2015 fiat reviews

2015 fiat reviews DEFAULT

The Clarkson review: 2015 Fiat 500

 

Fiat 500, from £10,890

IF YOU are thinking of coming to London for some festive shopping, I have a suggestion: have you thought about going to Peterborough instead? Or Swindon?


View the used Fiat 500s for sale on driving.co.uk


I’ve wondered for many years how a city that wasn’t designed at all hundreds of years ago manages to cope with the demands placed on it today. Because asking it to deal with the daily transport needs of more than 8m inhabitants is a bit like asking your landline telephone to take a photograph.

Somehow, though, it has always just about managed to cling on, like a grand old battleship: shot to pieces, with a broken rudder, but still in the fight.

Today, though, the bridge seems to have been taken over by a bunch of slightly panicky monkeys. Of course London’s transport system has always been managed by idealists and lunatics, because how else would you arrive at the concept of a bus lane? “Right, comrades. London’s streets are higgledy-piggledy and were designed as gaps in which people could leave a dead horse. They are not wide enough for the motorcar, so let’s take half the available space and turn it into a special lane so that old ladies can get to the post office more easily.”

Then along came the bicycle. “Right, comrades. Let’s make special lanes for these wheezing old communists. And better still, let’s make a little space for them to sit in front of the cars when the traffic lights are red.”

Someone in the meeting must have put his hand up at this point and said: “But cyclists don’t stop for red lights.” And? Well, your guess is as good as mine. He’s probably in a correctional facility now, in a wing for the mentally impaired.

Fiat-interior

And there’s more. When Ken Livingstone was in the hot seat, he put down his newts for a moment and decided to model the phasing of the traffic lights on the passage of the sun. Red and orange for 14 hours, with a brief green flash in the evening.

And then there’s the issue with parking. They decided that cars causing an obstruction should be clamped. So they continued to cause an obstruction for many more hours. Or that they should be towed away by a fleet of lorries that would cause even more of an obstruction in the process.

Next, they decided that every single one of the 4m people who’d arrived on the underside of a Eurostar train after a long and difficult journey from north Africa or the Middle East should be given a Toyota Prius, a smartphone with Uber on it and a licence. To kill. And yet, despite all this pedestrianised, camera-monitored idiocy, the capital continued to grow and flourish.

Now the maniacs have come up with a new wheeze. It’s a biggie. They’ve decided that every single road in London should be dug up simultaneously. It’s so far beyond a joke that it’s actually funny.

Every residential street is clogged by someone digging out a basement. Every side road is having calming features installed. And every main road is subject to traffic control so that Crossrail can be built. They’ve even shut half the Embankment so they can install a new cycle way. Honestly, they have. If this lot were doctors, their solution to a dangerously clogged pulmonary artery would be to open it up for six months so that it could be filled up with Chris Hoy.

This time they really have scored a blinder, because even I have reached the bottom of the pit of despair. I view the onset of every meeting with a crushing sense of dread. And I lie in bed at night seething about how much time I’ve wasted by sitting in a completely unnecessary jam.

There’s no point driving a very small car in London, because you’re going to be just as stuck as if you were driving something much larger

And I feel so powerless. I can’t use a bus because I don’t like being murdered. I can’t cycle because it’s too cold and wet at this time of year. I can’t go on the Underground because . . . just because. And that brings me neatly on to the Fiat 500 that you see in the photographs. This, you may think, is the solution. Something small. Something that can make its own lane. Something that will fit into even the tiniest parking space. Surely this is the antidote to the panicky monkeys on the bridge.

Hmm. This may well be true in a city such as Rome, where any piece of ground that isn’t occupied by a structure can be viewed as a parking space. But here in London it doesn’t work that way. Parking spaces are all marked clearly and are big enough for a Range Rover. So using something titchy makes no difference.

Then there’s the business of lanes. Yes, in a small car you can make new and exciting lanes in European cities, but not here. On a road such as, say, Holland Park Avenue, in west London, there are two. And if you try to make a third you’re going to get looked at. And being looked at in Britain is worse than being eaten.

So there’s no point driving a very small car in London, because you’re going to be just as stuck as if you were driving something much larger. The only real difference is that in a small car such as the Fiat you are more likely to be injured in a crash. Unless you are in the back, in which case you can be injured without a crash being involved. Ooh, it’s a squash.

Fiat-500-side

So the only reason for buying the little Fiat is that you like it. And I get that. The version I drove had a matt-black flower pattern stuck onto the shiny black paint, and green ears. This was a good look — even as a £460 option.

Under the bonnet it had the clever twin-cylinder 0.9-litre engine, which, thanks to all sorts of jiggery-pokery and witchcraft, produces 103bhp. That’s not far short of what you got in the original Golf GTI.

There is a fair bit of turbo lag, which is annoying, because just as the blower has fully girded its loins and the fun’s about to begin, you run into a set of roadworks and have to stop again. Only once in a week did I get the full shove, but it was worth the wait. There was a tremendous wallop and a whizzy racket from the clackety-clack engine, and for a moment it felt as though I were inside a mad, flowery, homemade go-kart.

It’s a hoot, this car. It’s nicely equipped and electronically savvy. Many of the details will be a bit beyond the elderly, but anyone under 12 will be quite content with all of the submenus in the submenus. It will give them something to do in the jams.

Me? I just sat there thinking two things: that I’d quite like to peel the people responsible. And that if I’m going to be stuck for two hours, I’d rather be in a Fiat 500 than something bland and anodyne from the Pacific rim. Because sitting in a car such as the Fiat is like walking through the park on a sunny day with a cute dog. Sooner or later someone is going to lean out of their window and say: “I love your little car’s green ears.” And who knows where that might end up?

That’s what this car is, really. Tinder. With windscreen wipers.

2015 Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir Lounge specifications
  • PRICE: £14,420
  • ENGINE: 875cc, 2 cylinders
  • POWER: 103bhp @ 5500rpm
  • TORQUE: 107 lb ft @ 2000rpm
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
  • ACCELERATION: 0-62mph: 10.0sec
  • TOP SPEED: 117mph
  • FUEL: 67.3mpg (combined)
  • CO2: 99g/km
  • ROAD TAX BAND: A (free)
  • RELEASE DATE: On sale now

Search for used Fiat 500s for sale on driving.co.uk


Sours: https://www.driving.co.uk/car-reviews/the-clarkson-review-2015-fiat-500/

From the May 2013 Issue of Car and Driver

The Fiat 500, or Cinquecento, is not only the first Italian car to finish our long-term, 40,000-mile evaluation*, it’s also the first new Fiat available in the U.S. since the company packed up shop here in 1984. Introduced as a 2012 model following the company’s tie-up with Chrysler, the 500 is a frothy little cappuccino of a hatchback. And if the arduous 17 months it took to complete our test is any indication, the sheer vastness of what is the world’s second-largest car market is the greatest challenge this car faces.

In August 2011, when the 500 entered our fleet, it was available as a three-door only and came in Pop, Sport, Lounge, and designer Gucci trims. We went with Sport, of course, in which the 500’s inherent cuteness is tempered by some athleticism. A healthy base price of $18,000, exactly two grand more than the Pop’s, included unique fascias, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and a firmer suspension. Cruise control, ­stability control, halogen headlights and fog lights, a Bose audio system with USB and hands-free connectivity, and a multitude of airbags also came standard. We passed on the lethargic six-speed automatic transmission and stayed with the standard five-speed manual, saving $1250 and preserving some of our dignity in the process.

KERIAN

Also included in our car’s $19,100 as-tested price was $500 Rosso Brilliante paint, the $400 Safety and Convenience package (alarm, automatic climate control, and a temporary spare), and the $200 Safety and Sound package, which netted satellite radio. So it came to us well equipped, with fold-down rear seatbacks and a usable hatch that could hold a decent amount of stuff (up to 30 cubic feet). But we soon realized we wanted more.

The 500’s 1.4-liter SOHC four-cylinder develops just 101 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 98 pound-feet of torque at a lofty 4000. Although saddled with only 2427 pounds—124 less than the last Mini Cooper we tested—the initial results were a 9.9-second amble to 60 mph and 17.5 seconds at 78 mph in the quarter-mile. (An automatic 500C convertible we tested was more than a second slower in both measures.) Those figures improved to 9.7 and 17.1 seconds, respectively, at the conclusion of our test, but the car still felt painfully slow when accelerating to highway speeds. And forget about attempting to pass on rural two-lanes.

Despite the 1.4’s small capacity and our Fiat’s EPA city/highway ratings of 30/38 mpg, the lack of a sixth gear and the frequency with which our 500’s accelerator nailed the floorboard limited it to 33 mpg overall. That’s about average for most of the B-segment cars we’ve tested, as is the 340-mile range from the 10.5-gallon tank.

JAMES LIPMAN, PATRICK M. HOEY

Not that many of us were eager to take the little guy on extended voyages. The majority of its outings were confined to the Detroit area, save for occasional jaunts to northern Michigan, Chicago, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Sheer lack of space was an obvious factor: At 139.6 inches, the 500 is a half-foot shorter than a Mini Cooper. Pack light and be on good terms with your car poolers.

Another issue keeping the Fiat close to home was its stubby 90.6-inch wheelbase, which made it far more adept at zigzagging in rush-hour traffic than bucking through 1000-mile days on the interstate. And the 500 received good marks for its ability to make do with parking lots’ leftover scraps.

Decent lateral grip (0.85 g) and linear steering lent the car a fun, tossable feel at low speeds, with adhesion improving slightly over the course of our test as the skinny Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-seasons wore in. Respectable stopping performance from 70 mph also improved, dropping from 175 feet initially to 171 at the 40,000-mile mark.

rants and raves

Tony Swan
A car that's handy in the city but a little tedious for real road trips.

Aaron Robinson
There's a ton of tire noise, and it crashes over bumps. This is going to be a long 40,000 miles.

Carolyn Pavia-Rauchman
I'm not the biggest fan, but I like the handling; it can zip along nicely.

Mike Austin
There's a lot of space in the back, especially with the rear seats folded down. Credit is due to the high roof and low floor.

Alex Stoklosa
The clutch's vague engagement point and general mushiness are letdowns. Aside from borderline-excessive road and wind noise, the 500 feels solid and planted.

K.C. Colwell
A nightmare on the highway; it was blown all over the place. And fifth gear is worthless.

Juli Burke
Actually held more cargo than I had expected. Fun in the city, frightening on a windy highway.

Russ Ferguson
Hill-hold feature and easy clutch would make this the perfect car to use to teach a novice how to drive a stick. If it didn't make me look like a dork, I'd like to own one.

Eric Tingwall
Nice handling, good ride, stylish interior. Of course, that's all relative to subcompact standards. I'd spend my $19,000 on something less cute and with a longer wheelbase.

But the 500 never fully cooperated when we tried to drive it hard. The superlight clutch pedal offered all the resistance of overcooked linguine, and one logbook comment deemed the shifter to be “possibly the worst in any modern car.” Commenters left colorful, unprintable notes about the tepid throttle response as well as excessive wind and tire noise, large blind spots, and a ride that often crashed over bumps. High winds turned our morning commutes into wrestling matches with the steering wheel.

Gripes about the interior focused on the lack of a telescoping steering column and a raised seating position that places the driver on top of the pedals. Ultra-comfy front seats sacrificed lateral support for additional padding, and the hip, concentric gauge pod can be hard to decipher. The confounding media interface and small center display were additional quirks that started out as novelties and wound up as annoyances. Technical ­editor K.C. Colwell summed it up well: “I wish this car had more redeeming qualities.”

To accrue more miles, we dispatched the Fiat to our West Coast base of operations for a few months, with the plush seats saving our backsides on the long to-and-fro drives. Pirelli Snowcontrol Serie II winter tires went on the OE wheels to get the little bugger over the Rockies and back in the winter months.

Fortunately, and to our surprise, we never got to know our dealership’s service tech on a first-name basis. All problems were covered by the standard warranty and were limited to the tightening of a loose handbrake and the replacement of an LED license-plate light assembly and a blown fuse for the 12-volt power outlet. Fiat even recalled and replaced the spare-tire lug wrench.

JAMES LIPMAN, PATRICK M. HOEY

Service costs were minimal, too, largely because Fiat included free scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles as a promotional offer on 500s sold before January 1, 2012. This coverage saved early buyers nearly $500 in scheduled service visits, including three basic oil changes/inspections and two more-detailed jobs at 15,000 and 32,000 miles. Our final, 40,000-mile service for a standard oil change was outside of the promotion and cost us $51. With Fiat’s fledgling dealer network still ramping up, actually getting to our closest service center (about 50 miles away) was the biggest hassle until a new outlet opened closer to home.

We initially joked that our wee paisano might fall victim to an inattentive driver in a big truck, but the chuckles ended when a Dodge Dakota pickup actually did try to back over it in traffic, impaling the 500’s bumper cover, passenger-side fog light, and washer-fluid reservoir with its frame-mounted hitch. When confronted, the truck’s passenger noted that they’d have seen us if we “weren’t driving that little shitbox.” That cultural exchange cost us a trip to the body shop and $1088 in repairs.

Our stint with the 500 confirmed many of our first assumptions: This Fiat is not for everyone, especially not those who need to get anywhere quickly or far away, or with full-size adults in back. And that there are better ways to scoot around town. The small-car market is deep with talent these days, and our sensible selves still favor the Honda Fit, which does nearly everything better than the Fiat for similar money.

But the 500 turns heads in a way that only an Italian machine can, and our example was largely trouble-free, defying our other first assumption. Despite being a tad pricey and less efficient than we had envisioned, the 500 works as the city runabout it was designed to be.

Fiat has introduced several other Cinquecento variants in the short time the car has been on sale here, too, including the 500C targa, 135-hp Turbo, 160-hp Abarth, and electric 500e. All are charming and approachable, with personalities that delight in small doses. Our driving styles were a little too demanding for our 500, but this country’s stylish, urban markets are starting to clutch the diminutive car to their breast. America is a big place, after all.

*Our Italian long-termer 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano lit itself on fire and then shot a rod through its engine block.

Date: May 2012
Months in Fleet: 9 months
Current Mileage: 19,144 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 33 mpg
Average Range: 347
Service: $0
Normal Wear: $0
Repair: $0

Our Fiat Cinquecento has reached the mezzo, the middle, the halfway point in our 40,000-mile opera of endurance testing, and so far the little 500 Sport is defying stereotypes by being resolutely reliable. Thus far, no “Tonys” have been made to “fix it again,” although a couple of dealership techs, probably named Bob or Carl, have had to correct a few small items under warranty.

The Fiat racked up its first 15,000 miles serving our Ann Arbor headquarters. It shows its European lineage by being happiest nipping through town, aided by quick steering and dependable brakes. It’ll slide between two Suburbans in a mall lot with plenty of room for door clearance, and it’ll parallel-park in spaces written off by Honda Civics.

Some found the 500 surprisingly planted for its size on the freeway; others complained about a susceptibility to crosswinds. Conclusion: Check the weather report before departing. Our car—equipped with 16-inch aluminum wheels and a firmer sport suspension—has a harsh, choppy ride accentuated by the short wheelbase. Even the new, übersportif500 Abarth feels more compliant than our clomping 500 Sport. As we roamed the falling-apart roads of this American (banana) republic, some found themselves wishing we had opted for the base wheels and suspension.

An Abarth It’s Not

The clutch takeup and the gearchanging are easy, but the vague engagement and the loose, plastic shifter are no more thrilling to operate than an accountant’s calculator. The recent arrival of the Abarth, in which many of these tactile issues have been resolved, has thrown into relief the base 500’s shortcomings in this department.

The Abarth also has made the base 500 seem painfully slow. Acceleration is not really a 101-hp 1.4’s forte, and you figure it’s a trade-off for high mileage. But cajoling the Fiat up to freeway speeds is an act of daily patience. And your days of passing on two-lane roads are over—unless it’s a coach-and-four you’re behind. We only wish better fuel economy than our current average of 33 mpg were in the offing.

As ever, your results will vary, but we’ve observed huge swings in the 500’s fuel appetite. On a westward dash across the Great Plains on I-80, the Fiat returned 29 mpg at its fill-up in Portage, Indiana; 38 mpg at the top-off in Brooklyn, Iowa; 24 mpg in Seward, Nebraska; and 29 mpg in Ogallala. Always with about a gallon still in reserve in the small, 10.5-gallon tank, the range swung from 227 miles to 354 miles. Obviously, there are no major elevation changes between those points, so, once again, check the weather before setting your expectations for the Fiat.

Things found odd about European cars in general are found in the Fiat. The radio has cryptographic controls—keep the owner’s manual handy—and stays on a full 20 minutes after the car shuts off. No doubt there’s some obscure Italian law this is meant to appease. The cockpit design is executed with a Continental flourish, especially the concentric speedometer and tach, but it isn’t being found very readable by some drivers. A tall, buslike seating position puts you on top of the pedals, but the steering wheel remains far away, and the column lacks a telescoping feature, so some of us can’t develop complete rapport with the controls.

However, when the hatchback is unsealed, the interior can inhale more cargo than the owner of a car this size has a right to expect. It handily beats a Mini’s, in which the rear seats must be dropped to accommodate anything much larger than a 12-pack of Twinkies. By comparison, the Fiat holds a fair amount with the rear seats still up and on duty.

Service It for Free, Larry

At about 14,000 miles, the parking brake became sticky, and morning drive-offs were preceded by an unnerving straining and then a disconcerting clunk of the brake finally releasing. The service department investigated and found nothing wrong with the brake, and the problem, er, faded. However, by 18,000 miles, the hand-brake handle had become unacceptably wobbly, so it was tightened at the dealership. The clunk still happens every once in a while and hasn’t yet been fully diagnosed.

Something plugged into the 12-volt accessory socket blew out its fuse, and a burned-out bulb in the license-plate bezel required replacement, under warranty, of the entire assembly. For some reason, you can’t just stick in a fresh bulb. We suspect the reason is only understood if you speak Piedmontese. The driver’s seatbelt latch was squeaking against the seat, so we applied a bit of, uh, personal hygienic lubricant to it. Also, Fiat recalled and replaced the car’s lug-nut wrench. Why? Because it’s Italian.

So far, our service and repair costs have stayed at $0 because the car came with free maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles as part of an introductory deal sweetener by Fiat. That promotion is no longer available; our last regular service stop, at 18,000 miles in Los Angeles, would have cost about $40, according to the dealer, so with three services under our belt, figure maintenance costs at about $120 over 20,000 miles. But we’ll stick with free.

Date: October 2011
Months in Fleet: 2 months
Current Mileage: 4438 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 34 mpg
Average Range: 357
Service: $0
Normal Wear: $0
Repair: $0

What are the practical minimums of small? As more and better subcompact cars roll into the competitive arena, the answer to that question is undergoing constant revision. The Smart Fortwo seems to be a little below the threshold of acceptability, at least by our standards, so what if we work our way back up in size? That question helped motivate us to add a 2012 Fiat 500 to our long-term test fleet.

It’s small, sure, but compared with a Fortwo, it looks more plausible. At 139.6 inches, the Cinquecento is 33.5 inches longer than the Smart—but six shorter than a Mini Cooper—and it has a back seat. It has more luggage space, too, and flipping the rear seatbacks forward expands the hold beyond its initial 10 cubic feet. Moreover, although it outweighs the Smart by more than 600 pounds, the 500’s EPA fuel-economy ratings aren’t far behind: 33 in the city and 41 on the highway for the Smart versus 30/38 for the Fiat.

The other factor in this acquisition was simpler. This is the first production Fiat offered in the U.S. since 1984. It’s also the first-ever Fiat to undergo our 40,000-mile scrutiny.

The Car

Cinquecento (that’s Italian for “500”) buyers first have to choose whether they want the base Pop, mid-level Sport, loaded Lounge, or designer Gucci trim. (There are cabriolet versions of all but the Sport, with tops that are essentially folding sunroofs rather than true convertible lids.)

Our 500 Sport coupe carries a base price of $18,000 and includes air conditioning; Bose audio with a CD player, a USB port, and hands-free connectivity; cruise control; a leather-wrapped wheel with auxiliary audio controls; and a tilting steering column. It comes standard with 16-inch aluminum wheels, a firmer sport suspension, halogen projector headlamps, fog lamps, red brake calipers, front-seat-mounted side airbags, curtain airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and stability control. You can add a six-speed automatic transmission for $850, but it’s not something we recommend if anything even vaguely resembling haste has a place in your automotive priorities. Accordingly, we stuck with the manual.

We did add an optional paint job (rosso brillante,$500) and two packages. The $400 Safety and Convenience package adds an alarm, automatic temperature control, and a temporary spare. The $200 Safety and Sound package has an alarm—if you don’t already have one from the other package—and Sirius satellite radio. Our as-tested total came in at $19,100. This seems modest enough, although for about $1500 less, you could drive home a new Honda Fit Sport with four doors, room for four adults, more utility, and more performance.

On the other hand, the little Fiat’s interior design is attractive, the control layout doesn’t require consultations with the owner’s manual, and of course, its style is almost off the charts.

First Reports

The 500 arrived in August with 700 miles already on the odometer. Since then, we’ve added more than 3700 in fairly short order, as staffers signed up to experience life in the small lane, Italian-style.

Responses have been mixed: some plaudits for the 500’s agility, steering, ride quality, and brakes; demerits for blind spots in the rear quarters, gauges that require considerable practice to read quickly, and seat adjustments that some find frustrating. There were also a couple complaints about vague clutch engagement, although another driver praised this aspect of the powertrain.

The Fiat is wonderfully handy around town in Ann Arbor and neighboring Ypsilanti and is perfectly happy with leftover parking spots—an ideal urban car. But anyone who takes the Fiat onto the high roads remarks on its modest power. Fed by Fiat’s new MultiAir variable-lift valve system, the 500’s 1.4-liter four generates 101 hp at 6500 rpm and 98 lb-ft of torque at 4000.

In league with the manual gearbox—its shift lever protruding from the lower dash à la old Honda Civic Si hatchback—the little four is able to tow the 500 to 60 mph in just under 10 seconds, 9.9 to be precise. Covering a quarter-mile consumes 17.5 seconds, with 78 mph on the speedo at that distance. If, for some reason, the operator wishes to experience 100 mph, he or she must be prepared with plenty of wide-open road ahead. We needed close to a full mile (4563 feet) and the better part of a minute (39.1 seconds) to attain this heady speed.

Reaching the 500’s 111-mph top speed requires even more wide-open straightaway—chunks of Nebraska would probably be suitable. The speedometer suggests the car can keep going to 140, but it lies. One hundred eleven is all there is, there ain’t no more, and it’s unlikely that any of us will experience the car’s triple-digit speed capabilities again until we take it back to the track for wrap-up testing.

The Long-Haul Question

When that wrap-up test will occur is hard to forecast. Although other aspects of the Fiat’s performance—braking from 70 to 0 mph in 175 feet, skidpad grip of 0.85 g—are respectable by the standards of this class, the 500’s tepid power is likely to diminish enthusiasm for lengthy voyages. With a regimen of mostly urban motoring, we’re currently averaging 34 mpg, 3 mpg higher than the Mazda 2 in our long-term fleet.

And although it’s far too early to talk about reliability—the Fiat has yet to make its first scheduled service stop (an oil change is due soon)—it seems clear that this little rascal is better suited to the inner city than the interstates. This might be a long test.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 3-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED: $19,100 (base price: $18,000)

ENGINE TYPE: SOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 83 cu in, 1368 cc
Power: 101 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 98 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 90.6 in Length: 139.6 in
Width: 64.1 in Height: 59.8 in
Curb weight: 2427 lb

PERFORMANCE: 40,000
Zero to 60 mph: 9.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 38.1 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 10.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.3 sec @ 79 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 108 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.86 g
*Stability-control-inhibited.

PERFORMANCE: NEW
Zero to 60 mph: 9.9 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 39.1 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 10.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 17.5 sec @ 78 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 111 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 175 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.85 g
*Stability-control-inhibited.

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 30/38 mpg
C/D observed: 33 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

WARRANTY:
4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper;
4 years/50,000 miles powertrain;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
4 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance;
3 years/36,000 miles free routine maintenance


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15114693/2012-fiat-500-sport-long-term-wrap-up-review/
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Fiat 500 Lounge 2015 review

Fiat didn’t need to do much to keep the 500 fresh in the eyes of buyers. It remains a funky, fun and interesting proposition and still puts form over function. It isn’t as good to drive, as spacious or as well built as many city car rivals, though, which are also significantly cheaper to buy. Be careful with the customisation options, too, as its already steep price tag can soon rocket if you get a bit carried away.

The eight-year-old Fiat 500 is enjoying something of a renaissance of late, with close to 45,000 examples finding homes in the UK in 2014 – the most sold in a single year since the car was introduced. Clearly, it makes sense for Fiat to keep things as they are with this facelifted model.

And, as you can see, that’s exactly what it’s done. Despite 1,900 component changes and marketing to suggest the chic city car has been completely revamped, you’d have to be a 500 fanatic to give it much of a second glance. 

The car’s appearance is subtly lifted by a sportier grille, new bumpers, revised headlamps and ring-shaped tail-lights, but it’s no revolution. Instead, Fiat has focused on what matters most to the fashion-led 500 buyers: bringing fresh colour schemes, accessories and new ‘Second Skin’ exterior graphics. 

Climb inside, and the sense of déjà vu continues, yet that’s no bad thing. The Fiat has always had a stylish and charming cabin, with a colour-coded painted metal dash and plenty of retro details. Our test car was also fitted with the optional new seven-inch TFT digital readout in the dials, which is clear, smart and easy to get along with. Also new to the 500 is Fiat’s Uconnect system. Base models receive a simple radio and USB unit, but our Lounge-spec car gets the full five-inch touchscreen mounted on the dash with Bluetooth.

DAB radio remains a £100 option, however, yet for a reasonable £350, you can get TomTom’s sat-nav software with ‘Live’ connected services.

New trim and upholstery colours also lift the interior, but flaws remain. The smart dash is spoiled by scratchy and hard plastics, while the door trim feels similarly nasty. Plus, the high-set driving position is still awkward, as you can only adjust the seat base to tilt rather than the height.

Although you can’t expect much from a city car in terms of practicality, the rear will feel rather cramped for anyone except children, while the boot is a slim 185 litres – a long way behind rivals like the SEAT Mii.

Given the 500’s intentions as a city dweller, it’s no surprise that 80 per cent sold fitted with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. Just three per cent of buyers opt for the Multijet diesel (which won’t appear until the end of the year), while the rest plump for the clever two-cylinder 900cc Twinair turbo petrol.

We sampled the range-topping 104bhp Twinair, which is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in a sprightly 10 seconds. It remains a fun engine to rev, with the characterful two-cylinder throb filling the cabin. It’s a shame that it’s all out of action by 5,000rpm, as it makes for lots of time spent wrestling with the imprecise and long-throw six-speed manual gearbox – which brings another consequence.

Our test car also featured the only engine in the range not to receive any efficiency upgrades, although claimed 67mpg economy and CO2 emissions of and 99g/km are still good going. However, as before, the Twinair likely won't get anywhere near those figures in the real world. Through congested London city streets and a brief stint of motorway driving, the trip readout was a miserly 28mpg.

Despite minor suspension and steering changes, it’s business as usual on the move. Pulling away smoothly requires a lot of throttle, and vibrations fizz around the cabin at low revs. Still, the 500 is fun and agile around town, with light, direct steering – yet it’s almost entirely devoid of feel.

Unlike other 500s, the Twinair 105 gets a Sport button for the steering rather than the City mode in other versions. You can feel the additional weight it provides, but what it doesn’t add is any more feel. So it’s largely irrelevant in a car like this.

One complaint with the outgoing 500 was the unsettled ride. It feels marginally more stable than before and soft enough, yet big bumps in the road still jolt through the cabin. Push on, and you’ll discover there’s plenty of body roll, while rivals such as the VW up! are more refined at speed.

The big stumbling block for many remains the cost. The 500 is a fashionable city car that finds itself rubbing shoulders with more practical and refined cars such as the Skoda Fabia for price. Our Lounge-spec model costs an eye-watering £16,340 with a few choice options, and a MINI One is a much more talented proposition at that cost.

Sours: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/500/85461/fiat-500-lounge-2015-review
2015 Fiat 500 Abarth - Review and Road Test

Fiat 500 owner reviews

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"The Fiat 500 has an unashamedly retro style, but fairly economical engines, making it a strong city-car performer"

62%of people would recommend this car to a friend.

Owner Rating

    Common Problems

    • Electrics, Engine, Gearbox / clutch, Other (1 cases)
    • Electrics (2 cases)
    • Suspension (3 cases)
    • Electrics, Suspension (1 cases)
    • Other (14 cases)
    • Electrics, Other (1 cases)
    • Brakes, Electrics, Engine, Suspension (2 cases)
    • Engine, Gearbox / clutch (3 cases)
    • Brakes, Gearbox / clutch, Other (1 cases)
    • Electrics, Engine (2 cases)
    • Engine (3 cases)
    • Gearbox / clutch (1 cases)
    • Brakes (2 cases)
    • Brakes, Engine, Suspension, Other (1 cases)
    • Engine, Gearbox / clutch, Suspension (1 cases)
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Average annual mileage

    Very impressed with this little car. It is cute, funky, sporty and smart. I did a lot of research before I bought this car. 18 months in fact. The Fiat was not what I was looking for and not the colour I would have chosen (dark red with black roof and spoiler). When I saw it I just fell in love and when I test drove it I was smitten. Reviewers always go on about small boot space but it is just right for my family shop and carries quite a few big shopping bags. The Fiat 500 holds its own on the motorway. Yes there is a lot of road and wind noise but that is not something that bothers me, in fact it is quite comforting. Ultimately I love my car and most definitely recommend the Fiat 500. Will I buy another? I will most likely have another fiat 500 yes.

    Average annual mileage

    Loved the car until things started going wrong. At its recent service (2 weeks before garauntee expired) I was told I needed a new radiator, ball arm joint and clutch seal. The stop start function was not working and was giving a message 'check engine'. The latter I was told was due to the short distances I did and was ok to continue driving. The car actually broke down yesterday evening. Had to be brought home on a pickup truck. The fuel pump is not operating. This is not acceptable from a 2 and a half year old car with low mileage.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Average annual mileage

    Not very well refined when compared to something like a Honda Jazz, although it is to be expected with a 900cc engine. Very charming and the infotainment was pretty good for 2012, which came with removable Sat Nav with a stand that attaches to a special port on the dash, which provides power (so no dangling cables). Wasn't comfortable at all for long hauls, which is why I traded it as my circumstances had changed.

    2 out of 5

    Brake lights failed in first year, which is really unacceptable as this made the car a bit unsafe. The problem seemed to be a switch that needed adjusting behind the brake pedal. This was fixed after the 2nd return to the dealer when I sold it on.
    900cc with a very zippy turbo. Performance was better than you would expect
    Not as good as the book, and when you put the car in economy mode it was too sluggish to drive smoothly
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Average annual mileage

    Brilliant little car, fantastic fun and perfect for the city. I was blown away by the amount of power you get from the 0.9 litre engine, i'm 20 and it's a fantastic first car, small, economical and fun, if you're thinking about getting one go for one of the Twin Air engines and they are more responsive than the 1.2. Also if you go for the twin air engines they are free to tax as they put out 98g/km of CO2 I absolutely love it and i'm going to keep it for a long time.

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Diesel, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Version

    Average annual mileage

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Ok bits and bobs go wrong

    4 out of 5

    Main dealer parts very expensive Ie engine cooling fan Ł500.00 bluetooth unit Ł500.00, door handle Ł100.00 daytime running bulb blow every month now switched off head light unit gone brittle due to heat of bulbs Ł200.00 new unit.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    5 out of 5

    only needs fuel to date. nothing else.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Reliability so far is 100%. no problems whatsoever

    4 out of 5

    Service charges through the very limited Abarth dealerships tends to be relatively expensive - but being the type of car it is this is to be expected
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Only problems to date engine breather hose split twice & replaced under warrenty. USB connection failed for recording mileage onto Fiats website.

    3 out of 5

    disappointed with MPG - no matter how it is driven / speed makes little improvement.

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    No problems at all in 2 years.

    5 out of 5

    Cheap servicing and high MPG - all good!

    Version

    1-1.5 litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Not perfect, a couple of jiggly faults but it is a Fiat.

    4 out of 5

    Fuel economy not as good as I had hoped for in such a small, modern city car. Official mpg figures way off the mark. Insurance and road tax very cheap though.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    Lounge, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    Sport, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    So far covered 75,000 miles and i look forward to another 75k! It's been nearly three years of both low-cost and high-fun motoring. I think this car is great.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    Pop, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Retro styling & super-cheap to run. a eco-bargain!

    Version

    Lounge, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Fiat 500 is a fantastic looking little car that makes you happy when you see it. The interior aswell has a fantastic design. The car is nice to drive and the chassis feels great especially when driving on smaller twisty roads or in town. But the engine is the cars biggest drawback it has to be worked hard and feels quite dull with a very loud strained sound. The car is very loud at higher speeds. Overall the car fells good but comparing it with my other cars merc, bmw it doesn´t really fells that solid. It really feels italian, great design lot´s of character but not perfect underneath.
    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    lounge, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    I would recommend this car to a friend

    Version

    fiat 1.2 pop, 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre, Petrol, Manual

    Average annual mileage

    Sours: https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/fiat/500/owner-reviews

    Fiat reviews 2015

    2015 Fiat 500e review: The 2015 Fiat 500e gives eco-chic some Italian flair

    The little Fiat has a range of 87 miles per charge. After a quick math check I realized I could easily make it to Oakland, home, and back to CNET the next morning with miles to spare. Let the fun commence!

    Range anxiety, the fear that you will be stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery, is no joke. Until battery chargers are as ubiquitous, and as fast as gas stations, range will still be paramount in consumers' minds when buying an EV.

    Although the car may tell you one thing, real-world range depends on how you drive, and it's hard not to mash the accelerator of the 500e to push all the 147 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. It's a blast to drive off the line, but expect your range to drop significantly the more fun you have.

    The 500e's estimated range compared to its actual range deviated wildly during my week with the car. One 11-mile trip home dropped my range only 3 miles, but the reverse, in similar traffic, took a whole 36 miles off the meter. Another time I drove 24 miles to run errands, resulting in only a 16-mile drop in the car's estimated range. After that, I decided to stop keeping track. Some trips you win, some trips you lose.

    Emme's Comparable Picks

      Charging the Fiat 500e is simple. It will take a slow, 24 hours to fill the batteries from a regular 110-volt outlet. You can cut that to 4 hours with a 240-volt outlet, the same that powers your clothes dryer if you're lucky enough to have one. Unfortunately, the 500e does not support DC fast charging, which would top off the juice in about 30 minutes.

      Fortunately, the battery life is not reduced if you charge from mid-full battery. So you can charge at the coffee shop for 30 minutes, then again while at work with no reduction in battery life. Fiat offers an eight-year limited warranty on the battery.

      It's no slouch in the city

      Slip behind the wheel of the 500e and the first thing you'll notice is the lack of a gear shift. There is only one gear in this baby, and it's Drive. Insert the key -- yes, an actual key -- push the "D" button, and off you go. The Fiat 500e delivers 111 horsepower, putting its output between that of the naturally-aspirated 500 and and the turbocharged 500, but I was able to cruise comfortably on the highway at speeds of 70 mph.

      The real joy, however, is in the city. The instant torque means quick acceleration to avoid slow Uber drivers or lumbering construction trucks. The short wheelbase and quick steering ratio make for nimble handling, and the ride is soft enough to battle the mean city pavement. The power-regenerating brakes have a linear feel and are not as grabby as other electric- and hybrid-vehicle brakes. 15-inch aluminum wheels are wrapped in low-rolling-resistance rubber. The hard tires do take a bit of fun out of the 500e, but allow for better efficiency.

      An electric car with a la carte tech

      Tech in the cabin is pretty minimal. Front and center is a large gauge displaying current charge, range and speed, as well as a menu for a variety of vehicle systems. There is even a gauge for your driving behavior, encouraging you to keep it in the green for maximum efficiency.

      There is no infotainment system, merely a stereo with a one-line analog readout. Fiat's voice-activated Blue and Me system lets you pair your phone for hands-free calls and audio streaming. SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year subscription is standard.

      The 500e comes with a TomTom navigational system that plugs into the dash. Unfortunately, our test car seemed to be missing the GPS unit. The Fiat website says the TomTom is a touchscreen with over 7 million points of interest. Frankly, with many people using their smartphones for navigation, it's a wonder Fiat still includes this feature.

      The Fiat Access app is more useful, with the ability to view battery life, current range, and location of the vehicle, all from your smartphone. If the car is plugged in, you can preheat or cool the cabin using grid power, and even delay charging to off-peak times. The app also lets you unlock the doors, flash the lights, and start the car.

      Ciao, bella!

      Visually the 500e is pretty close to its gas-powered siblings, save for a few tweaks. The front fascia is a bit lower, and there is a larger rear spoiler, both in the name of better aerodynamics. There is also a rear diffuser and a few 500e badges. Our test car came with the optional eSport package, giving us black-trimmed lights, orange mirror caps, orange accented wheels and some nifty side striping.

      The use of hard plastics throughout the interior makes the cabin lean toward econo-box, but the visual of the black-and-orange interior make up for the cheapness of materials. The front seats come heated standard, but I found it's not a steady heat. The seats will go from hot to warm to cold and back again. As someone who is constantly cold, these are not the satisfying bun-steamers I was hoping for.

      Passengers sit fairly upright in the cabin, which may be a problem for taller folks, especially in vehicles equipped with the optional sunroof. At 5-foot-9 I didn't have a problem, but those over 6 feet should probably opt out of the window in the top.

      Rear passengers will be cramped with 4 inches less legroom than in other 500 models, due to the placement of the battery. Further, space under the hatch is reduced to a tiny 7 cubic feet. I would imagine most folks would forgo carrying passengers and keep the rear seats folded down to permit more than three times the utility.

      Buy a car, save some cash

      Fiat only sells the 2015 500e in California and Oregon, at a base price of $31,800. Our test car with eSport package, sunroof, and destination came to $34,475. It's a pretty penny for a Fiat, but with a federal tax credit and other rebates, it is possible to shave $14,000 off that price.

      Fiat doesn't offer the electric version of the 500 in the UK or Australia. However, strictly for comparison's sake, its US price converts to slightly less than £21,000 or just over AU$44,000.

      The 500e is by far the most fun I've had in an electric car, save for a high-priced Tesla. Those interested in going electric without sacrificing style could also look at the Kia Soul EV. If envelope-pushing design isn't your thing and you have some time to wait, try holding off for the 200-mile range Chevrolet Bolt.

      Sours: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/reviews/2015-fiat-500e-review/
      2015 Fiat 500 Abarth Review and Test Drive
      TRIMOriginal MSRP
      Clean Retail Price
      ?

      The MT clean retail price reflects a reasonable asking price by a dealership for a fully reconditioned vehicle (clean title history, no defects, minimal wear) with average mileage.

      5-Year Cost to Own / Rating
      $16,845N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $16,845N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $17,595N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $17,700N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $18,700N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $19,700N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $20,600N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      $22,495N.A.N.A. / N.A.
      FIND THE BEST PRICE

      FIAT 500 Expert Review

      Stefan Ogbac

      Pros

      • Retro styling inside and out
      • Abarth performance
      • Easy to maneuver

      Cons

      • Tall driving position
      • Snug interior
      • Not much available tech and convenience features
      • Mini Hardtop
      • Chevrolet Spark
      • Hyundai Veloster
      • Volkswagen Beetle
      • Honda CR-Z

      The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup gains a refreshed interior with a new instrument panel and a seven-inch high-definition display, Bluetooth streaming audio, and an additional USB port. Three new exterior have been added: Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Pearl Yellow), Laser Blu (Bright Metallic Blue), and Billet Argento (Billet Silver). Abarth and Turbo models are now available with a six-speed automatic transmission with reinforced clutch plates to handle the extra torque. A new limited production model called the 1957 Edition is new for the 2015 model year and is available in three exterior colors: Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green), and Celeste (light blue). The car also includes 16-inch wheels, roof and mirror caps painted in white, classic Fiat badges, a sport-tuned suspension, and two-tone marrone (brown) and avorio (ivory)-colored leather interior.

      UPDATE: A special-edition model called the 500 Ribelle will be available in limited numbers with a starting price of $18,245 including destination. This version of the cute 500 comes with some styling tweaks such as black headlight and taillight bezels, and black wheels with red caps. Inside, two-tone upholsteries in gray and black or red and black combinations are available.
      Read more in the Motor Trend news post here.

      UPDATE - April 2015: The Fiat 500 1957 Edition model is now available as a convertible and starts at $25,600 including destination. Like the 1957 Edition 500 hatch, the 500c 1957 Edition comes in three retro exterior colors, Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green), and Celeste (light blue). A sport-tuned suspension, retro Fiat badges, and 16-inch body-colored alloy wheels come standard. Leather upholstery comes standard and in a choice of Marrone (maroon) and Avorio (ivory). Read more in the Motor Trend news post here.

      The 2015 Fiat 500 is a front-drive two-door subcompact car available as a hatchback or a convertible. The two-door hatchback's retro styling is its most distinguishing features, while its customizability allows owners to design the car to their liking. An electric variant named the 500e has an estimated range of up to 87 miles and is powered by an electric motor with 111 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. Two other models—the 500L wagon and the 500X crossover—are not mechanically related to the 500 and is built on a longer and wider platform.

      Two four cylinders are available in the Fiat 500: a 1.4-liter with 101 hp and 98 lb-ft and a turbocharged version of the same engine putting out 135 hp and 150 lb-ft in the 500 Turbo, 157 hp and 183 lb-ft in the automatic-equipped Abarth, and 160 hp and 170 lb-ft in the manual Abarth. A five-speed manual is standard on all but the 500 hatch and Abarth variants while a six-speed automatic is optional except in the regular 500 convertible where it is the only available gearbox.

      Fuel economy is good in the non-turbo 500, with manual models achieving 31/40 mpg city/highway and 28/34 mpg with the automatic. Stepping up to the Turbo and Abarth models nets 28/34 mpg with the manual and 24/32 mpg with the automatic.

      Those seeking the best performance should consider the 500 Abarth, which offers performance-tuned suspension, the most powerful engine available in the Fiat lineup, larger brakes, optional 17-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires, and transmissions geared for sporty driving. As an entire package, the Abarth delivers great driving dynamics for its size when compared to the base 500 and 500 Turbo. Base and turbo models are better in the city, where it can squeeze through tight spaces; however, their lack of power means that drivers must constantly put the pedal to the metal or downshift multiple times to get the car going. When compared to competitors such as the more expensive Mini Hardtop, the 500 lineup still falls short in terms of performance due to its lack of power and athleticism.

      Fiat only offers a few convenience features in the 500 and some are part of packages that can push the price up significantly. Bluetooth is standard across the range while heated seats, a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, and a TomTom navigation system are optional features that require the selection of multiple packages. Passenger space is decent up front while the rear seats are cramped and are only good for short drives. Cargo volume is good in the hatch with up to 30.1 cubic feet while the convertible's trunk is a puny 5.4 cubic feet and can be expanded when the rear seats are folded. Those looking for a Fiat with more space for cargo and passengers should consider the 500L and the upcoming 500X, which offer seating for five, four doors, flexible interiors, and generous cargo capacity.

      The NHTSA gave the 2015 Fiat 500 hatchback a four-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars; convertible and Abarth variants have not been crash tested). In IIHS evaluations, the 2015 500 earned a good score in four categories and poor on the small overlap front test (good is the highest possible score).

      The 2015 Fiat 500 is ideal for urban dwellers looking for an attractive, retro-styled car that can fit anywhere and squeeze through tight spaces with ease. Its lack of power means that acceleration isn't one of its strong suits, but in a 2012 First Test review, we noted that even with the base models 101-hp engine, it did well as a city car. Abarth models, on the other hand, are more powerful, handle better and come with an aggressive exhaust note. However, in a comparison test against the Mini Cooper S, we said that the 500 Abarth wasn't a great all-around package particularly for a sporty car in the low- to mid-$20,000 range since it lacked the power, driving dynamics, and comfort one would expect for a car of that price. Additionally, all models have an awkward driving position and seats that lack support for spirited driving, making them feel less sporty. In a comparison test involving five quirky cars, the Fiat 500 placed fifth in part due to its "little-bitty trunk and vestigial rear seats" that made it one of the least practical vehicles in the group.

      Key Competitors

      Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/fiat/500/2015/

      You will also be interested:

      Fiat 500

      Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.

      0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.

      Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.

      Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.

      Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.

      Sours: https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/fiat/500/2015/overview/


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