This is our 2nd 500. An Abarth, we had a 1.2 Sport before (reviewed here 18/01/09). We got well over 50% of the purchase price back after 4 years, a small discount on the A500 and an interest free deal. OK, the boring stuff done. What's it like? Fantastic! I find myself just going for drives for fun, taking the long way home etc.
The interior is a nice step up, with a thicker leather steering wheel and upgraded trim. The optional leather seats are superb, and equipment levels are high; AC, reverse parking sensors, fog lights, auto dipping, mirror, the excellent Blue and Me system, 7 airbags, heated mirrors and all the usual 500 trimmings. Styling is spot on, the A500 looks like an angry mouse on steroids. We have the standard 16 inch alloys, and the ride is just fine. I don't know why so many reviews say it rides harshly.
In normal mode it feels a bit strangled and the steering is light. In sport mode it feels like a bomb has gone off under the bonnet. It can be manic, but it's best feature is the really torquey low down pull. The sound is amazing, with snarls, pops and bangs.
It has loads of grip and corners accurately and stays flat. We are only just over 1k miles in, but are seeing 32mpg mixed(mainly urban) and 42mpg on a run, both with spirited driving.
In summary this is just a great, practical, fun and pretty rare car. It puts a smile on your face every time you drive it, and turns routine journeys in events! Highly recommended.
We have just replaced a 500 Twinair with an Abarth. The TA was writtebn off in a big accident and we walked away and so we wanted another car that was quicker and equally safe. So it was an easy decision!
The interior is a definate step up, the seats are superb, I would have liked auto climate control, instead of manual air con, but we had to buy what was avaliable following the accident.
Abarths are rare, we have seen none on the road in six weeks! and this adds to the exclusivity tghat Mini & DS3 drivers can never have. This will help the resale price too.
You do get noticed, ours is Legends Blue with 17" white petal wheels, stripes and mirrors and it really stands out, some love the colour, some don't. I think it looks fantastic.
The ride quaility has been critisised, but I really think its fine, well controlled, not too bouncy. You do have to remember this is a small City Car with a powerful engine, its never going to be like a limo!
The Italian are very good at making small cars with a bit extra sonething thrown in.
Its a shame that What car and other magazines won't admit it
We bought a 500 Twinair Lounge to replace an elderly Alfa 147. We wanted something cheap to run before upgrading in a year or two.
It was brilliant and did everything expected of it.
Comofortable, even on the longer journeys from Herts to a short holiday in the Lake District, where we handled the Hardnott and Rynose Passes with ease and a big grin on our faces!
What car? are totally wrong to give this little gem 3 stars and the boring box, the VW UP! 5 stars
Unfortunately for us a Toyota Auris pulled out on us at a junction and we T-Boned it at 40 MPH
Our little Twinny was a write off, but we walked away.
Looking after us until the end.
We had no hesitation in going for another 500 and this time we managed to get the money together to get an Abarth and that is even better than the TA!
This is not specific to the 500. It applies as well to the New Panda, the New Punto and a number of other cars. WHATCAR has recently come up with a very useful tool which indicates real life mpg for a specific models, driving conditions and style. Using this tool the FIAT 500 1.2 returns about 40 mpg and the Panda with the 1.3 diesel engine returns about 60mpg. I do about 12000 miles a year, 25 to 33% of which in town and i drive with economy in mind. So far, great. The confusing bit comes when you read the WHATCAR reviews for the Panda and 500. There the 500 1.2 Pop is recommended over the 1.3 diesel Pop, on the grounds of more financial sense. The initial outlay is around £2300 extra for the diesel. With 50% better fuel economy, £2300 will be recovered within a reasonable period of time, won't it? Plus the diesel engine provides better real world performance over the 1.2 petrol. I simply fail to see the logic behind the recommendation, unless i miss something. I believe WHATCAR's response would be of interest to many readers. Thanks
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