Fiat 500 1.3 Multijet Lounge, test (I)
This week we tested for you the Fiat 500, one of the most chic urban market. Our test unit was equipped with the new 1.3 Multijet turbodiesel-2 engine with 95 hp and start-stop system Stop&Start. This engine is an evolution of the previous 1.3 Multijet 90 hp. The finish of the vehicle we tested is the Lounge, a stop range to which the manufacturer has added abundant extras, as you can already see in the cover image.
My partner David proved time the Fiat Abarth 500 and 500C ago, so it's time to offer a test of one of the best-selling versions in Europe and Spain. Since the launch of the Fiat 500 in 2008 and have sold more than 200,000 units, which shows the popularity of this urban with retro touches. Although very small, it is a niche market in semi-premium which puts it competing with institutions such as the BMW Mini.
The history of the Fiat 500 begins with its first generation, launched in ... 1936. This car was one of the smallest of his time, and started the engine of Mussolini's Italy. Despite good sales, 520,000 units produced until 1955 and priced at only 5,000 liras, Italy failed to reach the automotive revolution until 1957. Then was released Nuova 500, whose base engineering and design was the Fiat 600 (also known in Spain as Seat 600).
He Fiat 500 guessed a revolution in Italy in the late 50. With a more healthy economy, many Italians could afford their first car. Measuring only three meters long, he was able to accommodate four adults and their twin engine drove the rear wheels. Its 479 cc barely developed 13 hp, but an improved version with 499 cc and 21.5 hp delivered at the end of its commercial life. Its simple design is one of the stylistic icons of the last century, friendly classic still desired today.
It is precisely the current taste for retro and success of BMW Mini two major factors that led to the Italian manufacturer to launch in 2007 a new Fiat 500, with obvious emotional ties to small utility 50s, but with chic touch and premium. Which means saying goodbye to the segment of low cost, and welcome to thousands of customers looking for a different urban, with higher quality and in a way a reflection of his personality thanks to the enormous possibilities of customization offered as standard.
Modern with a retro touch
We already know for several years, but whenever we passed one we tend to turn their heads. It's a car that attracts attention, and if, as in the case of our unit comes equipped with 16-inch wheels and bands of white vinyl in hood and roof. The front is dominated by a calender which highlights the chrome bar that frames the emblem of Fiat. Two round headlights flank it in an identical arrangement to 500 of half a century.
It's a car relatively high and very short, it uses the platform of the Fiat Panda. The hood is therefore very short, and has very little front overhang. Its side profile is slightly "I Ahuevo" but has lots of glass area. Two large doors with chrome frame and a chrome also mirrors (optional) add a touch of quality in a package that at all disappoint. And we already behind in my opinion a great example of a design made with good taste, as only the Italians know.
First, we must mention the slight hump in the trunk. It would not be necessary, but it is a nod to its predecessor that is very well. The handle of the tailgate is in another chrome band. The optics are small but very coquettish, and attention to detail is evident in a small spoiler, a chrome tailpipe and again, another chrome strip on the lower bumper. Chrome seems the party, but we must recognize that all is recharged or excessive.
Impressions of the interior
A space very well used
The new Fiat 500 measures only 3.55 meters long and 1.62 meters wide, and nevertheless It has an inner surprisingly large. I sit in the driver's seat wrapped in a mixed upholstery leather / fabric and the first thing I notice is that although the stool is hard, the back is too soft and will slaughter me on long trips. We tend to think that is a very small car, but with my almost 1.85 meters I had no problem finding my living space and adjust length of the main seat.
Nevertheless, my right knee was resting on the center console, although not uncomfortable principle, it is surprising how bulky console at the bottom. The space between the front occupants is small and the door is much closer to us than in other cars. I have a lot of free headroom, even taller people would go perfectly in the small Fiat. One of the drawbacks of the driving game in the pedal assembly and the foot area.
The pedals are slightly offset to the right and are close together. If we add a very long journey for the clutch, left foot will be constantly near the footrest and pedal cost us properly. Returning to review the cockpit, let sit quite high, more than in most SUVs vehicles that are not. The seat is height adjustable and is reasonably wide as to support and sidewalk, but people will travel fair bulky space.
The headroom is ample, We do not play head on the ceiling unless we truly high. Interestingly, many small cars usually offer more space in this much higher level than cars, including sedans or SUVs. The steering wheel is adjustable in height but not in depth. The driving position does not stop being unnatural, but taller drivers will miss being able to attract to us the steering wheel.
The dashboard of the Fiat 500 is embedded in the retro spirit of the car, with a sleek glossy hard plastic band that crosses from one side to another. The Cinquecento was only a clock on the dashboard, and the concept has been skilfully transferred to modern vehicle, which brings in a single sphere tachometer, speedometer, onboard computer and fuel gauge. Concentric circles are explaining to packaging.
The center console is large, and we can trace the family tree to the Fiat Panda easily. The top has two aerators, and stereo. In the middle are the climate controls, very easy to use, besides the "City" button, which causes the steering is as soft as custard (we'll talk later about it). Along with the shift lever are the actuators of windows, which have no function up or down with a touch for any passenger.
The position of the gear lever, which is wrapped in leather, it is very comfortable to drive, it is very handy and almost not to hand off the steering wheel. However, this position makes the bottom of the center console is voluminous and our knee collision with it. Next to the handbrake there is room for two bottles of water and we can find the USB auxiliary input for the stereo, integrated into the infotainment system Blue&Me.
This gap is low, but allows us to leave the purse or mobile. Next to the steering wheel on the left side, there is a gap in the fit to leave keys or mobile dashboard. The construction quality is good for the segment we talked about. The top of the dashboard is covered with a soft plastic nice touch, but the rest of the interior is hard plastic of good shots, except the doors, some of which are upholstered with leather look.
If we find a loose finish something you have to look at the area handbrake or small hollow door pockets, with some rough to the touch border. A detail on the usability in the driving position has to do with the glove, or should say no glove. Instead of the typical door is simply a space under the dashboard. It is smaller than other glove, but leaves its contents more visible and exposed.
The rear seats of the Fiat 500: surprise
The Fiat 500 Homologous four seats, for three people would too just in the back seat. The two rear seats are easily accessible and are surprisingly spacious. His appearance is somewhat spartan and its occupants do not have holes to leave anything except typical bags behind the front seats, but inexplicably only after the right seat. What has surprised me is the space for legs, almost unthinkable in such a seemingly small but well used car.
With the driver's seat adjusted for my height, I myself do not hit the knees if I sit in the back seat. No seats are comfortable for long trips because they are very hard and have no adjustment, but to bring people in urban areas perform their function fully. If I lean to the side I play with my head on the roof, so better to travel facing forward. Rear windows can be opened wedge, letting some air to the occupants.
A discreet trunk
The trunk of Fiat 500 This is how we can assume given its non-existent rear overhang, quite small. They are only 185 liters of capacity, but regular shapes, allowing carry the luggage of a couple of people without problems. The height of the loading mouth round average (just over 60 centimeters), but there is a good edge from it to the boot floor, if we want to get bulky or heavy objects will cost us some work.
One drawback is that the trunk does not have the typical courtesy light. If we are in the garage or in a dark place, we must be guided by touch or failing light of our mobile phone. The boot folding down the rear seats has not been published by Fiat. Doubling these seats a planar load is not obtained. Under the boot floor we have a spare wheel type cookie and tools necessary to install in case of puncture.
Blue bag pictures contains emergency triangles.
Given the small size Fiat 500, visibility helps us move further city. The mirrors are very large and the fact that the interior is electrochromic helps avoid annoying glare of the night preceding cars. Although from the driver's seat we not see where the hood ends, easily intuited. Rear visibility is generally good, although the C-pillar is somewhat bulky and uncomfortable in some embodiments or the park.
One thing to keep in mind is that If we do not occupants in the rear seats, it folded its headrest. Although they are original and beautiful, they hinder the rear view if they are raised because the rear window is relatively small. Tomorrow we will publish the second part of the test, where we will discuss dynamic behavior, which was a pleasant surprise, both in urban areas and those twisty roads that we love. Stay tuned.
Fiat 500 1.3 Multijet Lounge, test (II)
Fiat 500 1.3 Multijet Lounge, test (III)
Fiat 500C, test (I)
Fiat 500C, test (II)
Fiat 500C, test (III)
Abarth 500, tested (I)
Abarth 500 proof (II)
Abarth 500 proof (III)
Abarth 500C, Touchdown
Fiat 500 1.3 Multijet Lounge, Safe
Images: Sergio Álvarez
In Diariomotor: Fiat 500 and 500C updates with a new 1.3-2 Mjet 95 hp