2016 Fiat 500
0-60 time:10.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:120 mph (Est.)
Fiat has unveiled its latest refresh for the 500, giving the diminutive hatch a tweaked exterior style, a much improved interior appointment, and an updated drivetrain, all with that characteristic 500 flair. For the 2016 model year, the 500 isn’t a dramatic departure over the outgoing model, but it does well to keep the iconic model feeling new.
Keeping the 500 from going stale is critical for Fiat, as the automaker has been inconsistent when it comes to moving units as of late. After all, the 500 is one of the brand’s most visible products, with a history of offering the masses style, self-expression and mobility, all without breaking the bank.
Originally offered on July 4th, 1957, the “new” Fiat 500 was reintroduced in 2007, and now, eight years later, Fiat hopes to continue to capitalize on its heritage with a modern take on the old 500 vision. So far, the 500 has done well to capture buyer’s interest, with 1.5 million vehicles sold worldwide since 2007.
All told, the 2016 model offers a renewed look at an old favorite.
Updated 07/03/2015: Fiat dropped the official details on the revised Fiat 500 with just one day before its world debut.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Fiat 500.
Latest Fiat 500 news and reviews:
Fiat has revealed its revised 500X crossover which has been nipped and tucked for the first time since its 2014 European debut (in the US for the 2016 model year it was launched). It comes with a refreshed exterior with new front and rear light clusters, more tech, and improved engines.
2018 Fiat 500 1957 Edition
Fans of the Fiat 500 can’t seem to get enough of the 500 1957 Edition, so much so that the Italian automaker is rolling out a new version of the special edition model. The “new” 500 1957 Edition arrives this fall at a starting price of $20,740. There’s no stated cap on the model’s volume, but the package is available on hardtop and convertible versions of the 500.
11 New Retro-Styled Cars Available Today
Retro styling done right in the automotive world can result in a car that buyers instantly feel drawn to because they remember the original from their childhood. Granted, if done wrong, it can look really hideous and out of place, but you won’t find any of those here.
When mainstream manufacturers do it, they spend a lot of time and money to get it just right, and it really shows. Many of these retro-styled cars are bought first and foremost for the way they look, but they are actually just good cars overall. I’ve assembled the ones you can buy new right now, in the list after the jump.
2018 Fiat 500L S-Design
Fiat adds another name to its line of S-Design models, this time the family-friendly 500L. Based on the crossover-inspired 500L Cross, the aim of the S-Design version is to inject some extra style into the package, like it’s already done with the Tipo, 500X and 124 Spider.
Best SUVs Under $20,000
One of the most difficult questions to answer in the auto industry these days doesn’t involve supercars, luxury cars, or even premium cars. It involves crossovers and SUVs, specifically the question of which is the best of its kind among those priced at a certain cost point. In this case, our cost point is $20,000, which means that a lot of today’s compact crossovers are involved in this difficult, if not impossible, discussion. And like every question posed in this business, answers vary depending on who you ask. In our case, ask us which are the best SUVs under $20,000, and these are our answers.
The Best Cars Under $15,000
So, you only have $15,000 to spend on a car? In most cases, that wouldn’t be enough to get you what you want, but if you’re looking for a no-frills ride that you can maximize with your spending limit, this list of cars gives you lots of options to choose from. Do you want a subcompact car that boasts impressive interior space? How about one that packs more power than you thought? What about a car that has everything you need, or at least everything you think you need at the price you’re willing to pay for it. The cars on this list could be the answer you’re looking for.
10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018
Although it’s easy to get lost in the deluge of noise surrounding fully self-driving, electron-powered commuter bubbles, there’s still a strong number of gas-powered sports machines out there to enjoy. And we aren’t talking about six-figure unobtanium supercars either - nope, we’re talking about loads of driving goodness to be had in the far more reasonable $20k to $30k price range. As such, we put together the following list of the 10 Most Affordable Sports Cars on the market today.
Looking over the list, some of you out there will undoubtedly point out how several entries aren’t your typical “sports car,” whether it’s the body style, drivetrain layout, or both. Regardless, every single one of these models comes packed with maximum smiles per miles, and for a lightweight price tag to boot. As such, we’ve included a few hot hatchbacks, a rally car, and a few others that fall outside the traditional sports car spectrum. Of course, there’s plenty of RWD coupes in there as well, so fear not and read on.
Continue reading for the full list.
Have you ever seen a front wheel drive car making a one wheel burnout? You have? Great! That’s the problem many manufacturers have been trying to circumnavigate or completely resolve on FWD cars. Not so much to deter you from making one wheel burnouts, but to make the car corner better and safer with putting down the power to the wheel that actually has some grip. The reason a FWD car (or any car for that matter) tends to send power to the wheel with least grip is the so-called open differential - a system designed to send power to the wheel with 50 percent of power reaching one wheel and 50 percent the other. However, as opposite wheels on cars must spin at different rates (like when cornering), the open differential cannot be locked, thus allowing for some extreme tendencies to send the power through the path of least resistance. Simply said - to the wheels with the least grip. Using this system saves a ton in R&D, the simple design of open differential makes it cheap to produce, and it doesn’t put too much strain on the various drivetrain elements. However, some tend to make fun of open diffs. “They are just like a one-wheel drive.” Is there any truth to this? After all, the power always goes to the wheel with the least resistance.
While an open diff works great in normal conditions (on a surface and in conditions that provide similar grip to both wheels,) more extreme circumstances (cornering fast, driving on slippery surfaces and the like) do limit its effectiveness fast. That is why manufacturers found a number of ways to circumnavigate these problems with mechanical means. Those cars using systems to defeat the limitations of open diffs are usually in the upper echelons of the car world, and I am presenting you nine of them.
2018 Fiat 500 Spiaggina by Garage Italia and Pinninfarina
Marking the 60th anniversary since the unveiling of the first special edition car based on the model 500 - the 500 Jolly, known as "Spiaggina," Fiat showcased their new limited edition of the latest Fiat 500. Called the Fiat 500 Spiaggina ’58, the new model is limited to 1958 units. A number which is an homage to the year Fiat showcased the original 500 Jolly, a car adored by rich and famous of the time.
However, apart from Fiat showcasing a rather cool Spiaggina ‘58 production model based on the 500C with a 1.2-liter, 69 horsepower engine, Garage Italia and Pininfarina prepared their own celebration model. It is a better one.
As the first Fiat car with an all-wheel-drive system, the Fiat 500X is definitely a unicorn when it comes to the Italian producer. It seems, though, that Fiat is only stuck with this unicorn, as their plan for the next five years does not include any major revitalization or rejuvenation. And, if the brand wants to survive, that is exactly what it needs. Actually, having Fiat completely disappear in a few years’ time isn’t that of a far-fetched idea.
Yet, despite all the media scrutiny that has been present ever since cheerful Marchionne laid out the new plan for the FCA group, Fiat revealed a new car called the 500X Adventurer Edition.
It is obviously yet another attempt at freshening up the car which appeared all the way back in 2014.
The Fiat 500 might be a bit unconventional by modern styling trends, but it has its own loyal following. Never has that been more evident than when we look at its sales figures, which have exceeded more than 1.5-million units sold since 2007. Needless to say, it’s an old favorite among its followers and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. It was updated for the 2016 model year and will probably get a revamp in the near future. Until then, we want to cater to our 500 fanboys out there and declare the Fiat 500 our wallpaper of the day. We’ve hand-picked our favorite, but there’s plenty more in the gallery at the bottom of this page if you find yourself wanting a little more. Go ahead and snag them up – they are free!
2018 Fiat 500 Urbana Edition
Originally introduced in 1957, the Fiat 500 remained in production for nearly 20 years, during which it became one of the most iconic vehicles in history. The nameplate was revived in 2007 as a competitor for the modern Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper and was received with great enthusiasm. However, Fiat didn’t do much to upgrade it over the last 11 years, with only two minor facelifts launched as of 2018. The latest update was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, where Fiat also brought the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine back to the U.S. in a non-Abarth model. Two months later and the Italian brand launched a new special edition model called the Urbana Edition.
It’s become quite common for automakers to add special edition models when their facelifts aren’t very consistent, and this is exactly what the Urbana Edition is all about. With add-ons that include black trim, new wheels, and a limited color palette, the Urbana Edition was designed to keep things interesting for a vehicle that’s getting a bit long in the tooth. The 500 is not alone in this though, as both the 500L and 500X received identical packages. The 500 Urbana Edition will become available this spring.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Urbana Edition.
2018 Fiat 500 Abarth
Without a doubt, the Fiat 500 is an absolutely iconic automobile. First rolling off the production line way back in 1957, this tiny little go-getter found owners across Italy, eventually selling nearly 4 million units by the time it was discontinued in 1975. In 2007, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reintroduced the nameplate as a modern front-engine, FWD city car, infusing it with as much charm and fun as possible in an attempt to rekindle the old Cinquecento flame. Although bigger and heavier than those first 500’s, the new model managed to offer some real smiles behind the wheel, especially with the go-faster Abarth versions. Taking cues from the old school sport models, the new 500 Abarth gets more power, firmer suspension, and nippier steering, not to mention every aesthetic performance nod possible in such a small package. Fast forward to today, and the entire Fiat 500 lineup was upgraded for the 2018 model year with a turbo engine and a new look, but the fastest and most aggressive of the bunch remains the Abarth model. Upgrades over the normal 500 once again include all the right stuff – big wheels, big brakes, hard suspension, and more power, not to mention the requisite go-faster stripes in the flanks.
All told, the Fiat 500 remains a quirky and fun little city car with a decent splash of performance, a modern take on a classic micro machine. However, with so many other killer hot hatches on the market, such as the Ford Fiesta ST and Mini Cooper S, can the 500 Abarth keep pace, or has the scorpion lost some of its sting?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth.
2017 Abarth 695 Rivale
The Abarth 500 has been on the receiving end of some interesting special edition models in the past. We’ve seen the Abarth 695 Biposto Record, the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition, and the 500 Track Experience, among others. None of them, though, can lay claim to the title of being the “most sophisticated Abarth ever.” That distinction, according to Abarth itself, now rests on the shoulders of the 695 Rivale Special Edition.
Developed specifically to celebrate the company’s close ties to yacht maker Riva, the 695 Rivale is the physical embodiment of the premium luxury that goes into the craft of building those sea vessels. Safe to say, that “most sophisticated Abarth ever” title fits the 695 Rivale. It’s inundated with aesthetic features that shine a big spotlight on the nautical theme of the compact car. Inside and out, the 695 Rivale is decked to the brim with luxury, the kind you expect from any one of the yachts that Riva has built in its 175-year history. The special edition Abarth 695 doesn’t pack any power or performance upgrades, but that’s an inconsequential omission when you compare it to the quantity and quality of cosmetic additions given to the hot hatch. There’s no word yet on how many models Abarth plans to build of the 695 Rivale, but another special edition model, the Abarth 695 Rivale 175th Anniversary, is limited to just 350 units, divided into 175 units for the coupe model and another 175 for the cabriolet version.
Update 02/21/2018: Our friend Cyril stopped by a showroom in Paris and snapped a few shots of the Abarth 695 Rivale. Check them out in the gallery below!
2018 Fiat 500
One of Fiat’s most iconic nameplates, the 500 was originally introduced in 1957 and kept in production for almost two decades, until 1975. The nameplate was revived in 2007 as a neo-retro design based on the first mini car. It was Fiat’s answer to the modern Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper, introduced in 1997 and 2000, respectively. The new 500 was received with great enthusiasm, and the addition of convertible and Abarth models made it that much more popular. However, unlike the Mini Cooper, the 500 soldiered on unchanged for years, with its first update launched in 2015. Three years have passed, and Fiat is again updating the small hatchback.
Unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show alongside the rest of Fiat’s North American lineup, the update is far from spectacular, but it does add a few new features to the 500’s cute exterior. The interior carries over unchanged, which is somewhat disappointing, but the drivetrain department has a new engine to brag about. It’s not as new as it is rehashed from an old model, but it’s significantly more powerful than the outgoing unit. More about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500.
If The US-Spec Fiat 500 Received an Updated Styling, Why Does it Still Look the Same?
The updated Fiat 500 has been revealed at the Chicago Auto Show, and as far as revelations go, it didn’t really reveal anything of importance other than the hatch getting a standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The new 500 also received what Fiat described as a “sportier appearance.” That would’ve been great, except that, by and large, the 500 still looks the same.
The Chicago-Bound Fiat 500 Is Really Old, Including the "New" Turbo Engine
The Fiat 500 may have received a turbocharged engine at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, but it’s not something you should get excited about. The force-fed 1.4-liter four-cylinder is actually at least five years old and its introduction is more of a return to the market. The engine was first offered in the 500 Turbo model in North America in 2013 and remained into production until 2016. It was rated at 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, only two pound-feet short of the "new" engine. A similar unit, but with the full 152 pound-feet, was previously offered on Euro-spec Abarth models.
Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show
When the Fiat 500 was first introduced way back in 1957, it was offered as a zippy little runabout that could tackle the pressures of city driving in style. While not necessarily fast, the 500 was considered quick enough, and it offered the diminutive exterior dimensions desired for urban living. Since then, the 500 has changed. It’s bigger now, and the name has been applied to other segments as well, with both a tall-riding crossover and all-electric iterations making their debut over the years. Unfortunately, as we all know, these segments aren’t necessarily bywords for fun, and the world’s standard for “quick enough” has moved on. Now, though, it looks like the Italian icon is getting a little closer to its fun-to-dirve roots thanks to a solid dose of turbocharging under the hood.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Fiat 500C - Driven
Dated and diminutive it may be, but the Fiat 500 remains a frugal and fun — and tiny — car. Adding a canvas top to the pint-size Cinquecento just increases the smiles-per-gallon it generates.
As a cheap-and-cheerful commuter, the Fiat 500 has long been a favorite of mine for its European style and driving characteristics. Among cars in its price range, the little Italian remains near the top of my fun-to-drive list. The Fiat 500C has even more charm thanks to its fully retractable roof.
For 2017, Fiat simplified the 500 lineup to just three trims: base-level Pop, leather-trimmed Lounge, and sporty Abarth. All are available with the “C” designation, which stands for “Cabrio.” In prior years, there were twice as many trims available. Most of the equipment from those additional trims is still available in the options list.
2017 Fiat 500L City Cross Edition
The Fiat 500L is effectively an oversized version of the 500 hatchback so, in essence, its identity is tied to the 500 name. Don’t mistake the 500L though for not having its own appeal because it has that in abundance, or at least enough to have become the subject of a string of special edition models over the years. Harken back to versions like the Beats Edition, the Urbana Trekking, and the Panoramic Edition, and you’ll see what’s up with the 500. Today, a new special edition version is added to the list. It’s called the City Cross Edition, and as the name suggests, it’s coming to the party with a host of rugged features.
There’s a lot to like with the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition. Apart from receiving new exterior bits and pieces, it also carries an exclusive paint color, upgrades to the interior, and a set of new wheels that can be availed in as many as nine different color options. There are no engine upgrades to speak of so don’t even bother looking for one. If that isn’t a problem, the 500L City Cross Edition holds a lot of appeal, especially to those who want to see more personality out of the high-riding 500 SUV. At least then, in that regard, Fiat did its work on this new special edition. It may not be the flashiest SE we’ve seen out of the 500, but it’s certainly bubbling with identity. That should be more than enough for a lot of people.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition
2017 Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs
The fashion and automotive worlds have crossed paths many times in the past, often in the form of special edition creations such as this Fiat 500C. The ventures have not always yielded good results, but all of them are magnets for attention, for better or worse. The latest in a long line of these special editions come by way of Garage Italia Customs, which created this bedazzling 500C in the name of fashion designer Angela Missoni, the creative director of the Italian brand that wears the same name.
Those who are familiar with the Missoni fashion brand will know that it prides itself on colorful design palettes, something that we see in all its glory on the 500C. Garage Italia Customs’ treatment is also what you’d expect from an automotive custom shop whose past design works include the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition, another glistening collaboration with the fashion and automotive industries. The Missoni-inspired 500C is colorful to a hilt, and whether you like it or not, it received enough attention to gather what Garage Italia Customs called a “generous” bid when it was auctioned off at the ninth annual charity event organized by amfAR in Milan, Italy last September 21. The proceeds of the car’s auction are earmarked for AIDS research, so whoever ended up paying the “generous” amount to take home this one-off 500C should be happy that his money is going to the right place. Even better, he gets to take home arguably one of the most colorful Fiat 500Cs to come out in recent memory.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500C Missoni by Garage Italia Customs
2017 Fiat 500X Urbana Edition
The Fiat 500 is, without a doubt, the Italian automaker’s most famous and popular model. Drawing from the legendary and hugely successful model of the same name produced between 1957 and 1975, the modern 500 is a small, quirky little runabout designed for faultless urban transportation duty. The diminutive dimensions assist in tight parking spots, while a fun-loving attitude and nippy suspension set-up make it a blast behind the wheel. Don’t forget a stylish exterior as well. In 2014, Fiat reimagined the 500 as an ultra-compact crossover, and thus, the high-riding 500X was created. Given the popularity of compacts crossovers like the 500X, it makes sense that Fiat is giving it a new aesthetics package. It’s called the Urbana Edition, and it adds unique trim and colors to help it stand out from non-Urbana’d editions.
Based on the Trekking trim level, which Fiat has declared as the most popular trim level for the 500X, the Urbana Edition keeps all the same bits and pieces buyers have come to expect, including a functional interior with lots of space for hauling things, and the option for AWD as well. Mechanically, the Urbana Edition goes unchanged, and still gets the same 2.4-liter gas-burning engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque through a nine-speed automatic transmission (lower trim levels get a 1.4-liter engine with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque). If you’re looking for a unique take on this Italian compact crossover, then continue reading for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X Urbana Edition.
Jennings Motor Group Renders 10 Everyday Family Cars As Supercars
From wide body kits to free flowing exhaust kits, carbon fiber interior vinyl wraps to oversized rear wings, there’s no shortage of aftermarket options when it comes to making the family errand-runner as close as possible to looking like a full-fledged supercar. But what if we could snap our fingers and turn that commonplace commuter into a seven-figure eater of worlds capable of hanging with the best from Ferrari, Porsche, and Koenigsegg? That’s exactly what Jennings Motor Group did with these 10 everyday family cars, now rendered to supercar stardom.
Included in the list are favorites from the likes of Mini, Renault, Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota, Smart, Kia, Tesla, and Lada, each of which was blessed with the traditional supercar stance and more sharp ends than a needle factory. Some make a little more sense than the others, but regardless, we think the renderings look badass, and wouldn’t mind if the respective automakers took the hint that more supercars are indeed always welcome. Of course, we want to know – do these renderings for it for you as well? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, but before you post, check out all 10 renderings after the jump.
Continue reading to learn more about 10 everyday family cars rendered as supercars.
Fiat’s Feeling Mighty Generous With a Record-Breaking Giveaway
In case Oprah Winfrey decides to do another car giveaway in the near future, she’s going to have a tough time beating out what Fiat and an Italian supermarket chain known as Esselunga. Together, the two Italian companies did something that earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records: they gave away a staggering 1,495 Fiat 500s as part of Esselunga’s 60th anniversary, a staggering total made even more impressive by the fact that all these models are actually special editions in their own right.
Winners of the Essalunga-hosted competition all dropped to Fiat’s Mirafiori plant to take delivery of their new special edition 500 models, referred to officially as the Fiat 500 Essalunga. The model is based on the 69-horsepower, 1.2-liter variant of the Fiat 500 and comes with an exclusive Pastel White body paint finish, an Ivory-dressed interior, and a set of 14-inch wheels. In addition to these features, the car also receives a trove of equipment, including seven airbags, climate control, Uconnect 5 infotainment system, AUX-IN and USB ports, steering wheel controls, and LED daytime running lights. Needless to say, all 1,495 cars that were part of the giveaway at the Fiat plant were collected in less than two days by grateful owners from all over Italy. I’d be grateful too if was part of that list.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
A quick look at today’s automotive offerings and you’ll notice that almost all passenger cars are front-engined, while most sports cars come with a mid-engined configuration. The Porsche 911 is the most known exception from this rule, having its engine mounted above the rear axle. The 911 isn’t the only rear-engined car on the market, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Renault Twingo, Tesla Model S, and Tata Nano have similar configurations, but all of them are part of the minority. However, it wasn’t always like this.
Decades ago, rear-engined vehicles were significantly more popular. The first notable rear-engined car dates back to 1886, when Karl Benz launched the Patent-Motorwagen. The concept gained more traction in the 1930 and remained somewhat popular until the 1980s. Mostly found in small, affordable cars, the layout allowed for the rest of the vehicle to be used for passengers and luggage. It was also preferred by many carmakers since the drivetrain can installed easily at the factory compared to front-wheel-drive layout where the driven wheels also steer the car.
Continue reading for the full story.
New Color Packages Should Jolt Some Life Back To The Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 should not be confused for a performance car, save for the Abarth edition. For the most part, the 500 is a cosmetic car and Fiat understands that better than anybody else. That’s a big reason why the Italian automaker is offering three new packages dedicated to the 2017 Fiat 500.
The new packages enhance the 500, bring more life to the sub-compact than it already has. Owners of the 500 can choose between the Sport Black Trim Package, the Two-Tone Appearance Package, and the lengthily named Abarth Roof, Mirror Cap, and Body Stripe Appearance Package. The three packages come with their own unique offerings, even if the overall purpose of adding more style to the Fiat 500 remains the same across all of them. Understandably, each package is also priced differently ranging from $295 for the Two-Tone Appearance Package all the way up to $1,295 for the Sport Black Trim Package. Fiat’s goal is clear in this regard: the three appearance packages are meant to entice customers. It’s a sound strategy that Fiat hopes could help bring sales of its hatchback up after rather disappointing numbers in 2016.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing
The Fiat 500 Abarth is a cute little ride, isn’t it? It certainly looks the part of one, but being cute and cuddly isn’t the only thing appealing about the 500. It’s also understatedly customizable, which is why we’ve seen so many special edition iterations of the car, not to mention tuning programs from some of the best tuners in the business. Pogea Racing counts itself in the latter group, and it has a real doozy of a kit for the 500 that gives the subcompact hatchback an output of 405 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque. Seems fitting then that Pogea Racing has dubbed this creation as “Ares,” after the Greek god of war. This Fiat 500 Abarth is ready to rumble with the best of them.
The program has more than just a fancy name and ridiculous power at its disposal. It also has an extensive menu of carbon fiber parts for the exterior, a well-dressed interior that brings some life to the hatchback’s cabin, and suspension upgrades to help the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder handle all that extra power.
The bad news is that this isn’t a program that Pogea Racing is producing in big quantities. On the contrary, the tuner only plans to build five such 500 Ares models and the cost of building one doesn’t come cheap. The upgrades to the engine alone cost more than the car itself so you can imagine what the whole thing will fetch for, donor car and all.
Then again, a 405-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition
Without a doubt, the Fiat 500 is one of the Italian brand’s most important and historically relevant models ever produced. It’s been around off and on in one form or another since the ‘30s, and in 2007, Fiat introduced its latest iteration. Currently taking the form of either a three-door hatchback or a two-door cabriolet, the modern 500 is a cute, zippy city car with loads of personality and style. The help emphasize those characteristics, a variety of special editions have been offered over the years, with the latest being the Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha. Taking cues from the world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, this agile little Italian speed bubble hopes to bring the thrills of two-wheel motorsport to a four-wheel platform, adding unique styling options, composite material flair, and even a considerable amount of performance for both straight-line fun and apex hunting.
In case you were unaware, Abarth is Fiat’s performance and tuning division, which identifies its creations with a yellow and red scorpion badge. This year, the FCA subsidiary is once again aligning itself with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team as the Official Sponsor and Official Car Supplier for the MotoGP World Championship season, and as such, the two makes are collaborating to bring the product of that happy marriage to enthusiasts.
The Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition follows in the footsteps of the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing and 696 Biposto Yamaha Factory Racing Edition that came before, both of which offered tricked-out limited runs of Fiat’s famous 500 in sportier, more aggressive trim. This time around, Yamaha is also getting in the action with the Yamaha XSR900 Abarth, the first motorcycle to be offered as a collaborative effort between the Japanese and Italian brands.
Both machines are decked out in a grey and red exterior color scheme, while also sharing a few surprising features. However, while the bike is obviously a bit more exposed, the 500 will be offered in both a hardtop and droptop iteration, with 695 units per body style, or 1,390 units total.
Order books open up in April. So far, there’s no word on U.S. availability, but don’t bet on it.
Look to the Geneva International Motor Show next week for the 695’s world debut, but in the meantime, read on for all the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition.
2017 Fiat 500 60th Anniversary
The modern Fiat 500 has been around for 10 years as of 2017 and so far it has done a great job keeping the original car’s legacy alive. The small size and the vintage design help, but Fiat also launched several special-edition models that paid tribute to the first 500 over the last decade. Come 2017 and the Italian firm has developed yet another anniversary model, this time around to celebrate the 500’s 60th anniversary.
One of the most iconic vehicles of all time, the Fiat 500 was launched in 1957 and the first unit was produced in the city of Turin on July 4. Fiat sold over four million examples until the car was discontinued in 1975, making way for the equally successful 126 model. The 500 nameplate was revived in 2007 and the second-generation city car became a success story too. Fiat says that the new 500, which is sold in around 100 countries, will reach sales of two million units in the first half of 2017. This is an impressive figure for a ten-year-old model in this day and age, and needless to say, it wouldn’t have been possible without the legacy of the original Fiat 500.
Limited to only 560 units, the 60th anniversary model was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and goes on sale starting March, meaning it will hit the streets just in time for the day the first-ever 500 left the factory back in 1957. Let’s find out what this limited-edition model is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Special Series.
2017 Abarth 595 Pista
Revived in 2007 after a 32-year hiatus, the modern Fiat 500 soldiered on almost unchanged up until now. A facelift operated in 2016 added a new grille, reshaped headlamps, and LED technology, but it’s far from being a full-fledged redesign. The performance-oriented Abarth model also received a similar update and as a result Fiat returned to producing special-edition models for the auto shows around the world. One of them is the 595 Pista and was unveiled ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Named Pista, which is Italian for race track, the special edition makes clear reference to the racing vocation of the Abarth 500 and stands out by means of bespoke features inside and out, as well as the one-of-a-kind Abarth Telemetry system. The Pista version completes the new 595 Abarth line-up, which includes two body styles (hatchback and convertible), three trim levels (595, 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione), and as many drivetrain output and tuning levels.
Pricing and availability information is not yet known, but the 595 Pista will likely go on sale in most European markets. It might not come to the U.S. though, but Fiat will launch other special-edition models here.
Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 595 Pista.
2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special
There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.
Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.
Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.
Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition
2018 Fiat 500L
Fiat reintroduced the 500 nameplate back in 2007, and since then the subcompact has spawned a number of versions, including the 500L. The company’s only crossover-like vehicle until the 500X arrived, the 500L gained its first updates in 2016, after four years on the market, and another facelift for the 2018 model year.
The standard 500 is a funky little car that harkens back to the original in some aspects, while providing a modern feel that we all love. But, when it comes to the 500L, let’s just say it’s not the best looking car out there. It’s disproportionate in some areas and just odd looking in others – that’s just the nature of MPVs, though. Some might argue that Fiat really needs to ditch the MPV altogether and redesign the 500L into a full-fledged SUV, but the facelift fixes some of the old car’s design problems. With that said, let’s take a good look at what changed over the last few years.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500L.
2017 Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition
The Fiat 500 will never be mistaken for a car that puts a premium on its performance capabilities. Actually, the 500 is far from what a performance car looks and sounds like. But rest assured, even without those credentials, the 500 has an identity that’s unique to its own. Just run back the number of special edition models that Fiat has produced of the 500 and you’ll see a pattern there. The Fiat 500, for all intents and purposes, is a fashion and lifestyle car in the sense that it attracts designers from all walks of the fashion and lifestyle worlds, a lot of whom have made partnered with the Italian automaker to make special edition models of the hatchback.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition. How about the 500 GQ Edition or the 500 La Petite Robe Noire? Go back a little further and you might remember the 500 and 500 Gucci Edition models from 2013. There’s a pattern here that Fiat has embraced and that relationship with the fashion world is once again in the spotlight with the introduction of the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition.
Styled by the famed perfumer in collaboration with Garage Italia Customs, the one-off 500 Paco Rabanne Edition is not for the conservative fashionista. It’s certainly not for those who don’t appreciate a car dressed in shiny gold and has plenty of unique details that set it even further apart from other special fashion edition 500s. It’s brash, ostentatious, and an acquired taste, to say the least.
Fiat itself isn’t actually selling the 500 Paco Rabanne Edition. But someone will take home the one-off creation, thanks to a Paco Rabanne giveaway wherein a customer who buys a bottle of Paco Rabanne 1 Million or Lady Million fragrance will be given a chance to register in Fiat’s website for the opportunity to get chosen as the winner.
Like it or not, it’s a car that’s going to demand attention wherever it goes. The question is whether you’re fashion-forward enough to appreciate what Paco Rabanne and Garage Italia Customs did to this Fiat 500.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition.
1,157-Piece 1968 Fiat 500 F Lego Kit Could Become Reality if You Vote for it
Lego’s lineup of auto themed creations has grown exponentially in recent years. It’s got a Ferrari F40, a Volkswagen T1 Camper, and a Mini Cooper. And those are a few of the “hard to find” types. Now, Lego is putting the onus on the people to decide if this Fiat 500 project is worth actually bringing into production.
The project is part of the Lego’s Ideas website where followers of the brick can support their favorite projects. Since the Fiat 500 is included here, it’s not going to be produced unless it gets a specific number of votes. As of today, there are only 333 supporters of the project, but the good news is that voting doesn’t end for another 358 days so yes, there’s still plenty of time to get the Fiat 500 put into Lego production.
That said, there are on assurances that the Fiat 500 will be put into production even if it garners enough support. That’s only one piece of the puzzle that Lego has to navigate through. There’s also that issue of licensing, which is always a tricky proposition in it of itself. Fortunately, Fiat and Lego have had collaborations before, most notably with all the Ferraris that have been immortalized in brick form in the past. So why should you vote for this Fiat 500? Notwithstanding the fact that it’s a great piece, it’s a tremendous addition to Lego’s growing collection of automotive products. At the very least, it’s going to look especially spiffy next to the aforementioned Cooper and the recently released Volkswagen Beetle.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Germany Says that FCA is Using Emissions Cheating Devices Too
It seems like the word “emissions” just won’t go away lately. There’s all that drama with Volkswagen and, back in May of 2016, Germany accused Fiat Chrysler of using a cheating device on the Fiat 500X. After Italian regulators put the 500X under a microscope, it was deemed that there was no such device, but Germany just isn’t taking that for an answer. As we flipped our calendars over to the month of September, Germany was busy at the European Commission and Italian Transport Ministry filing papers that claimed FCA used illegal exhaust manipulation devices on at least three models.
According to Reuters, those models include the Fiat 500X (again,) the Fiat Doblo, and the Jeep Renegade. Furthermore, it is claimed that testing by German authorities could “prove the illegal use of a device to switch off exhaust treatment systems.” Of course, a statement from Fiat was quick to release with claims that all of the brand’s vehicles comply with emissions laws and that there are no cheat devices. For now, sources indicate Italy have yet to receive any communication from the German government, however, that does seem unlikely given Germany’s consistent push that FCA is indeed cheating on emissions.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance is located in Phoenix, Arizona and is – arguably – the best driving school in the country. It is the only purpose-built driver training facility for performance enthusiasts and is the largest of its kind in North America. The school has a fleet of more than 200 vehicles, including race-ready models, SUVs, and even open-wheel cars. It’s 60-acre facility and 1.6-mile track is about to get just a little more crowded, however, as Fiat has teamed up with the Bondurant School of High Performance and will be adding the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth and the Fiat 500 Abarth to its fleet.
Bob Bondurant, the owner and CEO of the school, said, “We’re excited that FIAT will join our team to expand our driving programs. The Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth will make great additions to our amazing lineup. The capabilities of the Fiat coupe and roadster will give people the chance to get behind the wheel of balanced performance vehicles that are as fun to drive on the track as they are during a daily commute.”
That’s not all, though. As part of this partnership, the Bondurant School of High Performance will be offering the Abarth Track Experience. In short, any customer that purchases or leases a new Fiat 124 Abarth or a Fiat 500 Abarth will get a free day of high-performance instruction and track time. Customers have one year from the date they purchase or lease their new car to register and take advantage of the offer and can option for a second day of fun called “Road Rally,” that starts out at the Bondurant facility and takes a 180- to 220-mile trip down some scenic Arizona highways. The second day includes a morning coffee break and a private lunch before returning to the school.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
2016 Fiat 500 Riva
Fiat gives the 500 credit as being a “strong contributor to motorizing Italy,” and since it’s introduction n 1957 it has earned a cult-like following with over four million units sold. It became known as a model that made mobility accessible and “expressed a deep-seated zest for life.” At the same time, back in the late 50s and early 60s, the same feeling was said to be expressed by the Riva speedboat – a boat that was meticulously executed with premium quality materials and was often looked to as a symbol of perfection. Since the Riva and the 500 both shared a similar cult-like following, Fiat decided to throw both into a blender and created the car you see here, the Fiat 500 Riva special edition.
As a model that was built in partnership with Riva, the car is said to “stand out for its unique appearance and refined details” and is “Synonymous with elegance and Italian taste.” The model itself is offered as a coupe or a convertible and takes on more interior design changes than anything, with the exterior limited to minor additions like chrome mirror caps, pin striping, and some extra trim inserts. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise you that Fiat would drop a special-edition model that isn’t all that modified – it seems to be the name of the game these days, as manufacturers get even better at tooting their own horns and placing the “special edition” name on anything with a few extra options.
With that said, the 500 Riva does have some interesting interior characteristics that do set it apart from the standard 500, while at the same time paying tribute to the Aquariva Super yacht, which is the current Riva icon. So, let’s take a look at this special model and see what all the hype is about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Riva.
2017 Abarth 595
It’s only been a few short months since Abarth released the Abarth 124 Spider, and now Abarth is releasing its next, entry-level model – the 595. Much like how the 124 Spider is essentially a cooler Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 595 is basically a Fiat 500 on steroids. As Abarth put it, the new Abarth 595 is the “natural heir of the model launched in 2008 and present worldwide.” It is available as a hatchback or convertible and will be available in three different trim levels. The entry level model is, of course, the base 595, which is followed by the 595 Turismo, and the range-topping 595 Competizione. Each trim level has its own power specification, and is influenced by the knowledge Abarth gained with the development of the 695 Biposto, AKA “The Smallest Supercar.”
Abarth models typically take a little bit of criticism – I don’t know how many times I saw people talk bad about the 124 spider because it’s so similar to the MX-5 Miata – but Abarth models are typically more than badge-engineered replicas. So, as you read the review that follows, keep that in mind, because there is a real difference. So, let’s take a look at the 595 and what each trim level brings to the table. It’s not a model you want to pass up if you’re looking for a small car with some performance DNA.
2017 Fiat 500S
The 500 has been a popular car for Fiat, even in the U.S., as it recalls the brands history while giving modern city dwellers something fun to drive. While our favorite 500 is unquestionably the 500 Abarth, Fiat has debuted an interesting new 500 at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Called the 500S, the two-door, four-seater gets several updates, including a new seven-inch Uconnect infotainment screen (something sorely lacking before) and a new appearance package. The S trim level adds sportier bumpers with fog lights, side skirts long the door bottoms, and a rear spoiler. Trim-exclusive Satin Graphite paint graces the door handles, rear hatch, mirror caps, and wheels. Standard 15-inch alloy wheels and optional 16-inch rollers are new, along with their colors, while a chrome exhaust tip, “black grained” front air intake, and revised grille update the 500’s looks.
The most welcomed change, however, is on the dash. Gone is the outdated radio with its tiny alarm clock display, replaced with a seven-inch touch screen running a version of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system.
Powering the 500S – at least in Europe – is the 1.3-liter MultiJet diesel making 95 horsepower. Then little four-cylinder can push the car to 62 mph in 10.7 seconds while only emitting 89 grams of C02 per kilometer.
What’s more, the 500S can be had in the cabriolet form as well. The convertible soft top simply power-folds along the roof line, down the C-pillars, and folds in the cargo area. Pricing for the Fiat 500S has not been announced, though Fiat is expected to make those numbers known closer to the 500S’ production launch in the fall.
Continue reading for the full review
2017 Fiat 500X Abarth
Compact crossovers continue to gain popularity in the U.S. and Europe, and it seems like every automaker is getting in on the fun. Now, the latest craze is taking these small utility vehicles and turning them into performance rigs. It all began with the funky 2016 Juke-R Nismo, then moved on to the 2015 Mercedes GLA 45 AMG. When Fiat unveiled the 500X at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, rumors began to swirl about an Abarth version, which would be the first crossover to sport the iconic Scorpion badge. After months of speculation, we finally have proof that Fiat is indeed working on a high-performance version of the 500X.
The prototype seen in our recent spy shots may seem like a regular 500X at first glance, but several tell-tale signs about its actual identity are noticeable upon closer inspection. And that’s exactly what we will discuss in the speculative review below.
There’s no official word as to when the 500X Abarth will break cover, but an unveiling is expected to occur by the end of the year, most likely at the 2016 Paris Motor Show in October. If this turns out to be true, the beefed-up crossover will arrive in U.S. dealerships in early 2017.
Updated 02/04/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Fiat 500X Abarth out for a first testing session.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Fiat 500X Abarth.
Most Fiat 500 models got a refresh in July of 2015, but the 500 Abarth was put on a waiting list, well at least until now. Fiat has yet to release official details about the refreshed 500 Abarth, but our spy photographers have managed to get a few spy shots of the car sporting black and white camo over its red exterior.
For the most part, the 500 Abarth will take on a lot of the same design cues from the standard 500, but with an Abarth twist on them to give the car the aggressive look one would expect from an Abarth. As you can see from these shots, the car is currently fixed to a flatbed, probably on its way to delivery for on-road testing. If that is the case, that means the car is pretty much production ready – save for a few minor tweaks.
Assuming there are no major issues found during road testing, we expect to see the refreshed 500 Abarth debut in the first quarter of 2016 – probably at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Until official details emerge, let’s take a look at what we know, and what we can determine from these few spy shots.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth.
It has been quipped that the rounded, upright Fiat 500e bears some resemblance to a Star Wars Stormtrooper’s helmet. As it happens, Fiat is collaborating with Lucasfim as part of a massive promotional campaign for the upcoming Star Wars movie, so what better time to take that tongue-in-cheek comparison to its logical conclusion?
To remind visitors to the Los Angeles Auto Show that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is on the way, Fiat unveiled a one-off 500e with a Stormtrooper-themed paint job. Created by Garage Italia Customs of Milan, the black and white car even has its windows wrapped to properly complete the theme. To be specific, the 500e Stormtrooper matches the armor of the First Order Legion, in Star Wars parlance. Blacked out wheels with ultra-wide whitewall tires give this custom job an appropriately cartoonish look, and the 500e’s unique flat lower front fascia lends itself well to the Stormtrooper restyle. The black and white theme continues on the interior, with white and black lacquer trim, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and a Star Wars logo on the white dashboard. The two-tone steering wheel sports a First Order insignia as well.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500e stormtrooper.
Fiat is unlikely to admit this, but you can tell by the amount of promotion it puts on the 500X crossover, that the company expects big things out of the model. I personally don’t blame Fiat for taking this approach, especially when it’s involved in a market that’s as competitive as it’s ever been. If the 500X is to distinguish itself against a market that includes its cousin, the Jeep Renegade, Fiat needs to pull out all the stops to give it an edge. That’s exactly what the company did when it unveiled the 500X Chicane at the SEMA Auto Show.
For all intents and purposes, the Chicane is a “Moparized” version of the 500X that lacks the concept vibe of its fellow SEMA attendee, the 500X Mobe. The former is actually fit to be in dealerships right now since its main focus is to showcase Mopar’s specialized parts and accessories for the new crossover.
Unlike most concepts shown in SEMA, there’s a good chance that we’ll see a similar aftermarket package from Mopar in dealerships soon.It’s not necessarily going to be identical to Chrysler’s aftermarket parts and accessories division used on the 500X, but it should be along the same lines.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X Chicane.
The Fiat 500 has been a mainstay at the SEMA Auto Show, having been displayed in numerous guises over the past few years. Some of the past 500s that have graced the Las Vegas stage include the 500 Titanium by Mopar Underground and the 500 Abarth Scorpion. Even the 500L, the high-riding variant of the 500, has made an appearance at SEMA. This time, the 500X, the crossover version of the 500, is getting its deserved shine at the annual aftermarket auto show. No less than two iterations will be at SEMA, including the kite-surfing-inspired 500X Mobe.
For those who don’t know, Fiat’s use of “Mobe” can be interpreted in two ways: the first is a reference to a particular kite-surfing move that involves a lot of twisting and turning while in mid-air. The second is a nod to a type of pearl, which makes sense when you take into account the 500X’s Ivory Pearl paint finish.
My money’s on Fiat using both references to create a 500X that’s really fit for adventure-seekers. The 500X also has plenty of other outdoor components that could prove useful for the up-and-about types. I’m not so sure about the 500X Mobe’s chances of ever making it to production, but the showcase of the concept does showcase the enormous custom possibilities the 500 crossover has at its disposal.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Fiat 500X Mobe Concept.
2016 - 2018 Fiat 500X
Launched in 1957, the Fiat 500 evolved from a tiny economy car into a full lineup of vehicles incorporating various body styles and engines. The change occurred starting 2007, when Fiat unveiled the new 500, a modern car that features a distinctive, retro look similar to the new Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen New Beetle. Since its revival, the Fiat 500 range expanded to include the 500C, the larger 500L, the all-electric 500E and the high-performance 500 Abarth. In 2015, the Italians introduced a new model that marked the company’s entrance into the compact crossover market, a segment previously unexplored by the Italians.
Developed alongside the 2015 Jeep Renegade, the 500X is the largest 500-based Fiat yet and features a more rugged design, a revised interior and all the engines you can have with the regular hatch, save for the electric motor. The crossover joined the Jeep Renegade when it arrived in North America, where it’s sold alongside other versions of the 500 nameplate.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X.
Back in October 1965, Abarth founder Carlo Abarth set a world speed record for acceleration for a class G car at the Monza race track. Abarth was 57 years old when he drove the 105-horsepower Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record, a streamlined one-seater that was built specifically for the purpose of setting international and world speed records. He even had to shed 66 pounds just to fit inside the tight cockpit. That’s no small feat for anybody, let alone someone who was nearing his 60th birthday. Yet Abarth managed to do that on his way to setting a record that still resonates to this day. Now, 50 years after that record-setting achievement, the Italian automaker is paying tribute to that feat with the launch of the Abarth 695 Biposto Record.
The car is based on the 2014 Fiat Abarth 695 Biposto and it comes with cosmetic and mechanical upgrades on the exterior and interior. Only 133 units will be made of the limited-edition hot-hatch, with each model getting a special ‘695 Record’ badge to denote its association with Abarth’s incredible record-setting achievement.
Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 695 Biposto Record.
Fiat and Yamaha normally have little common other than the fact that they’re considered giants in their respective fields. One is an Italian automaker that owns Ferrari while the other is a Japanese motorcycle company that’s considered one of the best in the world. But the two companies actually have a long history of working together, especially when it comes to MotoGP. In fact, Fiat-owned Abarth and Yamaha have a current two-year deal in place that makes Abarth an official sponsor of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, as well as its official car supplier for the 2015 and 2016 MotoGP seasons. Thanks to the partnership between these two brands, special edition models like the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition can find a spot at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition is the latest in a series of special edition Abarths that have been made for Yamaha. On September 11, 2015, Movistar Yamaha was given three Abarth 695 biposto Yamaha Factory Racing Edition vehicles during a ceremony at Abarth’s headquarters in Turin, Italy. The 695 isn’t expected to go on sale to the public, but the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition is expected to hit dealerships in small quantities.
l hope that Abarth sends the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition to dealerships sooner than later. For now, though, the special edition 595 is at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show as a visual reminder that Abarth and Yamaha have a solid relationship that’s built on the pursuit of motor racing success.
Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition.
Fiat has been building a market for itself since the 500 debuted for 2012 here in the U.S. Now the brand has three main models, two of which ride on the same platform but cater to different crowds. The 2016 Fiat 500X offers a somewhat rugged package with a tad more ground clearance and AWD. Its stable mate, the 2015 Fiat 500L offers a more urban experience, complete with cutesy looks and a functional interior.
I recently got to spend some quality time with the 500L in my day-to-day life. Obviously its larger size, four real doors, and seating for five provided a much more family-friendly ride than the previous two Fiats I’ve tested – the Fiat 500 and 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio, both in the sporty Abarth trim.
The term “large” almost seems like an understatement when sitting inside for the first time. Its tall roof, wide stance, and long body make the car feel much bigger than it actually is. Its interior space feels almost MPV-like. Funny it should feel that way because the 500L also shares its platform with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City.
Unlike the ProMaster City, the 500L comes powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder – a very prevalent engine in the Fiat lineup. Three transmission options are offered, the first being a six-speed manual and the two remaining being six-speed automatics, one of which is a dual-clutch unit.
Five trim levels are offered and span the gap between rental ready and leather-lined. My tester walked the middle ground as a Trekking model, which offers a bit more rugged exterior without crossing into the 500X’s market. Still, the 500L offers plenty of practicality without sacrificing quirkiness.
Continue reading for the full driven review
It’s not often that a car becomes so indelibly tied to an automaker that the two become nearly synonymous, but that’s the case with the Fiat 500. While the new, third-generation 2007 Fiat 500 was created in 2007, its predecessor was first launched a half-century prior. Also known as the “Cinquecento” in Italian, the second-generation, or “Nuova” (“New”) 500 was originally billed as affordable, practical, small car for scooting around town. More importantly, it’s the model that marked the rebirth of Fiat and the beginning of recovery for post-war Italy. Nearly 4 million examples of the vehicle were produced over the course of its 18-year production, and today, it remains a true icon of European motoring.
Through the years, the 500 saw a few different body styles and minor equipment changes, but the basic formula remained unaltered from the original. The result was an enormous success for Fiat, and today, it remains part of the automaker’s identity, providing inspiration for the current model with the same combination of nippy performance, small packaging, big practicality and eye-catching looks.
Simply put, the Nuova 500 was, and continues to be, Fiat’s most famous car of the people.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1957-1975 Fiat 500.