elTad3ZV Fiat 500e electric
Fiat 500e electric
Fiat 500e electric

Pre-loved: Fiat 500 2008-2020 

Fiat wedding cars
Fiat wedding cars


The original Fiat 500 Bambino was introduced in 1957.

The all-new model arrived as a celebration 50 years later.

Though visually based on the 1957 model the new Fiat 500 is several sizes up on the old, that’s partly to provide crash protection in the way of crumple zones and anti-intrusion bars — but also to give it reasonable interior space. 

Australian imports of new Fiat 500 three-door hatchbacks began in February, 2008.

A two-door cabriolet with a huge fabric roof joined it two years later. 

Around town the Fiat 500 is fun to drive, it buzzes in and out of the traffic and can be slotted into small parking spots that make those driving the currently fashionable pickup trucks wonder if they’ve made the wrong choice.

Four adults can fit into this baby Fiat with more room than you would anticipate, principally because they sit quite upright.

Getting into the back through the ‘front’ doors can be a pain, though.

Boot space isn’t great but that’s part of the price you pay for having reasonable back seat space.

Though the volume of the cabriolet’s boot is similar to that of the hatch, it’s significantly harder to load through a much small opening.

While the new Mini and new VW Beetle are the Fiat’s direct competitors, they have both been heavily revised since their introduction.

By contrast the Fiat 500 remains much the same, only getting mild restyling and minor mechanical upgrades.

So, Nuova Fiat is starting to show its age.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but try before you buy to see what you think.

August, 2014 saw the introduction of the Fiat 500 Tricolore ‘three colours’ in Italian with the red-white-green stripes of the Italian national flag on the body and decals.

It also has and chromed door mirror housings.

Inside there are floor mats again in the red-white-green theme.

The Fiat 500 Tricolore’s key even has an Italian flag design. 

A makeover in February, 2016 introduced mild styling changes front and rear.

Seat and trim designs were changed and revising seat padding improved comfort.

A central infotainment screen gives acmes to the Fiat-Chrysler Uconnect system and USB, Aux and Bluetooth connections

A brilliant special edition is the Fiat 500 by Gucci – a fascinating collaboration between two iconic Italian brands.

It has added chrome and the Gucci green-red-green theme is used on the seats and even the seatbelts. 

The green n’ red stripes are featured on the sides of the hatchback and the roof of the cabriolet and the 16-inch alloys have Gucci symbols in their centres.

My very fashionable wife Julie just loved her 500C by Gucci which she owned for many years.

The tail no longer houses the engine, as was the case in the original Fiat 500 Cinquecento.

It is front-engined and drives through the front wheels.

Fiat 500 comes with petrol engine capacities of either 900cc, 1.2 or 1.4 litres.

The smallest unit have two cylinders (just like the old 500s) but is now a hi-tech turbocharged unit tagged TwinAir.

It was imported from 2012, but cost more than the standard cars and wasn’t a sales success. 

The 1.2 and 1.4 are four-cylinder engines, with the 1.4-litre coming with or without a turbo.

The turbo units are  fitted in the hot Abarth tuned machines.

There are even 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesels.

These were economical and have high torque numbers but didn’t exactly appeal to Aussies.

There’s a hot sports version called the Abarth 500 Esseesse (say ‘SS’ in an Italian accent and the name makes sense).

Technically the Abarth isn’t sold as a Fiat, it should be referred to as an Abarth. 

Then there are the crazily priced ($69,990 when new) Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari that’s dressed in Ferrari-type features, it’s powered by the 1.4-litre turbo engine. 

Transmissions are a five- or six-speed manual depending on model, and a five-speed automated manual.

The latter, tagged as Dualogic, can be harsh in its changes in the low gears but smoothes out from third upwards.

Check on sales and servicing facilities in your area as these are rather limited outside major metro areas.

Insurance rates tend to vary more than normal from company to company.

Shop around for prices, but make sure you’re making accurate side-to-side comparisons.

2008 Fiat 500
2008 Fiat 500



Look at the wheels to see if the little Fiat has been kerbed, the front left is usually the first to suffer.

Would-be Italian racing driver may have created feathering on the tyres due to hard cornering. Hmm … perhaps take them off you list of possible buys.

Keep in mind that cars used in city areas are, sadly, often the subject of carpark dings and scratches.

Signs of previous crash repairs are paint that don’t quite match, ripples in the panels and over spray. 

Boot space in the cabriolet is hard to access so look for damage caused by luggage being crammed in.

The engine should start easily and idle relatively smoothly from the moment it kicks over. 

The two-cylinder unit has different characteristics to four-cylinder engines, so don’t be put off by it. However, if you do suspect troubles call in an expert.

Gear changes on the manual should be light and easy.

Sticky changes, particularly in lower gears, may mean an overhaul is due. But it may simply need a clutch adjustment.

We haven’t heard of any problems in self-changing Dualogic manual gearbox.

But if there’s any doubt then have a Fiat mechanic check it out.

Wheels with a lot of brake dust inside them probably indicate a driver with bravado in their makeup. 

Fiat 500 cabrio
Fiat 500 cabrio



Expect to pay from $3000 to $6000 for a 2011 500C convertible or a 2012 Sport; $6000 to $10,000 for a 2013 Lounge or a 2015 Pop; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2016 convertible; $9000 to $13,000 for a 2017 Pop; $10,000 to $14,000 for a 2016 Lounge; $13,000 to $19,000 for a 2017 Lounge; and $15,000 to $22,000 for a 2018 Lounge.

2016 Fiat 500X
2016 four-door Fiat 500X



Take a friend with you when shopping for a used car.

That way they can keep the chattering sales person at bay while you check out the car without interruptions.

Used car prices have generally increased during the period of new car stock shortages.

Start looking at adverts for used vehicles several months before you intend buying.

That way you can get a feel for the price being asked and whether they are rising and falling, as dealers need to clear stock due to overcrowding.

Keep an eye on adverts for new cars that say there are specials on particular models.

This can lead to a lot of traded-ins taking up too much space in yards and they will be discounted to get rid of them.

Keep an eye open for ads of unpopular cars, as there can vary greatly in price.

Owners struggling to find a buyers may be forced to grit their teeth and drop their asking price.

If checking a used car at a dealership look at other cars on the lot. 

This can provide an insight into the quality of the vehicles in which the dealer specialises.

If buying privately ask for proof of ownership and make sure the insurance covers you for taking a test drive.

Take a slow walk around any car you’re considering, looking for obvious defects.

It amuses us how many people dive into tiny details, only to discover later a major ding somewhere on the other side of the car.

Ideally any road test of a car you’re getting serious about should be done with the engine stone cold. Early morning is best.

If you’re serious about buying a vehicle, tell the seller you would like to take it for a good long test drive.

If they insist on coming that’s understandable, but try to avoid them “selling” the car to you.

Put bluntly, ask them to shut up,

In their later years, cars with a reputation for being long lived and trouble free sometimes attract buyers who have no intention of ever servicing them.

The next owner may suffer as a result.

2021 Abarth 595 Competizione 7
2021 Abarth 595 Competizione



To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/



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