Fiat 500 is small but potent as dynamite

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Fiat is not on the top 10 list of South African favourite brands, most probably because of the manufacturer's lack of good marketing.

But the introduction of the Fiat 500 has the potential to turn the brand into something great.

The Fiat 500 was launched in Cape Town last week.

The little Italian car is dynamite. It is well equipped in terms of safety, with seven airbags.

It comes to our shores already wearing the European Car of the Year mantle.

For the South African car buyers the 500 is a better option than the Mini.

Fiat Auto South Africa has a reputation of overpricing their vehicles.

This little bomb is equipped with features one usually finds in the C-segment.

The R149000 for the base model Pop is not unreasonable.

The 500 was launched in two petrol engine derivatives, the 1,2 litre and 1,4 litre.

The car is compact and appeals because of its soft, rounded lines. Its "tomboyish" looks bring a smile of complicity to drivers who have to contend with traffic every day.

The front combines the present family resemblance of the latest Fiat models with the distinctive elements of the first Fiat 500.

For example, the strongest reference to the earlier car is the combination of circular upper headlights together with full beam lower lights and the whiskers and logo unit.

The waistline slopes slightly at the front and highlights its robustness, while the rear end features a large-shaped, chrome-plated handle that reiterates the motif of the registration plate light holder .

The new Fiat 500 combines an attractive, original line with new upholstery that gives the impression of great quality.

Thanks to the large ring that circles the interior space, the passenger compartment embraces and protects you, and every detail has been honed to perfection.

The 1,2 litre produces 51kW of power, while the 1,4 litre produces 73kW.

All models come standard with seven airbags - two front, two curtain, two side and one to protect the knees.

The new model's sophisticated features guarantee that the driver is in complete control of the car.

The car is equipped with ABS complete and Electronic Brake Distribution.

The 1,4 litre Lounge and Sport are also specced with Electronic Stability Program and Anti Slip Regulation or traction control.