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Old 02-06-2014   #1
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Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Hi everyone! First off, I hope I'm posting this in the right section, if not please move it

So I'm 21 years old and I love the look of Fiats but I am wondering if it would be an ideal car for me. I am mainly interested in the Fiat 500. My mom is worried that the car is too small and unsafe. How do you Fiat owners feel about the safeness(?) of the car? I'll be driving to school which is about a 40 minute drive and I'd have to take the freeway. How is this car on has and on the highway? Id also plan to keep it for 10 years if I can. Are repairs costly for this car?
Sorry for so many questions I'm just in need of advice
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Old 02-06-2014   #2
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

It is NCAP 5 rated which is the highest safety rating, what that means is that in the event of a bad accident there is a high probability that the passengers (including the driver ) will walk away from it, the car will probably be a right off as it is designed to sacrifice its self for the safety of the passengers. As for the freeways, it will take them in its stride with no problems. I don't know about the economy figures for the states.
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Old 02-06-2014   #3
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

It's been enhanced to meet all American safety regulations, so don't worry. The little Fiat is strong!
Having said that, the laws of physics still apply, so don't drive into a truck.
The American car has a more powerful engine than is available in Europe, and a dedicated and uncomplicated automatic transmission, which is likely to be very durable. Fiats are generally surprisingly long lasting too, at least since they stopped using rubbish Russian steel. This, by the way, is an irrelevance in the North American market where the 500 is built, in Mexico, like lots of American cars, In a modern factory.

Don't be afraid, it's a very fine little car, and very safe.
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Last edited by Ulpian; 02-06-2014 at 19:50.
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Old 02-06-2014   #4
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Quote Originally Posted by scout View Post
It is NCAP 5 rated which is the highest safety rating, what that means is that in the event of a bad accident there is a high probability that the passengers (including the driver ) will walk away from it, the car will probably be a right off as it is designed to sacrifice its self for the safety of the passengers. As for the freeways, it will take them in its stride with no problems. I don't know about the economy figures for the states.
just remember that the ncap ratings are relative, a 5 star supermini won't handle a crash as well as a 5 star big estate.
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Old 02-06-2014   #5
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by 306maxi View Post
just remember that the ncap ratings are relative, a 5 star supermini won't handle a crash as well as a 5 star big estate.
True but as supermini's go its very good
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Old 02-06-2014   #6
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Quote Originally Posted by scout View Post
True but as supermini's go its very good
it is, but a lot of people think all 5 star cars are the same.
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Old 02-06-2014   #7
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by 306maxi View Post
it is, but a lot of people think all 5 star cars are the same.
not anymore
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Old 02-06-2014   #8
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

At the end of the day, it's all very well having a safety cell built into the car and a load of airbags, but if you hit something head on at 60 mph, your internal organs aint going to stop at the moment of impact. Sorry, but that's the way it is.....
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Old 02-06-2014   #9
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
At the end of the day, it's all very well having a safety cell built into the car and a load of airbags, but if you hit something head on at 60 mph, your internal organs aint going to stop at the moment of impact. Sorry, but that's the way it is.....
Lets scare the s**t out of a newbie, well done guys . What you didn't say was, that applies for ANY car regardless of safety rating. Better to have a safer car than not IMHO.
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by scout View Post
Lets scare the s**t out of a newbie, well done guys . What you didn't say was, that applies for ANY car regardless of safety rating. Better to have a safer car than not IMHO.
It has nothing to do with scaring the crap out of anyone, it's about basic knowledge and understanding of what happens in a serious accident.

We've all seen those crash test dummy promos the car manufacturers push out showing just how 'safe' their cars are in a crash, but do they mention the potential massive internal damage caused to the human body when coming to a sudden stop after hitting a solid object? Answers on a postcard please.

I personally applaud the plethora of safety devices added to vehicles over the last 20 years, indeed many more people are alive because of them, however they should never be taken for granted or assumed that they will save your life at the worse possible moment.
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Old 02-06-2014   #11
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
It has nothing to do with scaring the crap out of anyone, it's about basic knowledge and understanding of what happens in a serious accident.

We've all seen those crash test dummy promos the car manufacturers push out showing just how 'safe' their cars are in a crash, but do they mention the potential massive internal damage caused to the human body when coming to a sudden stop after hitting a solid object? Answers on a postcard please.

I personally applaud the plethora of safety devices added to vehicles over the last 20 years, indeed many more people are alive because of them, however they should never be taken for granted or assumed that they will save your life at the worse possible moment.
That wasn't what I was on about. More the fact that it doesn't just apply to little cars but EVERY car. You've got more chance with the safety devises than without although that doesn't mean you can drive like a muppet and survive.
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Old 02-06-2014   #12
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by scout View Post
That wasn't what I was on about. More the fact that it doesn't just apply to little cars but EVERY car. You've got more chance with the safety devises than without although that doesn't mean you can drive like a muppet and survive.
I know exactly what you were on about and I just think you are being argumentative for the sakes of it. All of us with an ounce of common sense know it applies to every car.

If I wasn't happy with the 500's safety features, I wouldn't be on 500 number two. I still wouldn't like to be in a serious impact in one though, just as I wouldn't like to be in any vehicle in a serious impact.
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Old 02-06-2014   #13
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

10 years! Ok the 1.2 (?) engine is easy to work on and labour bills will be low (independent not dealership prices) but the repeated need to replace suspension & steering components not including the wiring faults would cancel this out. If I was buying a car new and keeping it for 10 years it wouldn't be a Fiat.
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Old 03-06-2014   #14
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

The Younger Mrs S's Cinquecento is 15 years old and no problems barring the odd wear and tear. And that's previous generation to 500.

My brother is looking a 500 for his newbie driver step-daughter..... He reckons 500 is class-leading safe. For sure, a *new* bigger car or truck is going to be safer than a new small car in a big accident... but if you're spending "new 500" money to get a bigger car or truck, then it will be older and/or it won't have the latest safety features ythe 500 has.

Anyway 500 is light, it has good vehicle dynamics and is easy to manouvre.. so it's more nimble... It won't get you into trouble in the first place... and it will get you out of trouble without throwing a tantrum.

Reliability is splendid. Things will inevitably break and wear out.. but they're made just next door.. so will be reasonably cheap. 500 is not that complicated, so easy (i.e. any competent mechanic will be able) to fix it.

Quality is good ... so it'll last 10 years *easy*. And it's cute... so you'll want to look after it.. Take your ma' to see one if she's not sure. It's a well-built piece of kit when you look at it close up.


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Old 03-06-2014   #15
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Re: Thinking of getting a Fiat 500...I have questions

Quote Originally Posted by Ralf S. View Post
500 is light, it has good vehicle dynamics and is easy to manouvre...
All true for most 500's; I would however argue that easy manoeuvrability is not a feature of 1.4 16v models - the 6-speed box makes for a laughable turning circle considering the short wheelbase and even an experienced driver will need to make multiple point manoeuvres in tight car park situations. Combine this with the stiffer steering resulting from having the 'Sport' mode engaged (I like this steering effect and have sport mode on all the time) and one does not have an easily manoeuvrable small car! Stick with a 5-speed model (in other words, avoid all 1.4 16v models) if ease of manoeuvrability is important.

Edit: just realised OP is from the US, where the 6-speed manual gearbox isn't available anyway!
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Last edited by MarginWalker; 03-06-2014 at 23:01.
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