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Driven:Fiat 500 Sport

Discussion in 'Classic and Retro FIAT's' started by sanjeevskartha, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Recently, I got an opportunity to take a Fiat 500 Sport on rent. Being an owner of a Grande Punto 1.3MJD(which I adore :D ), I was more than happy to try out a new variant from the Fiat Stable. So here are some snaps and my take after driving a Fiat 500 Sport :

    The car in question

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    It is difficult to explain the looks of this car. The car looks nice in a cutish-chic kind of way. Generally I have found this car being driven by ladies in their mid-20's and past-40's. Guess the overall styling has something to appeal to the women. As far as the gents are concerned, well to be very honest, I found the styling kind of strange. Maybe it had something to do with the excessive use of ovals everywhere.
    I have found the Fiat cars released in India to be stunning, be it the Palio,Punto,Linea or the Evo. They have a clean styling and proportion, and there is not a single angle in which they look bad. The 500 however, felt like a different story altogether. However styling is something which differs from person to person, so I would leave the judgement to the person reading this :D

    Some more shots of the 500 sport
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    Side profile looks much better IMO. This is a 3 door with four-seating capacity.

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    The car had good looking 16" alloys

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    The headlamps, indicators and fog lamps all have a somewhat similar shape and are arranged in a column

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    Good looking pull-type door handles

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    The interior of the car looks very good and upscale in most cases. The car I had rented was the Sport Variant which had a leather wrapped steering, sport cloth seats and a piano black finish on the dashboard. The overall colour theme was black and really dark grey which looked very nice.

    The steering- had a good feel to touch. The leather wrap made it feel premium. It had steering mounted audio controls, cruise control and Blue n Me. The 'oval' theme continues on to the horn pad , the instrument cluster and the side AC vents (in the background).

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    The steering was really nimble in city speeds and was OK on the highway.
    This steering was meant for city drives where you would want to dart into a space between two adjacent cars or squeeze into a tight parallel parking spot. You would have a wide smile on your face looking at the huge oversized SUVs trying to park and recorrect and repark while you parked into almost any spot without hassle :D
    On the highway, it is a difficult story altogether with the steering behaving pretty much the same way it behaves in the city. It simply doesn't weigh up. The planted feel which we get while swooshing off on the highway in a Linea or a Punto is completely missing on the 500 . More on that later.

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    The oval theme continues everywhere :arghh:

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    The instrument cluster with the piano black finish running through it. It was really good looking with some leather insets at places. The glossy finish was a dust and fingerprint magnet however. The power window switches are placed on the either side of the gear.

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    The Sport button. See what I mean about the glossy finish becoming a dust magnet :D

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    Overall , the dashboard is impressive.

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    The 500 insignia sealed on the dash.

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    Oval shaped door knobs. Very good quality insets on the door which looked and felt premium.

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    The rather small ORVM with an additional convex piece on the left for better viewing.

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    The internal RVM also offers a very limited view. One disadvantage of the car was the large number of blind spots that would come up frequently due to the small mirrors and the B pillar placement.

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    The front seats are good. Covering is called Sport cloth- donno what that means. Felt like leather on the sides. Seats offer good support.

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    Driver gets and armrest. Passenger gets nothing :p

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    The rear seats have severely restricted legroom. Even children would find it difficult to sit behind. Best suited for a luggage.

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  2. The seats fold back by the press of the button.
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    Oval headrest as well !!

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    Being a small car that this is, the boot space is very less. Fold the rear seats to make up some more boot space. The rear seats are not very useful anyway :D

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    Now comes the most important part. How does it drive?
    Like I had mentioned before, it is a very competent city car. You get enough power to go from traffic light to traffic light or from point A to point B. The car's really small footprint, combined with the light steering and city-competent engine makes it attractive to those who might want a car just for the working day commute to office. The sport mode activated on the press of the sport button gives the 500 a bit more of a kick which makes it really fun to drive in short spurts. Braking is extra-ordinary. Tap the brake to stop. As simple as that.No screeching or fussing or skidding or anything. By the way the car has 7 airbags,ABS,ESC and an array of other safety mechanisms, making you feel kind of invincible inside . Did I tell you it is built and closes like a tank :D

    On the flip side, the ride is quite harsh, nothing like the comfort we get in the Punto or the Linea which gobble up cracks and potholes. This car makes you feel every unevenness on the road. But then the roads in the first world countries don't have too much of cracked roads which negates this problem.
    There is also a fair amount of bodyroll which makes you nervous trying to take turns. Remember how we loved taking sweeping turns in the Punto/Linea.. well, don't do that in the 500 :)
    Also, this is not a very good highway car. Can it reach highway speeds? Of course yes it can, it can reach and exceed the highway speed limit given its time . Will you be comfortable in highway speeds? No, you feel nervous at high speeds. High winds tend to shake the car up a bit as well.

    So overall, I feel the Fiat 500 Sport is a good, competent city car. It has 5 star safety, drives well in the city , lets you park it almost anywhere and has a plethora of technology available. If bought to India, I feel it could give good competition to the current small hatchbacks in India. Don't compare it with a Punto or a Linea, let it do what I was meant to do and the owner will be happy :D

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    A quick note: The key. It folds up/comes out on pressing the Fiat logo.

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    Another note: The owner's manual is a DVD. I was desperately searching the glovebox to find the booklet in order to adjust the seat recline. Imagine my amusement on finding the DVD :D

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  3. varunrtr

    varunrtr Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    KL-01/ TO
    Grande Punto 1.3
    awesome set of pics sanjeev !!! loved 'em.. the interiors are black only in the sport version, normal one looks ugly IMO with colored dashboard..
    btw ,did you buy that cute lil thing? if so congrats :)
  4. Thank you, I didn't buy it.. just rented it :)
    varunrtr likes this.
  5. sakartechin

    sakartechin Amatore

    Messages:
    119
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice thread about 500 and great shots . looks classy and good interiors . hope get such interior in punto soon in india. so know u have tell us about ur ride and the top speed ;)
  6. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Messages:
    3,123
    Driver Seat _/
    :
    Grande Punto 1.3
    nice write up sanjeev.
    i hope you didnt see a single linea :D.
  7. Thank you, BTW the 500 is not my ride.. I own a Punto MJD
    Top speed was 100 km/h due to strict rules o_O

    Thank you :)

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