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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Hi guys!

Comment about the "huge" doors ..............
Let me explain a bit clearer.

The doors are bigger because the car is a two-door of course. No issues with that.
We've had two-door cars before, but the Fiat500 doors are heavier than we've had experience of before, and also the spring system leaves a lot to be desired in that the door needs to be opened quite a way before it sort of latches open. Meanwhile, if you are on a slope and you can't open it far enough, it can fall back on you and maybe a leg, and it hurts. We have a narrow gateway and drive, and the doors were an absolute pain. If they weren't spring-loaded they would have been better. Pushing them open against gravity and against the hinge/spring system was a terrible disadvantage.

Reliability and non-reliability and car ownership I can cope with. I've always done DIY tinkering and servicing, and with the Fiat500 I needed to buy a computer program to clear intermittent fault codes! First car I've had that needs the owner to connect up from time to time to check on the car's health!

I reckon that our Yaris will be fine for years and years, just like our Clio has been. Believe me, my heart was in my mouth every time I started the 500TA or opened a door or opened the rear hatch. I first came on here discussing the fact that ours wouldn't start. Nowt wrong, it just was dead when you went to start it. Try again immediately, and all would be well, and would remain so for a week or more ............. then the same thing. Silence. It was still doing that when we traded it in. Luckily, the dealer started it fine and drove it round the back. How it is now, is anyone's guess.

Don't get me wrong though, it was a fantastic car to drive. It was my weapon of choice, and I absolutely loved the power and the glory of it. The car was a head-turner and all who saw it admired it. A real looker of a car, and it went like a rocket. I loved it to bits.

To be absolutely frank and honest, I'm very very glad it's gone. I believe it was a liability of a car ................... looks a million dollars, but built for cents.

Regards to all,
Mick.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by Mick F View Post
Reliability and non-reliability and car ownership I can cope with. I've always done DIY tinkering and servicing, and with the Fiat500 I needed to buy a computer program to clear intermittent fault codes! First car I've had that needs the owner to connect up from time to time to check on the car's health!
Really? Both my Renaults (owned from new) came with a stack of fault codes in the ECU. I scanned my Trafic the minute I got it and it had about 16 pending codes on it! Pretty much every car on the road will have pending codes on it, even the way you drive can bring up codes. Accidentally stall the engine? Yup pending code.

Don't get me started on the VW that cost me $10k in one year and needed $15k still to be spent.

If you want trouble free motoring, Toyota is your best bet, but it will always be just another car.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by muttleysdad View Post
I do get the impression that the early ones were better put together and the parts were of better quality.
There might be something in this. I remember Honest John getting one of the very early '57 plate 500s (1.2 Lounge I think) which he ran for years and provided several reports and updates on the website. If I remember correctly he didn't have a single issue in all the time he ran the car (5 or 6 years) and rated the car as one of the most reliable vehicles he'd owned.

EDIT: found one of the long term reports on HJ's (actually an '08 plate) early 500. There are update reports to 2016 so it appears he still owns the car.

https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-te...ong-term-test/
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Last edited by MarginWalker; 3 Weeks Ago at 13:43.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
IMO the TA engine may turn out to have been a big mistake; pure petrol cars with questionable real world economy are not the direction most other manufacturers are going just now.
Mistake? No way! At the time the TA was developed, no one in the automotive industry was interested in real driving emissions or real world fuel consumption. The NEDC results were the only figures that mattered. FIAT did a marvelous job optimizing the TA for the NEDC. No other car manufacturer was brave enough to take such drastic measures. Almost a decade later, the real driving emissions are important, since they became part of the legislation. Now hybrids are a more logical way to go, but that doesn't make the TA a mistake.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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Re: Sold our 500TA

I bought my 500C Lounge 'Twinair' in mid 2013, and I have to admit it was with some trepidation, knowing FIAT's reputation in this country and having been a Mazda man for forty-odd years. I'll also admit that it was a sort of impulse buy - I didn't intend buying a black car, a convertible car or, indeed, a new car! However, once I saw it, all chrome, red leather, ivory wheel etc, I was 'sold'. It did come with built-in problems; the clutch hydraulics failed within weeks (twice!), the stop/start didn't work and there are certain flaws in the design; such as the instruments being invisible in bright sunlight. Nonetheless, I've had it four years, it's been relatively trouble free, and it's the most characterful car on the local market - I love it. It's made driving fun again. Other than a new 124 Spider there's no other car I'd rather be driving.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Mick, I too had the 6 year itch back in February, and our 500 TA went too. We needed a second 4-door car due to increasing numbers of grandchildren. I chose an 18 month old 500X, not because of any particular brand loyalty, but I liked the styling, particularly the interior. I find the uniform grey/black interiors on most cars very boring. The 140bhp petrol engine also appealed. I'm not too concerned by mpg, I only do about 5000 miles per year now, but my TA would easily do 50mpg on a run, and never less than 40 around town. I still miss it, my wife hasn't forgiven me for changing it!
Reliability is an emotive issue. Ours was very good (2011 build), and I honestly don't think it would have become worse than any other car as it aged. The only objective source of reliability data I've found is that published by Warranty Direct. This rates the 500 as above average, the Yaris better still. Both are better than the other small car I picked at random, the Mini.
I'm sure your Yaris will be great over the years. I've a mate who is a Toyota mechanic specialising in hybrids, and he says they are very good. He did say though that Toyota will try anything they can to avoid paying for a repair under the 5 year warranty.
Finally, careful with any poking around under the bonnet - there be killer volts in there!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by Mick F View Post
We got tired of only having two doors, and that they were huge heavy ones.
Personally I prefer heavy doors. For some reason I believe they are good for my safety.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by AGH1965 View Post
Personally I prefer heavy doors. For some reason I believe they are good for my safety.
I would agree with you if it wasn't for the fact that the bloody door handles are likely to break off if someone is frantically trying to get you out of the car should you be involved in an accident. Ours snapped off just by opening the doors in a non life threatening situation.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by AGH1965 View Post
Personally I prefer heavy doors. For some reason I believe they are good for my safety.
I see your point, but try having one close on your 60odd year old legs, when all you were trying to do was get out to open the gate.

Mick.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #25
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Quote Originally Posted by Mick F View Post
I see your point, but try having one close on your 60odd year old legs, when all you were trying to do was get out to open the gate.

Mick.
You'd love the doors on my golf cabriolet, given they form a large part of the cars structure, they are about as long as a fiat 500 and each weighs about the same as a fiat as well, fortunately the springs are a bit better than those on the 500
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #26
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Re: Sold our 500TA

If I remember correctly, the only two doors on the first generation Ford KA were similiarly big and even heavier due to the materials used back in the day. I agree, it's no fun having one of them slam on your legs, especially if a gust of wind catches one. I think the old Mini doors were even heavier.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #27
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Re: Sold our 500TA

We've owned seven Minis over the years.
Two vans
Two Estates
Three Saloons

Actually, we had eight, as we bought an MOT failure saloon, pulled it all apart and sold all the bits. We bought it for 25 and it had half a tank of petrol, five good tyres and a perfect engine and gearbox! We made a few hundred quid on it including the scrap metal.

The doors weren't very big, but I can't remember them being heavy. What is certain though, is that they weren't spring-loaded and seemed to stay where you put them. They were on hinges (early external, and later internal) and had a check strap and/or a check rod. The rod caught as the door opened fully and would "lock" open with an audible click.

Happy days!
Mick.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote Originally Posted by AGH1965 View Post
Personally I prefer heavy doors. For some reason I believe they are good for my safety.
In the 80's the doors on my 3 door hatch Honda Accord were enormous!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #29
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
I would agree with you if it wasn't for the fact that the bloody door handles are likely to break off if someone is frantically trying to get you out of the car should you be involved in an accident.
Opening the door is just secondary. Primary is that the door doesn't deform too much when someone crashes his car into it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #30
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Interesting thread this one.

My wife is probably going to say bye to her 500 soon, there's no massive reason for it other than it's maybe not quite suitable for us as a family any more.

There's no huge issue in terms of space with 2 adults and 2 young children, but we have become very much aware of the size of everything else on the road, plus the fact that our children don't seem to have that much of a gap between their heads and the back window - it looks likely that we will go for a Fiesta as there isn't anything in the Fiat range that really floats our boat.

I've been on here for 8 years now and to be honest the 500 is a reliable car on the whole in my opinion. It's a Panda, and the Panda is universally regarded as a solid car. If something breaks, it's generally pretty cheap to fix and replace. Things like the door handles are pretty lame though, don't get me wrong. My wife's one has been broken for nearly a year now, but if you open it the right way the hinge looks like it works fine
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