Car Review: Fiat 500

Car Review: Fiat 500 (2008-Present)

If you love the unique design and interior features of this little fashion statement, this could be the car for you.

Fiat 500 Pop

The Good

1. Great styling

2. Easy to park

3. Corners well

4. Comes in a variety of fun colors and limited editions

5. Plenty on the used car market to choose from (but they get snapped up quickly)

6. Receptive to city driving or country cruising

7. Visibility is fantastic

8. Second hand parts are easy to find

9. Plenty of room in the front seats to get comfortable

10. Great car to learn and become confident with driving

Fiat 500 Interior

The Bad

1. Boot space is a bit tight (although the back seats fold down for extra space)

2. Rear seat leg space is even tighter (unless you want the not-so-cute 4-door 500X)

3. Not as economical as some of its rivals (but still better than a mid-size car)

4. The 1.2 liter perhaps not as gutsy as the 1.4 liter or the 0.9 liter turbo

5. The 1.3 liter diesel model can cause issues and is noisy in comparison

6. Its light weight can be an issue in icy or snowy conditions

7. A very common issue is the passenger airbag expanding pushing the dashboard up

The Essentials

Condition is the number one focus here

Being such a small car, if it’s been in an accident, the overall stability and safety will be easily compromised

Check the pedals for wear as this is a sign of a car that has been thrashed

Although Fiat say the passenger airbag expanding is not a safety issue, it can be expensive to fix as Fiat won’t take responsibility. So if you are buying one, then this is a good negotiating tool. I got a couple of thousand dollars off one because of this issue and have had no problem with it (so far).

When test driving, do a sharp u-turn where safe to check for any knocks or odd noises in the steering

You maybe a little confused when first searching for one of these gems as there are a few different versions. The 500 is the main overall model, but then you get the ‘Pop’ (which is the basic model in some fun pastel shades), the 500C (which stands for Cabriolet or Convertible), the ‘Rock Star’ (which usually comes in a 2 cylinder 0.9 liter turbo engine), the ‘Sport’ (which has a 4 cylinder 1.4 liter engine, rear spoiler, and fog lights), and the ‘Lounge’ (which comes with Bluetooth, a leather bound steering wheel, and a glass roof). If it’s a brand name to match your wardrobe, then go for ‘by Gucci’, the 500C ‘Collezione Fall/Winter Edition’ or 500C ‘Dolce Vita’. There is even a 2020 Giorgio Armani model coming out. If you want one with ALL the bells and whistles however, this will cost quite a bit more, and it has its own brand name – ‘Abarth’ in either a 500, 595, or 695 model with 1.4 liter turbo engine. There are more variants and editions, so it’s well worth checking them all out.

The Alternatives

The obvious alternative and competitive rival (even back in the 1960’s) is the Mini (2002-Present), the Ford Ka (2008-2016), and the Volkswagen Up! (2011-Present)

The Verdict (Out of Ten)

7 out of 10

If you’re after a car for one or two, then this is a great car to own. It’s awesome around bends, and picks up really well on the 0.9 liter turbo and 1.4 engine models. I drove around England on open roads and in city driving, and I would recommend test driving one at the very least. People I’ve spoken to (and I agree) who own one say it’s such a fun car, stylish and a head turner, and puts a smile on their face. It would easily accommodate a stylish dog like an American Eskimo (German or Japanese Spitz) to sit on the back seat staring out at the world – laugh out loud.

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