Absolutely. Our first experience with the Fiat 500 has left us desperately wanting a few more miles behind the wheel. Fiat has always been at its best when channelling its creativity and engineering skills into the smallest of cars – think 1937 Topolino, the 600 of 1955, the 500 of 1957 and the Mk1 Panda – and the 500 proves that Turin has lost none of its small car magic. It’s quite brilliant, a car influenced by the nostalgic charm of the past but still perfectly judged for the 21st century’s high-profile premium supermini sector.

Fiat knew just who to get in to ensure that the 500 stayed true to the star of the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It called on former head of Ferrari design Frank Stephenson to hone the 500’s design for production. There’s no one better out there for the job – Stephenson designed the Mini for BMW, after all.

The critter uses Panda architecture. Drivetrains range from a 75bhp 1.3-litre turbodiesel w/54mpg [US] to a 100bhp 1.4-litre “gas-guzzler” w/44mpg [US]. Euro guesstimates price it at $12,000 landed in the States.

Now, if they’d only make a turbodiesel mini pickup for me.

  1. Thomas says:

    Personally, I don’t like cars the size of tuna cans. When you do a lot of driving on freeways with SUVs doing 80, you want to be in something more substantial than a golf cart. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for pee-pee mobiles (I drove a VW bug for years). However, if given a choice between two cars of equal gas mileage and power I’ll take the bigger one most of the time. Thus, I would prefer they made a sedan that got 50 mpg rather than a small car.

    50-300-300. That’s the magic combination IMO. 50 MPG/300 horsepower/300 mile range. If said car were also a four seater it would sell like hotcakes.

  2. Bill says:

    ABARTH!!! loud pipes save lives!

  3. Joe says:

    The USA and Europe have different safety standards controlled by local legislation. The Fiat 500 achieves the highest safety standards here, that’s a EuroNCAP rating of five stars, and the engines are so clean that they meet future Euro 5 emission standards.

    This really is ‘driving intelligence’! I agree ithe 500 wouldn’t suit the USA highways system where you travel huge distances each day-but it does suit every city, town and neighbourhood, in fact anywhere that people live rather than places they just drive through.

  4. iGlobalWarmer says:

    #31 – you got it for the minimums.

  5. moss says:

    28 – Frank – given the choice between current info or being stuck in the past, you are consistent, anyway.

  6. moss says:

    33 – if Frank ever clicked through and read the whole article, he would have known about the 5 Star Rating. Doesn’t mean he would know what it meant.

  7. JoaoPT says:

    Dunno about the pickup, never seen one, but these old FIAT 600 I still remember seeing when I was a kid…
    I would kill for one like the one here:

  8. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    Minor correction:

    #3 – venom monger

    “the Yugo, which were actually Fiats built in Yogoslavia.”

    Well, no. They were Yugos built in Yugoslavia. When Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino – but Fix It Again, Tony was always funnier) ceased production of the 127/128, they sold all the tooling for the car to Zavasta of Yugoslavia, with whom Fiat has a long relationship. They sold that model in the US as the ‘Yugo.’

    Jokes of the time:
    Q: How do you double a Yugo’s value?
    A: Fill the gas tank.

    Q: Why do Yugos have heated rear windows?
    A: To keep your hands warm while you’re pushing.

    * * * * * * *

    #18 – Jonathan Fox

    “VW own Audi, Skoda and SEAT”

    You forgot Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley.

  9. BubbaRay says:

    #37, JoaoPT, what a great link, thanks!! 🙂

    In other news, Civic Hybrid Owner Files Lawsuit Against Honda For False Mileage Claims:


  10. Eideard says:

    Joao – you make me too nostalgic, bro. First racing club I belonged to, we had one dude with a Multipla set up with all the Abarth goodies. One of the ex-hot rod guys in the club built him some heavy duty sway bars [or whatever] that kept the critter from toppling over when corners got in the way.

    But, it would cook.

    Incidentally, we have a local couple readying to do the Carrera Panamerica in a Fiat 600 Abarth!


  11. phil_pe says:

    and for the uneducated person who didn’t know anything about Fiat, they are independent and they also own Alfa Romeo (soon, from 2009 in the USA) as well as Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia – and New Holland construction equipment, tractors and Iveco trucks.

  12. Frank IBC says:

    Not sure what your point is, Moss, other than that you seem to enjoy being a childish prick.

  13. Scott Tobkes says:

    I don’t care how many airbags it has, I would hate to come up against a Hummer.

  14. moss says:

    42 – I get bored by ignorant pricks.

  15. Lynn says:

    My neighbor has an old 70’s FIAT that he takes to shows – evidently there’s a rabid collector’s market. He can rarely get it running, not unlike the experience of my best friend back in 1982 who had a “Fix It Again Tony.” I took a short trip with her and learned the colors of all the engine fluids by looking at what was running out of the car. As a former Geo Metro owner and current Aveo owner, I do think it’s just as cute as a bug’s ear. Just look out for rowdy college kids carrying it away and putting it in their dorm room.

  16. testo says:

    The start Fiat 500 car with 100 HP max. But until now they have a new one with 160 HP. And there is also a 200 HP competiton one which is in Europe not allowed to use on roads.

  17. Capm Woody says:

    I’ve had many Fiats over the years and all have been reliable. The last one, a 1980 131 was approaching 250,000 miles and still running great when some bimbo teenager in mommy’s mini van crashed into me. That was about three years ago. I drive an Alfa now but would love to see the new 500 here in the US. Most people trashing Fiats are know-it-alls who never even owned one.


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