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Fiat models, news & reviews
By CJ Hubbard
23 January 2008 13:55
Well, it’s finally here. The new Fiat 500 officially went on sale at 8pm on Monday 21 January – precisely 500 hours into the new year. And whether you like it or not, it seems destined to be the car of 2008, picking up awards left, right, and centre – including CAR’s very own Car of the Year accolade. But how do you fancy a diesel version?
Oh, get over it. Suggesting a small Italian car only makes sense with a petrol engine is just so passé. Fiat builds one of the best compact diesel engines in the business – the tiny but mighty 1.3 MultiJet. You’ll not only find it under the bonnet here – and in the 500’s Panda cousin – but Fiat flogs it to a number of other manufacturers as well. It’s built over two million of these engines so far, so resign yourself: it makes sense the 500 is joining in.
Surprise, surprise, between it and the two petrol 500s available, the diesel is the greenest. Combined fuel economy is 67.3mpg, and the latest homologation puts CO2 emissions at just 110g/km. Jolly good stuff – won’t trouble a Polo BlueMotion or a Mini Cooper D, but one of those is deathly dull, and the other terribly noisy.
Since we seriously doubt anyone will be buying a 500 because their environmental conscious told them to, it’s probably a good thing for the diesel that it also produces more torque than the other cinquecentos. Okay, 107lb ft doesn’t sound much, but arriving at just 1500rpm it’s enough to give the 980kg diesel a bit of pep around town. Power output is 75bhp, 0-62mph takes 12.5 seconds – it feels faster – and top speed is 103mph.
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Fiat 500 1.3 MultiJet Sport (2008) CAR review
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Comparison to Mini
If Peter B bothered to compare the internal dimensions of the 500 and the Mini he would discover that the internal cabin dimensions and passenger space in the 500 is, suprisingly, larger. It's easy to make an overpriced "piece of kit like the mini" a good car. The real challenge is to make a really good car at an affordable price. Fiat have achieved this by designing a really appealing car which is a similar size to the mini, has an infinitly superior engine (1.3 mutlijet) but costs just 60-70% of the mini's price!
28 March 2008 20:33
Comparison to MINI
What is the point of comparing this car to the MINI? Apart from the fact that they are both re-inventions of previous models, they have nothing in common. The 500 is tiny as was the original, the MINI is a big car unlike the original. The MINI is a much more sophisticated, upmarket piece of kit than the FIAT and this is reflected in the price differential. The FIAT is a style statement, but there are aspects of the dash for instance, such as the area arond the gearshift and the electic window switches, which look cheap. I suspect the substance may not match the style - though I hope this is not the case. The FIAT is really a city car and I wouldn't relish the prospect of doing a long journey in one, unlike the MINI which would be well capable and comfortable.
07 March 2008 10:07
Stop living in the past.
Quote "Please note, underneath the fun styling it is still a Fiat with a Fiat shelf-life. Ritmo anyone? Panda anyone? Uno, anyone? Regata? Argenta? Tipo? Mirafiori? Chroma (Mk1)? Cinquecento? Where are they all? I rest my case."
Satchel387 .. this is 2008. Get used to it. Where have all the Ford Sierras, Ford Mark IV Escorts gone? Fact is you'll be hard pressed to see any cars over 10 years old on the roads these days. But Mm 12 year old Fuat Barchetta is going strong though :)
17 February 2008 21:17
Get it in black
...and select black leather or black cloth. That way the car will be just butch enough. The Ford Ka looked great in black. Everyone knew it was a scream to drive and far more serious than the wretched Mini which simply screams "young estate agent" all day long without ever letting up.
Please note, underneath the fun styling it is still a Fiat with a Fiat shelf-life. Ritmo anyone? Panda anyone? Uno, anyone? Regata? Argenta? Tipo? Mirafiori? Chroma (Mk1)? Cinquecento? Where are they all? I rest my case.
30 January 2008 21:06
Si70 - I'm not insecure, I drive a Honda FRV!
Just my thoughts and opinion on the Fiat 500!
25 January 2008 17:19
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