AU Test Drive: The Fiat 500 –

Last week, I got the chance to drive the new Fiat 500. I was really excited, because, ever since the car was announced, I’ve been a big fan, especially after I got the chance to see it live at the Geneva Motor Show. So, I got in the car and went driving around to find a nice spot for some cool photos, in the same time checking out how it handles the traffic. I should tell you that the version I had was powered by the 75 hp 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine. The most powerful version is the 100 hp 1.4 liter 16v petrol engine and the other engine available is the 69 hp 1.2 liter. I would’ve loved to have the 100 hp one, I’m sure it’s the most thrilling to drive, but the experience was cool anyways.

First of all, my version is the most expensive in the Fiat 500 offer, 13,800 Euro all taxes included. There are three equipment levels available, Pop, Lounge and Sport. The cheapest Fiat 500 available is the 1.2 Sport, priced at 11,500 Euros, all taxes included and I had the 1.3 Lounge. The Lounge and the Sport versions have the same price, the difference being in the optional features. The Sport, as it name says, offers more sporty looks, while the Lounge takes care especially of the comfort.

The Lounge version features Body Coloured Electric Door Mirrors, 50/50 split rear seat + 2 headrestraints, Storage under passenger seat, Leather steering wheel with audio controls (8 buttons), Seatback pockets, Blue&Me (Bluetooth + USB), Electric Sunroof, Height Adjustable Drivers Seat. The car also had the Cromo styling kit, which includes chrome exhaust tailpipe and chromed inserts on the door handles, rear and front bumpers and the gear knob. The white leather steering wheel and the white inserts in the center console gave me a really nice feeling when I entered the car. Plus the electric sunroof, you can say it’s a pretty funky little car. It was really funny, because during 30 minutes, two police officers stopped me to ask question about the car’s fuel consumption and price, because they really loved the car.

Now the driving. The first thing I noticed was the soft throttle pedal. It’s really weird at the beginning, because there are times when you’re not even sure that your foot is still on the pedal. Of course, after you get used to it, that’s not a problem anymore, but still, I don’t really like it. Handling is ok, the suspension the same (though we have some pretty rough roads over here, the ride is pretty comfortable). I really like these small cars in traffic, especially in the Bucharest chaos, you can fit almost anywhere. What I don’t like about these cars is the driving position, which is high and not the most comfortable when you’re not quite the smallest guy around. Having the car only for one day, I didn’t get the chance to see how it does outside the city, but it was ok, considering that the car’s favourite environment is the urban traffic.

On other advantage of the Fiat 500 is its fuel consumption. For the whole day and I did some mileage, I registered a fuel consumption of around 4.3-4.5 litres per 100 km which means around 52 mpg. And that’s impressive! Also true is the fact the the 1.3 engine is the most economical of all, but stiil, the fuel consmuption is great, especially in the city.

Overall, the Fiat 500 experience was very interesting, I liked the car, especially all those retro touches (the chrome inserts, the metallic dashboard, the instrument panel), the white steering wheel, the sunroof, plus the car’s handling. I didn’t really like the soft throttle pedal and the engine which is a bit lazy.

You can check out all the photos we’ve made over here.

Post tags: Tags: auto-unleashed, Fiat, fiat-500, review, test drive