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Old 14-08-2014   #1
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500L Holiday Rental

Just pack from a weeks hols in Italy, and had the good fortune to have a 500L Popstar Diesel as my hire car for the week. It had only done 4.5K Km from new, but still averaged over 50mpg including a couple of blasts down the Autostrada from Milan to Genoa and Firenze, plus a good deal of pootling about from the coast (sea level) up to our rented appartment 1500ft up the mountain roads full of hairpins!

I was really impressed with the way it drove (especially as it's only a 1.3) - perfectly happy on the Autostrada, but needed a fair amount of stick shifting around the hairpins, including into 1st gear occasionally. It had plenty of room for 2 adults, 2 teenagers and a load of luggage.

One word of warning though - be careful who you rent from. We flew to Milano Malpensa with Easyjet (good service) but booked through their car-hire sister company Easycar and ended up with a car from GOLDCAR - the biggest bunch of scheisters and crooks I've ever had the misfortune to deal with. Nearly two hours wait for a car and then more than double the pre-booked cost, once fuel and an extra insurance policy was paid for. If you don't pay for their Euro 160 'Super Relax' policy, then they take a Euro 1200 deposit from your credit card which only gets returned 30 days after the return of the car. Plus they were the rudest people I've ever dealt with. I'm glad I took out their extra policy though, as on collection, the car had two large scrapes which no-one would come out to acknowledge, and having read online about other peoples experiences with them, once they've taken a deposit, they are keen to hang on to it for any reason. Just google 'goldcar reviews'........

They operate in Spain, Italy and around the med, so be warned, when you go for the the cheapest, you get what you pay for!

Rant over - the car was brilliant!
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Old 15-08-2014   #2
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Re: 500L Holiday Rental

Cheers for the heads-up - I'm hoping to go to Italy in the next few months (might be early next year looking at finances) & am half-keen to drive over there, so I'll avoid Goldcar and EasyCar.

I drove a 500L 1.3 Multijet MPW with work last year and was also surprised at how well it went. Ok it's gonna break no records but I have the same 1.3 85bhp engine in my MiTo and whilst it's pretty good in that, I'd never expected it to cope how it does in the 500L. A striking thing is how much quieter and less vibration-prone it is compared to the 1.6 Multijet in the same car.

Obviously others agree as nearly all the privately owned 500L's I've seen parked up etc have been 5-speed ie 1.3 Multijet (all other engines have 6 speed).

Really nice interior too I think, far more feeling of space than the claustrophobic Mini Countryman I've driven. Fiat just need to cut the list prices by about 1500-2000 on each model I think, as they look pricey against rivals like the Renault Captur.
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