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Old 29-08-2017   #1
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Sold our 500TA

We traded our 500TA in at the weekend.

Main reasons:
1. We got tired of only having two doors, and that they were huge heavy ones.
2. The car was too small generally.
3. Mrs Mick F didn't like driving it, and in the three years of ownership, she only drove it three times.
4. The supposedly good mpg figures were never achieved. 42mpg average in the 15,000miles we owned it. Best we got was 53mpg on the motorway at a steady 50mph.
5. Finally, I got to thinking that these cars are a ticking time-bomb ................

The car is now 6years old.
The driver's door handle hinge broke.
The S/S battery was rubbish, so had to buy another, and this one must be on its way out by now.
I changed blown the DRL bulbs a total of five times.
I always hesitated opening the rear hatch, waiting for all hell to break loose.

Now have a Toyota Yaris Hybrid. 60mpg is easy peasy even on these Cornish hills, where the 500TA would barely manage 38mpg.

It's gone. and I'm very much relieved that it got to the Toyota dealers in one piece and with no alarms showing.

I'll remain a member of this forum if that's ok.

Best wishes to all, and trouble-free 500 driving.
Mick.
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Old 29-08-2017   #2
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Well Mick, I'm not going to lambaste you for your decision. Basically, you've told it how it is. Granted, not everyone will have the same experiences as you, but having owned two 500's myself, I know where you are coming from. For us, the 500 certainly wasn't a car we'd ever have considered long term ownership of. First three years was enough for us. Far too many problems for what is essentially, a hideously overpriced tiny car, which is a shame, because both I and my wife love the look of the 500.

We too never achieved the famously published mpg figures. From the TA's perspective, fuel economy was a huge disappointment. Even our 1.2 Hyundai i10 Premium manages to achieve the same average mpg as the TA did and indeed, on the one long run we've done in the i10, it even beat the mpg figure there too, and that is using exactly the same fuel, Shell Nitro unleaded, which is the only fuel we ever use.

As for reliability, our Hyundai i10 totally wipes the floor over the 500. Not had a single issue with it in just over two years of ownership. A great buy with a lot more bang for buck.

I applaud your honesty and wish you well with your new Toyota.
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Old 29-08-2017   #3
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Re: Sold our 500TA

I bought the 500MJD lounge for my daughter, her first car. She looked good in it, nearly every 500 I see in my area (and there are lots of them) is being driven by a young lady, its a very stylish/funky car............ and maybe thats the problem.

fiat can sell these all day long, based on aesthetics, if these young girls will spend 100's on teeth/shoes/handbags/phones etc then they will certainly pay through the nose to keep their cars on the road. The first sign of trouble we had was a leaking fuel pump. I suggested we looked to trade it in against an i10 or yaris, but she loved the car, so 400 on a replacement fuel pump. I wont go through all of the costs in the last nine months. The only fault with the car now is the boot struts not holding the hatch open. They will not be replaced to discourage her from using it (have Fiat sorted the hatch wiring out on more recent models?).

When she gets to 12 months and her insurance renewal comes through (with a 1 year no claims discount hopefully) and no warning lights on the dash, I'll see if she would like to upgrade to something like a Yaris. I like the look of the Vauxhall Adam but they too seem over priced.
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Old 29-08-2017   #4
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Re: Sold our 500TA

I often wonder what happened with the fiat 500?

I bought mine when they first appeared in the show rooms and its now nearly 10 years old and done 56K, admittedly the last few years its only done around 1K a year as it lives in the garage and is used at weekends only.
the cost back then was 7500 on the road which I didn't think was too bad at the time.

Its the 1.2 engine which I still think is the best of the bunch (50+ MPG most of the time even when driven quite hard). I've had no warning lights. The only parts that have been replaced are what I would class as wear and tare i.e. tyres, brakes, exhaust, rear shocks, front strut tops, suspension bushes, cam belt and water pump. Also a battery at 7 years old.
The door handles are still ok and the hatch wiring has never been an issue.
Either I got a good one from the off or Fiat really let their game slip as production went on.
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Old 29-08-2017   #5
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by muttleysdad View Post
I often wonder what happened with the fiat 500?
Fiat woke up one day to discover they'd created a cash cow. Since then, they've milked it for all it's worth.

I'd say Mick & Frupi have got it nailed; both are fair and objective assessments which are broadly in line with most of what's posted here on the forum.

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.

Buying a secondhand 500 at current prices could turn out to be an expensive way of running a car. There are some potentially costly gotchas which can't easily be assessed or inspected.

And Mick, FWIW, I think you've done the right thing. I'm glad you're going to stay around, we'd seriously miss you if you weren't here.

IMO this forum is the best thing about owning a Fiat. Interestingly, we also have an expanding collection of ex-Fiat owners, all of whom are most welcome to remain here and join our events.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 29-08-2017 at 20:28.
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Old 29-08-2017   #6
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Maybe all the moaners would be better off selling their 500s.
Please move on to the i10, Yaris forums.
There is more to car ownership than mpg and reliability.
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Old 29-08-2017   #7
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by Mick F View Post
We traded our 500TA in at the weekend.



Main reasons:

1. We got tired of only having two doors, and that they were huge heavy ones.

2. The car was too small generally.

3. Mrs Mick F didn't like driving it, and in the three years of ownership, she only drove it three times.

4. The supposedly good mpg figures were never achieved. 42mpg average in the 15,000miles we owned it. Best we got was 53mpg on the motorway at a steady 50mph.

5. Finally, I got to thinking that these cars are a ticking time-bomb ................



The car is now 6years old.

The driver's door handle hinge broke.

The S/S battery was rubbish, so had to buy another, and this one must be on its way out by now.

I changed blown the DRL bulbs a total of five times.

I always hesitated opening the rear hatch, waiting for all hell to break loose.



Now have a Toyota Yaris Hybrid. 60mpg is easy peasy even on these Cornish hills, where the 500TA would barely manage 38mpg.



It's gone. and I'm very much relieved that it got to the Toyota dealers in one piece and with no alarms showing.



I'll remain a member of this forum if that's ok.



Best wishes to all, and trouble-free 500 driving.

Mick.


Huge heavy doors! Seriously? Not exactly Fiats fault you bought a 2 door car and your wife dident like it!
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Old 29-08-2017   #8
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by sharpandroid View Post
Maybe all the moaners would be better off selling their 500s.
We're not moaning, we're telling it like it is. And a lot of the smart money is taking advantage of the good residuals to trade in these cars once they come out of warranty. Many of these folks are replacing them with another 500.

Quote Originally Posted by sharpandroid View Post
There is more to car ownership than mpg and reliability.
Exactly. That's why I run both a 500 and a Panda.

That said, having now done a whisker under 80k seven years in, the Panda has proven to be both the most reliable and one of the most economical cars I've ever owned.

But there are an increasing number of posts from disillusioned new owners who've bought a secondhand 500 as their first Fiat and are disappointed to find they've paid a premium price for a car that's turned out to have faults which are both frustrating to diagnose and expensive to rectify. It's important that potential 500 buyers realise that they're paying a premium price for fashionability and desirability, and not a premium quality product.

The reality is that you can buy a more economical and reliable car for the money, but you may not enjoy either owning it or driving it in quite the same way.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 29-08-2017 at 21:48.
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Old 29-08-2017   #9
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Re: Sold our 500TA

No disillusionment from this 500 owner. 9 years of trouble-free motoring in my 1.4 Sport, which has conveyed me everywhere without a single breakdown and no issues other than replacement of the usual consumables. Sailed through every MOT, original handles intact, all good at the rear hatch and a sweet revvy peach of a motor at the front. Fun to drive, very comfortable on long journeys and looks great in black. One very happy owner here.
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Old 30-08-2017   #10
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by MarginWalker View Post
No disillusionment from this 500 owner. 9 years of trouble-free motoring in my 1.4 Sport, which has conveyed me everywhere without a single breakdown and no issues other than replacement of the usual consumables. Sailed through every MOT, original handles intact, all good at the rear hatch and a sweet revvy peach of a motor at the front. Fun to drive, very comfortable on long journeys and looks great in black. One very happy owner here.


Nice to read a positive post on this forum for a change rather then the usual negative doom & gloom that gets peddled here, probably won't be long before the usual contributors arrive and advise you to shift it now before it starts to fail and cost you a fortune...
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Old 30-08-2017   #11
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by Mercky View Post
Nice to read a positive post on this forum for a change rather then the usual negative doom & gloom that gets peddled here, probably won't be long before the usual contributors arrive and advise you to shift it now before it starts to fail and cost you a fortune...
Perhaps I've been lucky with the one I bought but it really has been utterly dependable and very cheap to run over the years. I'm sure that advice from this forum has helped me avoid some of the well known issues - I lubricate the door hinges with silicone lubricant once a year, avoid opening the rear hatch to its full extent and have fitted Bilstein rear shocks and Denso iridium plugs - all after reading threads here.

Aside from the reliability and low running costs, I like it that the design still looks fresh 10 years on - I still notice the occasional 'head turn' even with all the 500s we have on the roads these days. Guess there aren't too many crossover black Sport models around. IMHO the original 'nuovo' 500 of 2007 looks better than the 2015 facelifted version. Not keen on the overtly busy front end and half-finished rear lights of the current 500.
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Old 30-08-2017   #12
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Re: Sold our 500TA

The fact is, the truth hurts! The only reason 'doom' and 'gloom' gets peddled on this forum, is because owners are more than willing to divulge the problems they are having with their vehicles. Maybe, if owners kept their vehicle problems to themselves, everything would be just rosy in the garden? But then that wouldn't really be a great forum would it? Some forum members might not like reading the whingeing, but these are real life experiences of owners suffering issues. You can't just tell them to 'suck it up and get on with it'!

We'd all like to constantly read of 'happy' owners with 'wonderful' experiences, but some of us don't walk around with rose tinted glasses on and aren't afraid to tell things how they really are. We've had it all on here, 500's bought from independent dealers who've had engine mountings snap, door handles routinely breaking off and just being accepted as a 'quirk' of ownership, flashing instruments, broken climate control systems, rear hatch wiring faults, stop/start system failures, failed shock absorbers, boot micro switch failures, the list goes on and on. The thing is, out of warranty, for anyone not mechanically adept or lacking proper diagnostic equipment, these 'failures' can be expensive to fix. There are owners on this forum who have by their own admissions, spent thousands of pounds on repairs on cars they've literally owned just a few weeks or months.

Yes, there appear to be exceptions across all car marques where some owners have years of trouble free motoring, not a single issue, which is indeed very, very lucky if that is the case. But as has already been pointed out, this forum is absolutely rammed, just like lots of other car forums, of owners complaining of problems. The same problems, over and over again.

jrkitching was spot on when he said that the 500 is a Fiat cash cow. Fiat designed a really good looking car which is from experience, fun to drive and is by far one of the most eye pleasing small motor cars on the market. In our own case, we may well now own a rather 'dull' and 'boring' looking Hyundai i10 (2nd Generation model), but it's a reliable car and does what it's supposed to do. Trust me, there is no 'fun' in having to spend out loads of money sorting out problems all the time. We counted ourselves incredibly lucky in some respects because during our ownership of 500's, the cars were under Fiat warranty and so the common problems we encountered were fixed FOC. The only time I had to spend any 'real' money on our last 500, was buying a brand new tyre due to a nail rendering the tyre unrepairable.

As I've said myself previously on several occasions, I don't ever regret having had the 'fun' of the ownership of a 500, but having owned two from new and suffering problems with both like I've never suffered with any other vehicle I've bought from new before, and at the last count, that was six brand new cars, perhaps people can understand the frustration that can be vented when you've spent a lot of money on a vehicle which imo quite frankly, isn't worth the money its peddled for. Heck, we didn't even pay full market price for the 500's we owned, we had some rather hefty discounts. I can tell you now, I'd never have paid full retail price for one.

At the end of the day, the market is about choice. If people choose to part with their cash for a 500, just as I did previously, then great. Enjoy the experience both good and bad and share those experiences. For those 'new' owners both brand new first time 500 owners, but more especially those who have bought used 500's, just be prepared for a little expense and inconvenience if things start to go wrong. This forum might not have all of the answers, but it does cover the vast majority of the common and persistent problems that seem to dog many an owner.
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Old 30-08-2017   #13
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by MarginWalker View Post
Perhaps I've been lucky with the one I bought but it really has been utterly dependable and very cheap to run over the years. I'm sure that advice from this forum has helped me avoid some of the well known issues - I lubricate the door hinges with silicone lubricant once a year, avoid opening the rear hatch to its full extent and have fitted Bilstein rear shocks and Denso iridium plugs - all after reading threads here.



Aside from the reliability and low running costs, I like it that the design still looks fresh 10 years on - I still notice the occasional 'head turn' even with all the 500s we have on the roads these days. Guess there aren't too many crossover black Sport models around. IMHO the original 'nuovo' 500 of 2007 looks better than the 2015 facelifted version. Not keen on the overtly busy front end and half-finished rear lights of the current 500.


Heading towards 4 years with my TA and no major issues either, guess I must be lucky too! I agree that the original 500's are the nicest particularly in plain Pop form or a Sport like yours, there's a black Pop near work that I always admire, there's something about the purity of the original unadorned version that has stood the test of time very well despite been a retro model
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Old 30-08-2017   #14
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Re: Sold our 500TA

I do get the impression that the early ones were better put together and the parts were of better quality. As JRK said Fiat realised they had a cash cow on their hands the price went up the build times were slashed and the parts sourced as cheaply as possible.
At this moment in time I have no plans to ditch mine I treat it as a toy these days anyway.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 30-08-2017   #15
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Re: Sold our 500TA

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
The fact is, the truth hurts! The only reason 'doom' and 'gloom' gets peddled on this forum, is because owners are more than willing to divulge the problems they are having with their vehicles. Maybe, if owners kept their vehicle problems to themselves, everything would be just rosy in the garden? But then that wouldn't really be a great forum would it? Some forum members might not like reading the whingeing, but these are real life experiences of owners suffering issues. You can't just tell them to 'suck it up and get on with it'!

We'd all like to constantly read of 'happy' owners with 'wonderful' experiences, but some of us don't walk around with rose tinted glasses on and aren't afraid to tell things how they really are. We've had it all on here, 500's bought from independent dealers who've had engine mountings snap, door handles routinely breaking off and just being accepted as a 'quirk' of ownership, flashing instruments, broken climate control systems, rear hatch wiring faults, stop/start system failures, failed shock absorbers, boot micro switch failures, the list goes on and on. The thing is, out of warranty, for anyone not mechanically adept or lacking proper diagnostic equipment, these 'failures' can be expensive to fix. There are owners on this forum who have by their own admissions, spent thousands of pounds on repairs on cars they've literally owned just a few weeks or months.

Yes, there appear to be exceptions across all car marques where some owners have years of trouble free motoring, not a single issue, which is indeed very, very lucky if that is the case. But as has already been pointed out, this forum is absolutely rammed, just like lots of other car forums, of owners complaining of problems. The same problems, over and over again.

jrkitching was spot on when he said that the 500 is a Fiat cash cow. Fiat designed a really good looking car which is from experience, fun to drive and is by far one of the most eye pleasing small motor cars on the market. In our own case, we may well now own a rather 'dull' and 'boring' looking Hyundai i10 (2nd Generation model), but it's a reliable car and does what it's supposed to do. Trust me, there is no 'fun' in having to spend out loads of money sorting out problems all the time. We counted ourselves incredibly lucky in some respects because during our ownership of 500's, the cars were under Fiat warranty and so the common problems we encountered were fixed FOC. The only time I had to spend any 'real' money on our last 500, was buying a brand new tyre due to a nail rendering the tyre unrepairable.

As I've said myself previously on several occasions, I don't ever regret having had the 'fun' of the ownership of a 500, but having owned two from new and suffering problems with both like I've never suffered with any other vehicle I've bought from new before, and at the last count, that was six brand new cars, perhaps people can understand the frustration that can be vented when you've spent a lot of money on a vehicle which imo quite frankly, isn't worth the money its peddled for. Heck, we didn't even pay full market price for the 500's we owned, we had some rather hefty discounts. I can tell you now, I'd never have paid full retail price for one.

At the end of the day, the market is about choice. If people choose to part with their cash for a 500, just as I did previously, then great. Enjoy the experience both good and bad and share those experiences. For those 'new' owners both brand new first time 500 owners, but more especially those who have bought used 500's, just be prepared for a little expense and inconvenience if things start to go wrong. This forum might not have all of the answers, but it does cover the vast majority of the common and persistent problems that seem to dog many an owner.
All good stuff there Frupi but there is a kind of tone on this forum from some members that I find irksome - it's as if they think some head honcho from Fiat is going to read their post and put it on the agenda for the next FCA board meeting! I'm a realist myself and never wear the rose tinted specs but a sense of balance and a little bit of passion never goes astray. I certainly dont expect my 500 to be trouble free just like I dident expect my string of Alfas over the years to be either but looking back I enjoyed them all and still own one today simply because I like them and enjoy driving them warts and all!
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