Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Fiat 500 arrived in Australia in March 2008 with styling that faithfully updates the shape of the original model from over 50 years ago (could this be the cutest car on sale today?) - as Italian as the sports car brand with the prancing horse on the bonnet!
Not so good Not for those that don’t want to be looked at; a fashion accessory as much as a mode of transport - depending on whether this appeals to you depends on whether this is 'good' or 'not so good'.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Excellent interior; fantastic dash design - faithful to the original, yet modern and classy; funky coloured cloth seats and door trims; great frontal visibility.
Not so good Smaller than the majority of SUPERMINI's so you don’t get much room behind the front seats; optional 'fixed-glass sunroof with mesh blind' probably not suited to the hotter parts of this great southern land!
Performance

Performance

Good Tiny engines make sense because all the Fiat 500’s weigh under a tonne.
Not so good 1.4L Petrol engine could do with more bottom-end torque; less at home when travelling highway speeds.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Reasonable handling on smooth roads - to be truthful the ride and handling aren’t where this cars strengths lie.
Not so good Doesn’t cope well with potted or rough surfaces; ride is a little 'jiggly' on the highway (a common trait for short wheel-base vehicles); inexpensive torsion-beam suspension doesn’t provide any favours.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good A good inner-city luxury choice; easy to park; plenty of safety features on offer; air-conditioning that can handle real Aussie heat (something previous Fiat’s struggled with); has already won plenty of automotive awards. New pricing (from mid 2013) equates to a very good value supermini - $14,000 Driveaway for the entry level variant!
Not so good Top spec grades are expensive if buying by the kilo; turning circle was larger than expected.