The hotly anticipated Fiat 500 launched in the UK last night, and our business development director James Bromley was there to see the car for himself.
These are his views:
I’ve been waiting a long time to see the Fiat 500 in the flesh. I placed an order two months ago based solely upon press release images from the car’s Italian launch. I have to admit the beautifully (and expensively) co-ordinated campaign has worked for me, and I’ve handed over my money to my local dealership.
Fiat has somehow managed to create a persona which is cute, but somehow less feminine than the Mini. It’s one of only two cars I’ve put down the money for after being taken in by its looks, the other being the Nissan 350Z.
My other reason for ordering the 500 was that London Mayor Ken Livingstone had suggested vehicles which emit less than 120g of CO2/km could become exempt from the Congestion Charges. The diesel and basic petrol versions of the 500 both achieve this.
Was I impressed by the launch? As far as I’m concerned, Fiat delivered on the goods. I got chance to inspect the specification of car I’d ordered; a White Sport trimmed 1.3 Multijet with red leather interior, stereo upgrade, Italian stripes and chrome retro front bumper.
The interior ticks all the boxes – the leather is high quality and the dashboard a great combination of retro and well-designed, necessary gadgets. And the rev counter is a work of art.
The downsides? The stickers looked like, well, stickers, the 16-inch alloys don’t fill the arches and the chrome strips on the front bumper are a bit too much like plastic.
I’m looking forward to my Fiat 500 arriving and going for my first drive in a sub-3-litre Italian car. And I’m especially hoping I’ll be saving £1,600 a year when I drive into central London….
What do you think of the Fiat 500? Let us know – leave a comment below.