What Car? test fleet: Bye-bye BMW - Fiat 500C

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Fiat 500C
1.3 Multijet Lounge
List price £14,815
Target Price £14,815
Run by Will Nightingale
Tested for Four months/5580 miles

Last month my Fiat met one of its ancestors – an original 500. The owner of the lovely 1972 model is Haymarket Magazines' managing director, Kevin Costello, and as much as I love the retro looks of my 500C, I have to admit his classic has even more charm.

Then name's the same, but…
The new 500 obviously borrowed the original's basic design, but the two cars don't have much else in common. Take size, for instance – the new 500 is huge by comparison. It's roughly a fifth longer and wider, which gives it a big advantage when carrying more than one passenger or lots of luggage.

It isn't half as easy to park, though, and not only because of its chunkier dimensions. You might think that standard-fit rear parking sensors are superfluous on a car barely 3.5 metres long, but because of the 500C's tiny rear window, I find them useful.

Then there's the engine. The original car was called the '500' because it had a 500cc petrol engine. Mine has a 1300cc diesel engine that allows it to happily cruise at the motorway speed limit.

So, while there's something about a classic car that modern, retro versions can't quite recreate, I reckon my 500C has a lot of the original model's charm, without its 'classic' drawbacks.

What Car? says

What Car? test fleet: Bye-bye BMW - Our cars update

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