Fiat 500 Review from Australia and New Zealand

2008 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4

Model year2008
Year of manufacture2008
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired1400 kilometres
Most recent distance6500 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Brilliant, love it, can't wait for the Arbarth to hit Australia

Faults:

Found a scratched alloy wheel at delivery, which was changed for a new one immediately.

General Comments:

Ours is the top of the range Sport, with all the toys, and it's fast enough to be seriously fun.

Firm suspension in a short wheelbase means it can bounce occasionally, but great on a windy road.

Some of the best seats I've used.

Amazing build quality, with German feel, but Italian flair.

Factory fitted engine and steering remap sport button is a brilliant feature

Incredibly frugal for such a fun car. Averages around 5.0 l per 100km and 5 star safety

I can even get a mountain bike in the back with space to spare

More fun to drive than my previous car, a 2008 golf R32 DSG, not quicker (although not far off - heavy car, the Golf), just a lot more engaging

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2009

20th Jun 2009, 11:10

Good review but sorry, the R32 is considerably more fun to drive than a 500. The R32 is constantly planted and handles so well. You can't really compare an AWD 3.2 V6 to a FWD 1.4 4 anyway. Yes the Golf is heavy, but it's still much faster than a 1.4 500. Just to clarify, I am not an R32 owner and never have been, and I am certainly not a person to think that more power equals more fun, I just think you're wrong.

21st Jun 2009, 22:33

Hi,

I don't think I'm wrong necessarily, just we have different points of view. Having owned an R32 for a while I was wowed by its power and grip sure, but, there are few places that you could actually use those effects safely outside of a race track and frankly after a while I got bored with it, it just couldn't hold my attention.

Sure the 500 is not as quick, especially on a twisty road in the wet (it's not that far off though), but the way it delivers it power and the exceptional chassis means it is a real drivers car with a great deal of character and extremely involving to own.

For less than half the cost, it's very good.

12th Mar 2011, 22:09

How is the reliability of your Fiat? The North American version of the 500 is finally coming to Canada where I live (not sure about the Abarth however). I currently have a 2007 VW GTI that has been a reliability nightmare, and I am hoping that the 500 is going to be the ticket to happiness for me again. I have test driven a US-import 2008 R32, and have to agree with your comments... it feels very nose heavy and is understeer prone, especially compared to my GTI, and my car isn't considered a lightweight by any means...

Average review marks: 9.2 / 10, based on 1 review