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Old 14th August 2013, 19:36   #1
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Talking Baby Import: My Fiat 500

Been wanting to post a review of my Fiat 500 for a long time now, finally found some time off for this so here goes.
The car had two variants when it was on sale in India, namely Sport and Lounge. The two are the exact same price but have few differences. The differences being The Sport has a spoiler, black leather seats and sporty alloys whereas the Lounge has a glass sun roof, Designer fabric seats and multiple spoke alloys. We have the lounge variant.
We bought the Fiat 500 as a used car in July 2011. The previous owner had done a little more than 6,000km in the car. Now the car has done almost 18,500km.

BUYING:-
The car was never actually a planned buy, it was at the Toyota used car dealership which is very close to home. I had noticed the car on a Saturday evening when passing by the dealership, so we decided to check it out the next day. We went to the dealership around 11 in the morning and it was a instant hit with my mom the moment she saw it. Women love cute cars. Took this pic when we went to the dealership:

Baby Import: My Fiat 500-sp_a0065.jpg

We took it for a test drive and everyone liked it and just as we returned to the dealership, there were a couple of more people waiting eagerly to check out the 500. Since, there was never actually a plan to buy the car we just had a few words with the dealer and left. Around 3 in the evening the dealer calls and tells me that, he had received a offer of 12 lakhs from someone else. I told him that Iíd call back in a few minutes and informed my family about this. My brother who is also car crazy like me then decided, why not we buy the car since the best car at home was a 2002 C180, so after a lot of deliberation we decided to offer 12.2 lakhs and called the dealer up, but he told the car had been sold. It was kind of expected as we called him only around 6.
The next day we got a call from the dealer that the buyer had backed off and if we were still interested in getting the car. We were ready if it was 12 and by the following day all the formalities were completed and the car was in our hands.

ABOUT THE CAR:-
EXTERIOR:-
It is a properly good looking car this, canít have any real complaints about it from any angle. Fiat pulled off a master class with this one. Good use of chrome and believe me there is a lot of chrome on this car. A bit difficult to maintain it as I live near the seaside but itís well worth it. It's well put together.

INTERIOR:-
The quality of materials used inside the car is top class. The plastic is off very high quality unlike many others manufactured in India. There is no odd panel gaps inside, the buttons and switches feel real nice. Steering is very cofortable to hold. Gear lever is nice and has that cool old school look to it. With the sunroof on this variant, the car has a nice airy feel to it, though it gets hot rather quickly when left in the sun.

PERFORMANCE:-
The 1.3litre MultiJet 75hp diesel unit does it's duty in this car. Gives exceptionally good fuel efficiency. The engine is essentially the same as in the Punto. But since the car is much lighter it pulls really well. It is eager and responsive right the way up to its 4500rpm redline. With only 960 kg to haul around, thereís a noticeable swell in power once the tiny turbo comes alive. The car never feels slow, even in fifth at highway speeds; it never feels breathless and always feels like it has more to give.

RIDE AND HANDLING:-
Being a diesel with a manual tranny, it returns a pretty good fuel efficiency of 17-18kmpl. It is very driver oriented and fun to drive. Compared to many diesel hatches in India, this one is very quiet and you can only hear the engine noise creep in as you go higher up the rev-counter, but in stop-go traffic there is hardly any engine noise coming in. The rear seats are quite good for a two door as long as it's within city driving as there is no room to stretch your legs but otherwise 4 people can comfortably fit into the car. It is quite easy to use the car inside Chennai considering its size. The car has a unique feature called city drive which makes the steering super soft, itís a dream in traffic. On highway mode, the steering is comparatively more firm but even then it is still softer than our Nissan Micra. But, the car has its problems like a slightly hard suspension which is nothing to complain about and a comparatively low ride height.

USAGE:-
The car is used pretty much daily by us. It's size is a boon when navigating around the city. Only been on a long distance trip to Bangalore once in this car, and it handled it's own very well. I get asked a lot of questions about the car from others while waiting in signals, etc. Which is quite cool.

THE GOOD:-
1. Cute looks.
2. Chrome galore.
3. Very good build and plastic quality.
4. Comfy seats.
5. City/Highway driving modes.
6. Very good fuel efficiency

THE BAD:-
1. Low ride height.
2. Spare parts & accessories very hard to come by.
3. Nothing else really

Here are some pics of the Beauty:-
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-1.jpg

Baby Import: My Fiat 500-2.jpg

Baby Import: My Fiat 500-4.jpg

With all the lights on:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-3.jpg

The 15Ē alloys:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-5.jpg

The Interior:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-6.jpg

The Seats:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-9.jpg

The Company that designed and manufactured the seats (Owned by NIKE apparently):
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-10.jpg

The button to the left is what changes the steering mode from City to highway:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-12.jpg

The Lovely dash:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-7.jpg

The Dash with the lights on and the car is in City mode:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-8.jpg

The AC controls:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-11.jpg

MAINTENANCE:-
The car was all fine until the time for the first service came round, sadly the car was never launched in Chennai, so the Fiat service centre hardly had any experience with the car. I remember when I first turned up with the car to the service centre, all the employees were checking out the car. Luckily, the service crew came through just fine with the car.
After a few months the car had a small issue(thatís what I thought at first) wherein the music system wouldnít turn on and would instead ask for a 4-digit pin code. We took it to Fiat who said, weíd have been given the code when we had bought the car, so we tried contacting the dealership for the previous owners info, but the previous owners too didnít have the code. We asked the local Fiat dealership if they could rectify this and they said theyíd do it. A few months passed and there was no response so we called and they said they would need all the documents of the car and would need to get the code from Austria as they could not do it here. A few more months passed by and they said the same thing over and over again that they were waiting for a reply from the Fiat head office. Almost 9 months had passed since the speaker produced a sound so we gave up and had the system replaced with a Pioneer one which doesnít go with the car interiors at all.
Since Fiat separated from Tata, the service centres seem to have zero clue of the car called Fiat 500. Luckily, thanks to team-bhp I found a fellow team bhpian who is a very good auto mechanic and runs his own garage. Since then the car maintenance has become a whole lot easier.

MODIFICATIONS:-
Had a few accessories fitted onto the car to make it stand out as there are to my knowledge three other Fiat 500s in Chennai out of which 2 are also white. All the accessories had to be sourced from UK as the Fiat dealerships in Chennai and Bangalore donít seem to have any accessories with them and canít be bothered to contact any other dealer.
Some of the modifications Iíve done are:
1. Pioneer head unit
2. Italian stripes
3. Italian badge near the ORVM
4. Red colour key cover
5. The very important Team-BHP stickers(on both number plates)

Some more pics:
View through IRVM:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-16.jpg

Sunroof closed:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-14.jpg

Sunroof Open:
Baby Import: My Fiat 500-15.jpg

Last edited by BraveArc : 19th August 2013 at 16:10.
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Old 14th August 2013, 19:47   #2
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Beautiful car this. My friend had rented the Sport petrol version when we were in the UK some years ago and we had a bit of fun in it.

A little later my wife and I went on a holiday to Ireland and we had rented the same petrol powered vehicle.

Very pretty little car and a head turner wherever we went. However it does not have much punch in terms of engine power which is a bit of a let down really.

All said, it was great fun to drive and very comfortable indeed, to use.

The only sad thing is that it is really expensive in India which puts it well out of reach for everyone except the really well heeled blokes.
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Old 14th August 2013, 19:48   #3
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Very nice car indeed! Congratulations. I really like these little Fiats. I've owned the original 500 and I would say this is one of the few cases I really like the new retro look model. It drives well too!

Enjoy

Jeroen
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Old 14th August 2013, 21:11   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Very nice car indeed! Congratulations. I really like these little Fiats. I've owned the original 500 and I would say this is one of the few cases I really like the new retro look model. It drives well too!

Enjoy

Jeroen
I agree. I don't like the new Beetle or new Mini - the Mini in particular is disliked by many English people for its looks alone, the Beetle perceived as a hairdresser's car. The little Fiat is very popular in the UK and rightly so, in my opinion. There are some beautiful pastel shades, the green in particular, which are very different from other makers offerings.
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Old 14th August 2013, 21:44   #5
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Default re: Baby Import: My Fiat 500

Congrats on the Cute Bug.
Btw AFAIK its 75hp and not 90,Someone correct me if i am wrong.

Last edited by akshay4587 : 14th August 2013 at 21:46.
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Old 14th August 2013, 22:19   #6
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Default re: Baby Import: My Fiat 500

That pioneer head unit sticks out like a sore thumb. Could you not have gotten the code thing sorted out by let's say contacting a fiat dealership in UK? The car is as beautiful as ever. Wish it was more affordable though.
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Old 14th August 2013, 23:35   #7
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Originally Posted by BraveArc View Post
The 1.3litre MultiJet 90hp diesel unit does it's duty in this car.
I think it should be 75bhp! Beautiful car though. Fiat should have ideally offered 1.6 Multijet on this. You are guaranteed exclusivity as the car didn't do too well compared to the Beetle.
Btw, i've spotted a Pink 500 in Mumbai & also there's a 'Tributo Ferrari' edition of the 500 in Mumbai. Looks hot.
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Old 14th August 2013, 23:52   #8
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Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Btw AFAIK its 75hp and not 90,Someone correct me if i am wrong.
You are right Akshay.

The Fiat 500 sports a 1.3L MJD 75 hp engine under it.

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th August 2013 at 00:07.
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Old 15th August 2013, 00:26   #9
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Congrats on a future classic BraveArc. Its surprisingly big inside for a small car and its a joy to drive.
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Old 15th August 2013, 00:30   #10
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Congrats, I remember seeing this car at that dealership a few times
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Old 15th August 2013, 02:07   #11
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Cute car! Italian colours liven things up really well

Please change the HU. My code was printed in my owner's manual. Do you not have it?

Order a new one from overseas if you have to
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIAT-500-2...-/271254051842

Last edited by Mpower : 15th August 2013 at 02:09.
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Old 15th August 2013, 03:58   #12
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Congrats BraveArc,

You got a beautiful piece of machine there. BTW I am shocked to see that it has 1.3 MJD. Though never went through the specs of Fiat 500 but i always thought that it has some serious power under the hood.

nIk

Last edited by nik0502 : 15th August 2013 at 04:02.
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Old 15th August 2013, 04:49   #13
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Originally Posted by nik0502 View Post
Congrats BraveArc,

You got a beautiful piece of machine there. BTW I am shocked to see that it has 1.3 MJD. Though never went through the specs of Fiat 500 but i always thought that it has some serious power under the hood.

nIk
Small cars with small, eager engines are great fun. The Italians excel at this. Of course small cars with big engines are great too, but they have a very different personality. I once had a small Renault with a normally aspirated 1.9 diesel engine - it was a very capable tool, great in the city but superb also on fast open roads.
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Old 15th August 2013, 08:07   #14
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Thanks guys.
Guess the 75hp engine makes sense given the high FE I'm getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Cute car! Italian colours liven things up really well

Please change the HU. My code was printed in my owner's manual. Do you not have it?

Order a new one from overseas if you have to
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIAT-500-2...-/271254051842
Been wanting to order one but the moment I get the shipping quotation, it becomes way too expensive. I'll just have to wait till I travel to UK I guess. The Fiat dealerships in India are a complete waste as it is and whith the 500 there's no point even.

My HU is sitting here doing nothing.
Attached Images
 

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Old 15th August 2013, 08:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveArc View Post
Thanks guys.
Guess the 75hp engine makes sense given the high FE I'm getting.

Been wanting to order one but the moment I get the shipping quotation, it becomes way too expensive. I'll just have to wait till I travel to UK I guess. The Fiat dealerships in India are a complete waste as it is and whith the 500 there's no point even.
75bhp is not the differentiating factor, the gearbox is. The one in the Indian cars doesn't suit the engine, and makes it feel slow. That's why your car is faster.

What all details are required to order this code? You can try from Bangalore dealerships if possible- they are customer friendly IMO.
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