Fiat 500 Road Test

Fiat 500 Interior
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Fiat 500 Review

Fiat 500 ReviewFiat 500 Review | Part TwoFiat 500 Review | Part Three

Under normal circumstances, the suspension is quite firm but isn’t unpleasant and the handling and road-holding are good.

On the open road, this little engine is quite flexible, meaning you don’t have to keep going for the gear lever on country lanes and it takes on motorways with aplomb. The extra-urban fuel figure is a happy 65.7mpg and the combined comes out as 55.4mpg.

The best seller is likely to be the 1.3 Turbodiesel, which has more power (75bhp), more torque (145Nm) a higher top speed (103mph) and a quicker sprint time (just) of 12.5 seconds. However, the fuel consumption figures of 53.3-, 78.5- and 67.3mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined cycles, with CO2 emissions of 111g/km is likely to clinch the deal.

Back to the town driving: as well as the frugality and cleanliness making life a little easier in towns, all Fiat 500s are fitted with Dualdrive electric power steering. Dualdrive has two settings; normal gives maximum feedback while pressing the ‘city’ button (one of the three on the dashboard) activates the second, making the steering lighter for easier manoeuvrability. The Sport has a Sport button on the dash, as well.

Under normal circumstances, the suspension is quite firm but isn’t unpleasant and the handling and road-holding are good.

I have mentioned the presence of ABS with EBD but there are a few other options. The 1.4 versions have ESP as standard: for the others it is a £200 option. However, it is well worth the money as it comes bundled with either Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) or an Engine Torque Regulator (MSR), which cuts in during an abrupt down change of gear in low traction situations, to help to prevent the wheels locking. Also included in the package are Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and a Hill Holder system.

The Fiat 500 may be small but it has gained a maximum 5-star rating in the EuroNCAP safety tests, giving it pole position in this segment and a ‘first’ for this size car. It has already won a cabinet full of awards and, although it sometimes seems easy to doubt the winning choices, in this case the accolades are a valid indication of just how good this car is. Think of it as a blast from the past, brought bang up to date and a little ray of sunshine, all at the same time.

24 February 2008 Melanie Carter
Fiat 500 ReviewFiat 500 Review | Part TwoFiat 500 Review | Part Three
Fiat 500 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedFiat 500 1.2 Lounge
  
Body Type3-Door Hatchback
ColourCha Cha Azure
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph12.9 Seconds
Top Speed 99 mph
  
Transmission5-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban44.1 mpg
Extra Urban65.7 mpg
Combined55.4 mpg
  
Insurance Group4
Euro NCAP Rating5
Warranty3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty
Price (when tested on the 24/02/08)£9,300

The information contained within this Fiat 500 review may have changed since publication on the 24 February 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Fiat dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017