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Fiat 500 gets Stop-Start

Fri, 06 Feb 2009

Flavour of the month, stop-start, and here’s another to add to the list. The Fiat 500 gets Start&Stop (I’ve lost count of the different monikers) as an option on the 1.2 Lounge, using Bosch technology to beef up the system to make it reliable. The Stop/Start also gets another Fiat moniker – Blue&Me – which gives the driver EcoDrive to aid emissions and adds hands-free phone and an entertainment system.

Fiat are at pains to point out how and when the system will work. The Start&Stop can be manually switched off, and only works once the car has gone above 6mph. It won’t work if the car already has a heavy electrical load (for example if the engine is cold, or the HRW is on or other similar situations) and nor will it cut in when reversing to make sure it doesn’t interrupt parking manoeuvres.

Fiat 500 gets Start&Stop to help economy

Fiat also points out that you’ll need to start the car with the key if you’ve been stopped for more than three minutes without depressing the clutch. Which doesn’t seem long, particularly if you’re trying to edge your way along the embankment at rush hour (or through central Rome or Paris, for that matter).

As we’ve said, if you do a fair bit of town driving Stop-Start is hard to argue against. Emissions drop and fuel economy improves, in the Fiat 500′s case by around 12%. At £9,500 this isn’t the cheapest option, but if you’re after a cute, stylish run-around, and you do a lot of town driving, it’s a pretty good choice.

By Cars UK