The Fiat 500 family in the driving report
Age does not protect against lifestyle
If you want to describe the characteristics of an A-segment vehicle or "City-Car", there is only one word and number for this: FIAT 500. The small car, which has been listed in the Turin car manufacturer's order books since 1957, celebrated this on July 04th Its historic 60th anniversary. Modified again and again with different drives and concepts, Fiat made a cut in 2007 and markets the little one from Italy as the new Fiat 500. As one of the “world vehicles”, the 500 sold in over 100 countries around the world and already marked the 2.000.000 mark of the Sales figures. Taking the sold units of his older models, the Fiat brand has just over 6 million vehicles that have left the different production facilities. The main customer in Europe is the German market. The new Fiat Cinquecento, including its “brothers” 2007X and 500L, has sold around 500 units here. Fiat wants to continue this success story with a few special models, including the large 200.000L with the "Urban", "Cross" and "Wagon" lines.
In general, Italian brands stand for lifestyle and dolce vita. The Italian is considered very fashion-conscious and in love with details. Accordingly, the Turin car maker designed and produced in 1957 as the successor to one of their vehicles sold from 1936 to 1955, the Fiat 500 "Topolino", the Fiat 500 "Nuova". The four-seater "smooch" inspires with its charm of the "Sixties" as it did then. This is also the direction of the group's campaign this year and packs it in an advertising film with Adrian Brody, just like the special model of the 500 Riva. The Oscar winner feels like he is back in the 60s. Chrome details in combination with modern comfort features are not spared. This is how the little Italian has defined himself since he started production. Spiced up with ever new accessories and colors for the interior and exterior. After the "reset" in 2007, the Fiat 500 always finds new cooperation partners from fashion or other non-industry. In the past few years, these included the fashion labels "Gucci" and "Diesel". The design elements from boat building have been used since last year. With the "RIVA" both companies combine the elegance and sportiness of their companies. For a small review of the festivities and of course a look into the future as well as short test drives, the FCA Group invited to the Bavarian capital Munich.
Vehicle with adaptation potential
If the exterior and interior are permanently renewed, the comfort points such as driver assistance systems or connectivity can be mainstreamed via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For the customer is optional the Fiat known system UnconnectTM Link selectable, which is controlled by means of a touchscreen with a screen diagonal of seven inches. The smartphone connections for Apple and Android devices are integrated there. The navigation system can then be further integrated. The safety features are limited to the city emergency braking system, the lane departure warning system with active steering assistance and the blind spot assistant. When it comes to the engine range, the choice is not too great, because with a total of three units, the small 500 is purist. Two petrol engines with 1.2 liters and 51 kW (68 PS) and 0,9 liters with 63 kW (84 PS) and 77 kW (105 PS) as well as the 1,3 liter diesel with 70 kW (95 PS) are both in the Connection with a start & stop system and five-speed manual transmission as well as with an automatic transmission are available. With so much of the Italian lifestyle, more engine is not necessary.
Fiat 500 with up to seven seats
The big 500L is different from the little brother. Five years after its premiere, it is now being sent to the market completely refurbished. Stretched and drawn, the 500L offers optimal use of space with functional functionality for small and large families. Compared to its predecessor, Fiat's engineers want to have renewed 40 percent of all components. From a purely visual point of view, this is unfortunately only enough for a facelift. Nevertheless, the Italians now select their “big one” in three characteristics with the additions “Urban”, “Cross” and “Wagon”. The "Urban" is intended to serve customers who want to use the vehicle exclusively for city traffic. The "Cross" can be used for customers who also want to be away from the road. Equipped with underrun protection at the front and rear and side protection with 25 millimeters higher ground clearance, it is also ideally suited for the gravel road. The extended family with up to seven members would then be just right for the last variant of the 500L, the "Wagon". The clear plus of all three variants is undoubtedly in the capacity of their trunk. While “Urban” and “Cross”, as exclusive five-seater seats, still hold 455 liters with full seating, the “Wagon” takes up 638 liters up to the second row of seats. With the third row of seats there are still 415 liters. If the rear seats fall, the five-door loader 1.480 liters and the seven-seater a whopping 1.784 liters. Like its brothers in the 500 family, the 500L is also equipped with modern connectivity systems and driver assistance systems.
From gasoline to natural gas
The engine range of the 500L stretches under the emission standard Euro 6. It comprises two petrol engines with three output levels and two turbo diesels with one output level each. The petrol engines are on the list with a 1.4 liter unit that delivers 70 kW (95 hp) as a suction device and 88 kW (120 hp) as a T-Jet to the crankshaft. The 0,9 liter TwinAir Turbo, on the other hand, produces a full 77 kW (105 PS). The diesel range completes the engine portfolio with the 1,3 liter MultiJet at 70 kW (95 PS) and the 1,6 liter MultiJet at 88 kW (120 PS). The 1,3 liter MultiJet can optionally be equipped with an automated Dualogic gearbox. A bivalent engine is also available. The TwinAir two-cylinder turbo can be equipped with either petrol or the efficient natural gas (CNG). In CNG mode, the total output is 59 kW (80 PS).
Start under 13.000 Euro
The pricing from Turin is generally very moderate. Starts the small 500 with the equipment "POP" at 12.590 Euro, you get the very beefy-looking 500X with the variant "POP" already at 16.290 Euro. The start of the 500L makes the variant "POPSTAR" with a start at 16.490 Euro. The basic versions of all three variants of the 500er are already equipped without compromise. About the middle equipment line "POP STAR", whose prices at 13.490 Euro, 18.590 Euro (500X) and 17.990 Euro (500L) lists some more features, the top variants end with a carefree package. This results in 500 in the line "LOUNGE" at 15.100 Euro and 20.890 Euro at 500X, as well as 18.490 Euro at 500L.
At the end... The 500 family seems to be able to serve every customer with their various derivatives. The room volume, utility value and, above all, the Italian lifestyle are not forgotten. After a good 60 years, the success story of the small Italian with the same design will continue in any case.
Text: Stefan Beckmann, Beitragsbild: Manufacturer Picture: Stefan Beckmann