Small but safe: the Fiat 500

Published: 31 August 2007

Fiat’s new baby, the 500, has just achieved a full five-star Euro NCAP rating for adult safety.

The 500's score of 35 points puts it ahead of cars like the Mini and Renault Clio while the 500’s closest rival, the Renault Twingo, only achieved four stars in the latest tests. The 500’s 35 points bettered the Twingo’s 28, as did its 14 point to the Renault’s 11 for pedestrian safety (though both ratings are equivalent to two stars). The baby Fiat also scored three stars for child protection but there is no rating for the Twingo because, according to NCAP ‘there was not enough space to fit Renault’s recommended child restraints in the rear seats with the front seats set to Euro NCAP’s test position for adults’.

As standard the Fiat offers two dual-stage front airbags, twin side airbags, two window airbags and a ‘bag for the driver’s knees. Stability control is standard only on the 1.4 petrol - you have to pay for it on the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel. More than 70,000 orders have been taken for the little Fiat - more than the first year's production - and soon there will be a pocket-rocket version under the Abarth badge. Combine that with the 500’s seemingly endless, and Mini-inspired, options list and Fiat appear to laughing all the way to the bank. Euro NCAP has also revealed that both the Kia Ceed and Peugeot 308 achieved five stars for adult occupant safety.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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