This is one of my favourite cars. The Fiat 500 has made its way onto Australian shores with styling and design cues that can stir most Aussie hearts. And the tiny and cute styling blends with the sporty racing lines to reveal an incredibly attractive package. For all the folk out there who enjoy their individuality, Fiat will make the 500 with many different combinations of exterior decal options, along with a wide variety of interior trim options.
Yes, the Fiat 500 is cute and tiny, but much to my amazement, the Fiat 500 has two features that really appeal. Firstly, the Fiat 500 has excelled in the latest EuroNCAP results, picking up an excellent five star result. The test organizers acknowledged the Fiat’s results and praised Fiat for providing safety features that enabled the 500 to beat bigger cars when it came to accident protection. Secondly, somehow Fiat has designed a tiny car with adequate space. This polished and perky cabin has leg room in the front that is outstanding. And in the back, roominess remains very manageable, which is quite something when the compact measurements show a length of 355 cm, a width of 165 cm and a height of 149 cm.
The interior detailing and design is drop-dead gorgeous, and the quality of finish is simply outstanding. It is with great pleasure that one sits in the Fiat 500’s sporty little driver’s seat holding the chunky steering wheel in one’s hands. Behind the steering wheel, the quirky little speedometer and rev counter do their thing while you simply drive and revel in the experience the Fiat 500 offers. The simple things in life often generate the greatest pleasure and cracking the little five speed gear box through its connections is great fun. Australian Fiat 500 owners will have to choose between the 1.2 litre petrol that has 51 kW, the 1.4 litre petrol engine that pumps out a zippy 57 kW and 115 Nm of torque, and the 1.2 litre turbo diesel that packs a 66 kW punch and a healthy twist of 200Nm. The choice between a five-speed manual and a five-speed dual logic automatic transmission will also have to be made. There is a six-speed manual option available in some of the 1.4 litre petrol versions. Whatever the guise chosen, the little Fiat can swagger along at 110 kph without a spot of bother. Hopefully, as I am sure there will be, an ankle-biting Fiat 500 Arbarth will be produced for the Australian market too.
Fiat, as a car manufacturer, is a master of small car design. Certainly, the new and successful Punto and Bravo models, and now the delightful Fiat 500, will ensure that Fiat stays in the leading bunch of small car manufacturers for some time yet.
With such small overhang at the front and rear, the Fiat 500 is entertaining to drive; and dynamically, the car is beautifully controlled. Tight corners can be approached with confidence and at pace. In fact, if you’re not careful, a rising smile may appear on your face. Hey, it’s good to laugh, and in one of these, there will be plenty of great moments to relish. . It’s easy to see why Italy practically came to a halt when the Fiat 500 was launched in July of this year; such was the anticipation and press that was given to the tiny Fiat.
Current model series include:
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