LEADING EDGE | Westcon
FIAT 500; Astylish trend
I gave it to my daughter to drive and she thoroughly enjoyed it even if she had to do some twisting and turning to get her toddler fixed into her baby seat in the back. It is if the little 500 brings out the joyful child in you and I think that is part of its popularity.
Little has changed from the model of years gone by as you can easily recognise this Fiat as a 500. From being introduced as a hatchback there are now the sexy looking convertible and the “Mini Ferrari” the Abarth that can be had. It is also the only retro car that has not grown in size like the Mini.
I mentioned the “old style noise from the engine and that is because not much has changed under the bonnet. The engine line-up of the New 500 includes a 0.9 TwinAir engine (65KW or 77KW), In particular, the two-cylinder engines boast record-breaking performance: 90 g/km for the 65 KW engine, 99 for the 77KW. The New 500 fits brilliant with fuel-efficient engines which are even more environment-friendly, as demonstrated by the Euro 6 type-approval. Combined with five or six speed mechanical gearboxes or a Dualogic robotised transmission, the engines line-up available at launch include , the Twin Air 65KW or 77 KW.
In short, the latest arrival is even more focused on sustainable future mobility. with a 5 speed manual gearbox or as an option you may have the six speed automatic. The Fiat will keep up with traffic as long there is no hills to slow it down. If you have limited baggage and are a spirited person you can take the 500 on road trips, especially the convertible with its rag top. The Fiat 500 is popular if you go by how many people rent them from car hire companies.
The Fiat 500 is available in two versions (tin top and convertible), the New 500 will have three trim levels at launch: Pop, Popstar and Lounge. The first includes seven airbags, Uconnect Radio 5” with six speakers, AUX-IN and USB ports, and controls on the steering wheel and LED daytime running lights as standard equipment. The Popstar version adds automatic climate control system. The New 500 Lounge version is even richer featuring additional sophisticated details, like a panoramic glass sunroof, 15” alloy rims, chrome-plated front grille, Uconnect Radio 5” LIVE touchscreen infotainment system and leather steering wheels with controls allowing to integrate a smartphone, use many apps on the onboard system and stay connected.
The passenger compartment is still enveloping, protective and packed with small details, full of references to the past re-interpreted in a modern key and embellished with exclusive materials. In this perspective, the buttons and dome over the dashboard are redesigned, like the steering wheel: today, the controls are more versatile and complete and the chrome-plated edging adds a precious touch. More in detail, the passenger compartment of the New 500 is the epitome of complete, modern, ergonomic equipment and design inspired by the classic 500.
The steering column is characterised by concentric circle analogue instruments which provide all the necessary information to the driver at a glance: the speed is shown on the outer rim and the odometer is placed underneath. The on-board computer information, with the digital fuel gauge and coolant thermometer, appears in the middle.
New design alloy rims – 15” and 16”, also diamond-finished – are also available. The colour palette features 13 body paints (seven pastel, one three-coat and five metallised), featuring the new Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy. Two striking black-yellow and black-red variants are also available in combination with 'Second Skin', an exclusive customisation offered by the New 500 to satisfy the most different moods and creative needs. Everyone can tailor the 500 they want and dress it with ever new looks.
The Fiat 500 is small, trendy, and impractical for anything other than short runs with one or two persons or for pure enjoyment and driving pleasure. It is nippy, fast relatively comfortable and no, not as fuel efficient as you thought it should be. It has got style and is a cure for depression if you don’t mind the price starting at R179 900 for the 0.9 TwinAir Pop to R273 900 for the 500C 0.9 TwinAir lounge auto.