter is that this doesn't feel like a 1.2 litre engine at all. It actually accelerates quickly and I can drive at fairly high speeds without any issues. Driving on the motorway the car manages to stay at high speed for long periods and holds its own on the road. Yes, it may take an extra couple of seconds to get up to 70mph - but really, so what!

      The can manouveres well - although when exceed speeds of 80mph (not that I do!) I do find that the car doesn't respond well to sudden movements to the left or right as it feels a little unstable. The moral of the story is not to drive too fast and then the car will remain your faithful friend. The car feels smooth even over bumpy roads and at high speeds - and the engine is quiet and sounds like a quiet electrical hum. The brakes are very responsive - although for sudden breaking you do literally need to floor the pedal - but importantly, they do respond well.

      As you would expect, this car has power steering which makes driving so much easier (how did we ever cope without it?). As I said earlier, there is a "city mode" which is good for driving where you will be nipping in and out of lanes - or for driving on twisty country roads and, as I mentioned earlier, for parking. I'm not really sure how good this function is as I always forget to engage it because the car seems to be sharp anyway.


      ***Safety***
      This car received 5 stars from the EuroNCAP for adult protection as it boasts seven airbags and means that in a crash you're more likely to be protected. As the drivers seat is adjustable and the steering wheel is adjustable, it means that the driver can have everything necessary set at the optimal position for them and this is going to make their responses much quicker. In addition to this, the windows are large and there really doesn't seem to be any blind spots when driving. ABS is fitted as standard, as is an electronic brakeforce distributor which prevents the wheels locking in a spin.

      There are a number of safety functions that have been put in with children in mind. The passenger airbags can be deactivated in case you have to install a baby seat. There are also ISOFIX child seat attachments in the back which is really useful for those of us with kids to cart around.

      The car has a Fire Prevention System (FPS) installed as standard which will isolate the fuel pump on impact which means that petrol cannot escape and increase the risk of fire. The seats are all flame resistant.


      ***Running Costs***
      This is where I have found one of the major advantages to be. Seriously, petrol consumption is ridiculously low and I've already saved a packet just on this alone! I have averaged my car to do about 57 miles to the gallon - which is pretty remarkable considering my Beetle used to just do about 32 miles to the gallon. In addition to this, I am probably driving my car much more economically because of the use of the optimal gear indicator and the stop/start function. I'm saving around £100 a month just on petrol alone.

      Car tax is also a big saving. Because of the low carbon emissions of this car, my car tax is just £30 a year - another saving for me of £230 a year!

      On top of this, I have a 2 year unlimited mileage manufacturers warranty - and a 3 year dealership warranty as long as I have done below 60,000 miles.


      ***Comfort and Storage***
      Sitting in the front of this car is very comfortable. Despite it being a small car, there is plenty of leg room and space and it feels surprisingly roomy. The seats are comfortable even on long journeys. I was a little worried that the back seats would be uncomfortable as the back looks really small, but I am assured by people that have used it that the space is fine.

      There are fan heaters / coolers as standard which are controlled from the dashboard - although air-con is extra (I do miss my air-con!), and there is an MP3 player for entertainment with speakers in the front and back of the car.

      Storage is surprisingly good. The boot is a good decent size and big enough to get two medium sized suitcases in it, along with various smaller bags. The back seats can also be put down if you need a bigger boot area. There is a "secret" storage compartment under the passenger seat where you can store a sat nav etc. And there is a hidden dashboard compartment in front of the passenger door. There is storage in the drivers and passengers doors also.


      ***The Price***
      The price of near perfection is about £10,500 from a Fiat dealer. I have mine on a finance plan where I pay £149.00 a month for 4 years and then I have the option of returning the car or paying £3,300 to buy the car outright. If the car is worth more than £3000 at that time (they guarantee it will be worth at least £3000), then they will take the extra amount off a new car should you choose this option.


      ***Overall***
      I LOVE my Fiat 500 and, at this moment in time, I can't imagine wanting any other car. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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      • More +
        09.06.2010 17:28

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        great little car with strong emphesis on the word little

        Well you have all seen these around, as they seem to be everywhere at the minute. The reason for this popularity is very clear to see, the fiat 500 is very pleasing to the eye, Quirky enough to be unique but not so much to be unapealing. The fiat is excellent on the petrol consumption (I get about 50 miles to the gallon) and is pretty reasonable on the purse strings arround the 10k mark depending on extras and model etc. It is very small and the leg room especially for the driver is limited. The boot is not to bad for this type of car and we get a full weeks shoping in comfortabley. The major down side to this car is comfort, both in ride (doesnt handle bumpy roads at all well) and in the feeling of being cramped. The major ups are running costs, safety (5 star safety rating) and the fact its got to be the coolest small car out there. I would recomend it but not to anyone to tall

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        09.05.2010 22:14
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        The best car I've owned. I loved it.

        I was getting bored with my existing Polo when my boyfriend suggested I go an look at the new Fiat 500. I don't know loads about cars but I'm clued up enough to know that Fiat and italian cars in generally don't have the best reputation. I decided to go and have a look anyway and it was love at first sight.

        I decided to go for the 1.2 Lounge in the Azure Blue after taking the 1.4 and the 1.2 for a test drive. To be honest there was very little between the two cars and the 1.2 was obviously cheaper. I'm not going to pretend that the car was by any means fast so if you want any kind of speed get the Abarth or don't waste your time as the 1.2, 1.3d and 1.4 are very similar.

        If you are happy to chug along in what is a beautiful little car with loads of character then the 500 is the car for you. It's a really comfortable car and even though it is small it is suprisingly sturdy. If you get the higher spec you get the blue and me package which you can link your bluetooth to and an mp3. Whatever the dealer tells you, you can't link an Ipod unlessd they've changed the software since I had mine in 2008.

        The tax is £35 a year for the 1.2 and it's really fuel efficient which is a must at the moment given the petrol prices. Make sure you shop around for your first service too as it's around the £200 mark because of what Fiat say is required for the first service but I managed to get it for £100 at another dealership. I also traded mine in after about 14 months and it had held it's value really well even though I had it on finance so I didn't lose any money by trading it in early.

        I loved my 500 and would have one again if I could. I only traded it in because me and my boyfriend went down to one car and the 500 was just too small to have as our only car and he didn't want to be seen driving it.

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          31.05.2009 13:16
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          small car of the year 09!!!!!!

          My girlfiend bought this car just over a year ago and she loves it to pieces, this is no ordinary small car tho as it is more of a fashion item which isn't what you get from most small cars. The model she has is the 1.4 lounge in azure blue which in my opinion is the best colour to go for. Having drove the car myself i am pretty impressed with the quality and performace, also the amount of gadgets included in this model are brilliant, built in bluetooth, voice command, trip/fuel consumption computer, but the best thing would have to be the usb input in which you can plug an ipod or a usb pen drive and have all your music available through the buttons on the steering wheel, i know that some vauxhall cars have an mp3 input, but all that is is a phono plug and the sound quality is very poor and hardly worth using. I would definetly recommend this car but it is a bit of a girlie car, if i had my choice i'd go for a black abarth model which has a turbo charged engine and sports body kit, bit more blokey lol.

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            31.05.2009 00:27
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            an amazing car and would fully reccommend

            I bought a Fiat 500 1.4 Lounge in Cha Cha Azure (baby blue) just over a year ago and I can genuinely say I love it more than any other car I may have had. Its small, cute and quite nippy. Definately appears to be a girly car but due to its high spec is still admired by men. So far not had too many problems with it, the computer went slightly crazy and wouldnt find media files etc but took it to the garage and within minutes of the system being updated was back to being perfect again!! A great remake of an old classic with a few new high tech options such as media slot (great for plugging a memory card in to play all music off) bluetooth, voice recognition which responds to commands to use bluetooth play media. Overall an amazing car that I love to pieces and would 100% reccommend to anyone wanting a new car!

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              14.07.2000 15:51
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              I'm not at all mechanical or techie minded, so until I actually bought a Fiat 500, I used to wonder what the 500 meant. I knew within days of owning it! It means 500 elastic bands..... My electric sewing machine had more power in it than that car. It was the funniest car I have ever owned. I can honestly say, I have never been treated with such disrespect on the roads as I was driving that thing. Other drivers, once they'd stopped tittering, would ignore me, as if I wasn't there, cut me up,pull out of turnings in front of me, hoot me, get right up my rear, oh it was horrendous. It was little, red and completely useless. The starter knob, the choke knob and every other knob on the dashboard was connected to wherever it was going with bits of string, and they were always snapping. So I'd stop for the teaspoon of petrol, it's only bonus was the mileage a gallon, get back in the car, and the starter knob would be floppy as the string had broken. I was always phoning the AA. The choke knob used to jam, so the 'engine' would roar like a helicopter. The front passenger seat was always coming off it's rails, and in the end my passengers used to sit facing the rear window, as that was the only way I could prop the damn thing up! I once drove for ten miles with people waving frantically at me and pointing. I took no notice, as people were always laughing and pointing. My passenger, facing the rear, commented that perhaps something was wrong. Naaaa! It wasn't till we stopped that I saw I'd been driving with a completely flat tyre, but you couldn't tell inside that heap of ****! It's final triumph was when I moved from London to the West Country. My four year old daughter was dumped in the back......no seat belts in those days......along with as many personal possessions I could get in. We stopped for a break in Guildford, and yes, got back in and the starter cable had snapped again. So
              me kind man got me started, and I drove all the next 150 miles praying that I wouldn't stall. Now here's the funny thing. I paid £500.00 for it in the '70s..brand new. I sold it for more than I paid for it several years later. A car dealer friend of mine showed me recently in a car motor magazine, that my horrendous, nightmarish, sewing machine, rubber banded, string driven Fiat 500 was now a classic and were changing hands for over £2000!!!!!!

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