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Fiat 500 1.3 MultiJet Sport Review & Road Test

Thu, 17 Jun 2010

The Fiat 500 - we spend a week to Review & Road Test

Fiat’s cute and cuddly 500 looks like it will end up spawning as many specials as the MINI. We’ve had everything from the Convertible 500C to the hot Abarth and even a hot Ferrari inspired version. Endless special cosmetic jobs keep the 500s profile high, but how good is the basic Fiat 500?

Under the skin the Fiat 500 and the Ford KA are almost the same. Built on the same production line by Fiat they both fill as a replacement for an iconic car. But the 500 was the bigger icon and in many ways Fiat had a bigger job to do to convince car buyers that the new Fiat 500 was a credible car.

Sales of the Fiat 500 prove its appeal and its demographic of the young woman around town has stretched to include owners of all ages and both sexes. So we thought we’d grab a relatively standard Fiat 500 – the Fiat 500 1.3 MultiJet Sport – and give it to our own 20-something woman around town to see what she makes of it.

Claire reviews the Fiat 500 Sport

For most of the world Friday is the favourite day of the week as they have no work for two days. Strange as it might sound Friday is my favourite because I get to carry on working. Fridays are when I pick up the car from the office to review, and this Friday definitely wasn’t a let down. There was the Fiat 500 1.3 MultiJet Sport diesel waiting for me. A car I’d been looking forward to for a while.

When Fiat followed in MINI’Ss footsteps by bringing back a classic there was a definite reservation from car lovers – and wrinklies who remember it first time around. Could Fiat could pull it off? Could they re-make an icon?  From this writer’s POV they went one better – they made the new Fiat 500 everything the original was – and then some. It could so easily have been a pastiche. It isn’t.

Fiat have kept the small and compact design and style of the original 500 which made it so successful. Even though the new 500 is quite a bit bigger its still in the ‘City Car’ size range and Fiat has managed to stretch it’s appeal much wider than just city dwellers. From my experience I have seen men and women of all ages enjoying what this good looking car has to offer – I just love its very stylish, retro feel.

The Fiat 500 Multi jet Diesel sport is a good-looker with its soft corners and rounded headlights. It has a smooth but solid look to it, with its 16” alloy wheels and chunky spoiler. Fiat have given this 500 a younger, more modern feel than you’d expect a sixties icon revisited to manage.

The interior doesn’t let you down either, with a striking painted dashboard which matches the exterior of the car, half  leather interior with driver adjustable height, which I found very useful (having long legs it’s not always easy to get comfortable) and everything inside the car is very spatially aware. It all meshes with the speedometer, rev counter and menu all combined within one another. Smart and unusual, it suits the 500 – but maybe taking some tips from the MINI on this one?

Although the 500 is very small  it’s deceiving in the back.  It looks as though you couldn’t even fit children in, but when I sat in the back – long legs and all – I had plenty of leg room. Maybe a bit more head room wouldn’t have gone amiss, but it was comfortable and the 500 would happily seat four adults – with a bit of compromise from those in the front. And as a car for Mum and little ‘uns – perfect.

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By Cars UK