fresh CAR TEST: #NewFiat500 Hits UK Streets
There’s a not bad old fashioned northern expression “if of which ain’t bruk… don’t fix of which” which Fiat are clearly unaware of – as here’s the 40% fresh Fiat 500, ready to order in Fiat showrooms across the UK at of which point.
Understandably, being the custodians of a VERY well-liked, iconic style, the Italian brand will be a tiramisu nervous about of which.
The remastered 500 we’ve known in addition to also loved at of which point since 2006 will be a car of which’s bucked the downturn trend of the tiny car (A segment) class – shifting 1,500,000 units worldwide in over 100 countries in its short eight year history (still a way off the 4,000,000 of the diminutive original 500, the fresh car trades off mind, although of which ran for longer in a different world!).
Putting of which into perspective domestically, the outgoing Fiat 500 sold 44,000 units here within the UK last year alone – with the next best (in addition to also both jolly not bad) competitors, Hyundai’s i10 in addition to also VW’s UP! selling 25,030 in addition to also 22,461 respectively. Impressive in addition to also hugely dominant stuff, right?
So, having been the segment leader since 2009 in addition to also shifting so many Fiat 500s – mainly to fashion-conscious, urban freewheeling ladies in addition to also an increasingly young audience – of which’s completely natural for Fiat to be a tad nervous about their bella bambino brand.
They say: “We were very conscious not to mess up what will be clearly a winning formula. in addition to also we’ve certainly applied the ‘less will be more’ philosophy to the re-vamped #NewFiat500 type. of which will be much more about the evolution of an icon, not revolution. What we’ve done will be speak to our core audience in addition to also see what of which will be they wanted coming from the fresh car; in addition to also of which will be continuation of great design – inside in addition to also out – more safety in addition to also quality infotainment. in addition to also of which will be what we’ve given our buyers with the fresh car.”
So, what’s fresh pussy cat?
The adjustments (all 1,900 of them) come in a range of forms:
1. Cosmetic – having a fresh set of daytime-running headlights, fresh rear bumper design in addition to also rear lights, two fresh alloy designs (adding to the eight existing), two fresh colours; Glam Coral & Avantgarde Bordeaux (generating 13 in total at of which point!) in addition to also additional Indoor colours for dashes in addition to also seating etc.
2. Techy – having a brand fresh Infotainment all 5-inch system featuring a TomTom nav, BT in addition to also all you’d expect via the Uconnect in addition to also corresponding mobile App set-up (& having a BeatsAudio system to follow on imminently).
3. Safety – with bigger, better brakes in addition to also 20% more pedestrian crash safety.
4. Environmental engines – with improved upon CO2 emissions coming from the existing range of 1.2 69HP, 0.9 85HP & 105HP TwinAir turbo, 1.2 69HP Eco in addition to also forthcoming 1.3 diesel engines.
5. Customisation – there’s at of which point an even greater myriad of customisation options, including the “second skin” vinyl wrap programs in Geometric, Scottie, Comic, Shades & Camouflage – adding yet another dimension to the already wide style range of Pop (coming from £10,890), Popstar (coming from £11,765) in addition to also Lounge (coming from £12,640): 13 colours, 10 combinations in addition to also six second skins in all! Oh, in addition to also then there’s the three different roof colours for the convertible! Plus the range of 100+ accessories… giving a bewildering in addition to also exciting array of customisations, to help owners express their 500’s personality.
Who’s going to be buying of which?
Ladies mainly, obvs!
in addition to also increasingly younger ones too, as the finance offers are very competitive, with the entry-level Pop starting at £139 PCM having a £1,500 deposit in addition to also range-topping Lounge types just £169PCM with the same lay down.
Also, Fiat have teamed up with Zurich Insurance in addition to also Blackbox to offer a special insurance arrangement, aimed squarely at helping the 18+ age group get behind the wheel of a fresh 500. So we can expect of which year’s university hall car parks to be loaded with the fresh Fiat 500, in all its plethora of formats.
Women (mainly 25-35 we are informed) still represent a huge proportion of the Fiat 500 audience – hence the fresh brand ambassador of Ella Eyre – “young, stylish in addition to also extremely talented”– who will be re-mastering the classic iconic ‘Best of My Love’ track for Fiat 500 TV advertisements, in addition to also the equally aspirational existing Fiat ambassador, the lovely Pixie Lott (pictured here with Road Editor, Phil Royle!).
What’s the fresh 500 like?
First impressions very much reflect the “true legends don’t grow old: they change” mantra. The look of the fresh 500 will be very similar to the old style. in addition to also Fiat have not made the mistake of generating the pocket sized 500 any bigger, which must have been tempting.
In truth, of which’s the rear lights in addition to also fresh bumper of which are most noticeable – beyond the some utterly awesome (Geometric in addition to also Camo) in addition to also some questionable (Comic yellow & black, Indian taxi style!) second skins, which are very effective.
Personally, we’re not sold on the two fresh colours either. Both Glam Coral & Avantgarde Bordeaux look better as nail polish in our view. although what do I know…? I’m a bloke! All the women I asked loved them both… so I’ll just shut up on colour. God knows, I own two black cars!
The Indoor – as with the old 500 – will be a real hit though, especially the range-topping Lounge versions, like the brown ivory-coral chequered fabric units we had on our test type (incidentally, Lounge will be also available having a leather seat option, in four colours), which are also fantastically comfy. of which’s a funky, fresh, light, airy in addition to also perfectly spacious space to enjoy the drive coming from. in addition to also of which feels pretty luxurious too, for such a tiny car.
The Infotainment will be also going to be very well-liked we’d say – with the only real negative being the all 5-inch touchscreen TomTom sat nav (which works a treat) having the old-style (more familiar?) graphics, not the fresh, more modern look, feel in addition to also functionality. although of which’s a minor gripe.
The Lounge style we tested also featured an excellent Uconnect DAB radio, although the base system (with USB in addition to also AUX ports in addition to also steering wheel controls) will be also genuinely stylish, easy to use in addition to also feels exclusive (despite the old school navigation graphics).
Better still will be the on-board 7-inch TFT digital display which will be blooming marvellous in addition to also will impress even the most cynical buyer. of which neat system clearly displays speed, engine revs, coolant temp, fuel gauge in addition to also turbo boost pressure (on TwinAirs), or an Eco index, as well as having a gear shift indicator, trip computer, navigation information, time, temperature in addition to also parking sensors. of which’s genuinely superbly done – stylishly presenting a huge amount of information with perfect functionality in addition to also customisation – in addition to also we loved of which, as we are confident fresh 500 buyers will.
in addition to also to drive…?
We only got to sample the range-topping in addition to also hugely well-liked 105HP turbocharged two-pot TwinAir engine – which was both torquey in addition to also economical in one neat, great-sounding package.
of which gives a not bad sensation of being fast, even if you’re not actually going of which quick in reality – saving on speeding tickets, whilst generating perfectly not bad progress I guess.
For us, the steering will be a tad light in addition to also vague to genuinely enjoy the grippy little chassis, although then again, of which works to its favour within the city traffic in addition to also car parks, where the 500 will no doubt spend most of its working life – not blasting down a b-road.
Same will be true for the suspension – set for comfort, not speed, which will be perfectly fine in addition to also expected.
What will be noticeably improved upon are the brakes – with bigger discs in addition to also upgrades to the calipers being added to the list of improvements – which genuinely do feel strong, giving a not bad sense of confidence to the fresh 500’s driving experience.
In conclusion therefore…
Borsalino Hats off to a nervous Fiat Group!
within the Fiat 500 they have a brand of which’s shifting in huge numbers in addition to also shouldn’t be messed with, yet they’ve bravely taken the opportunity to keep of which moving with the demands of its demographic in addition to also given of which a subtle, stylish in addition to also effective makeover inside in addition to also out in addition to also offered up the sort of tech people expect in a car of its class – all of which should help of which stay on top of its marketplace.
Best of all the 500 remains a fun car to drive, a special feeling car to be in in addition to also an interesting, exciting car to own – customised to meet the individual’s needs with its myriad of optional extras – in addition to also of which’s why of which’s been so well-liked, in addition to also we think, will continue to be so well-liked for many moons to come.
Oh, in addition to also finally (saving what we see as the best ’til last)… will there be an Abarth type?
Yes. In 2016!
in addition to also coming from an entirely male POV, we very much look forward to testing of which… the only 500 squarely aimed at blokes!
Meantime, do check out our Facebook page for more images on the fresh Fiat 500 UK launch.