Cute Italian city car undercuts Mini and Twingo
5 November 2007

The Italian firm is sticking to the Fiat 500's humble roots by pitching the car at well under Mini prices when it goes on sale in Britain in January.

The cute Italian hatchback has long been tipped to match the Mini as a 'premium' product with pricing to match. But the prices announced by Fiat UK are lower than expected. The cheapest 500, the 1.2-litre, 69bhp Pop model, will cost £7900 on the road, almost £500 less than the 1.2-litre, 75bhp Renault TWingo. And the top-of-the-range 1.4-litre 500 Lounge - which gets air conditioning, alloy wheels, glass roof and a hands-free media system - costs £10,700. By contrast, even the basic 94bhp Mini One costs £11,625, and it lacks air-con on its standard kit list.

There's no price increase for diesel models, either; the 1.3-litre MultiJet models cost the same as the 1.4-litre petrols.

The new pricing is further proof of Fiat's renewed confidence; the company reported last week that its quarterly profits had more than doubled year on year, and it has more than tripled the percentage profit on every car it makes.

Our Verdict

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The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

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5 November 2007

Congratulations to Fiat for not chasing the dollar. Pound for pound this is the most desirable car for a generation, period. It also nullifies any previous comparisons with the Mini and shows it up for what it is, one of the most spectacularly overpriced cars on the market today and an over engineered exercise in branding that will now have to question it's own hype. While Fiat has surely factored in that very few bog standard white pop's will hit the road at the £7900 sticker price, they have still taken a brave decision to go with a pricing policy that, based on the price point carved out by the aforementioned Mini, is genuinely £2000 below what the market will have comfortably taken. While the thought of the first batch of Uk imports being taken up by speculators is rather unsavory and against Fiats common man edict, it surely will do no harm to a great brand that only a couple of years looked like it would disappear forever. All this over a small Italian car, who would have believed it!

5 November 2007

It's brilliant that Fiat have produced a fantastic looking car that's desirable and has the right image. I am a big fan of Mini after having owned two Cooper S' but the Mini has become utterly boring and no one is interested anymore due to the fact that there are so many on the road. Couple that with sky high pricing and even worse and what so many car mags fail to mention when reviewing the Mini - no air con as standard, a £600 option. So congratulations Fiat for pricing the 500 so sensibly and move over overpriced, overweight Mini.

5 November 2007

Firstly I like my Mini, I got it cheap and feel it was good value, wouldnt buy one new though!

Ive seen the new 500 at Walkers who have now imported 8 of them. They say they have sold the lot,mostly to dealers who use them because of their expertise in imports. He said 2 things, the quality is better than any Fiat they have ever sold and secondly that the dealers who have them as demonstraters are selling huge numbers on advance order.

If I was going to buy one I would want a bigger engine because most of my commute is motorway but it certainly is a tempting prospect at those price levels.

5 November 2007

Finally Fiat has the nous to move in for the kill. The 500 could put the Mini virtually out of business once it becomes clear how overpriced it now seems. I think the 500 is most definitely the next big thing. The question is how will its 'individuality' stand up to the test of time?

6 November 2007

Sorry - I don't get it.

Where is the imagination to do to the small car what the original Fiat designers did with the first small Fiat all those years ago?

Fiat could bang them out for £50 - I would not buy one. I also think you run the risk of looking a bit silly in one of these in two years - it's a fashion item and does not push on car design in any way.

And do you know what really irks me here - it's that it'll sell in bucket loads in certain parts of town because it panders to the lowest common demoninator without challenging the buyer in any way. Because of the cynacism behind the design - it strikes me as utterly deviod of character and charm.

You can't design those things into a car - it either has them or does not. Yes please to originality - no thank you to cynical exploitation of design classics.

BMW's Mini/VW's Beetle/FIAT's 500 should hang their collective and CORPORATE BOTTOM LINE IMPERATIVE heads in shame.

Design something original and as enduring as your forefathers - all you've done is stand on the shoulders of giants and patted yourselves on the back - people need to stand up and say this is just not good enough.

There'll be hundreds of these in Wilmslow after Christmas......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 November 2007

Ive got to say im eating my own words here, i was all but ready to dis-miss the 500 as another fashion accessory like the new mini. If its competing with Ka's and the like then its sitting exactly where it should be in the market, right at the bottom like its predecessor. Go Fiat, Go!

6 November 2007

Kind of sticks two fingers up to BMW and their profit chasing Mini. On another thread in this forum, the base mini goes without alloys, aircon and fog lights, and they are charging near enough £12K. It was also reported this morning that BMW (The worlds largest luxury car group) has missed forcast profit margins.

Hats off to Fiat for not chasing down BMW on price, hopefully to prove the 500 can show its nearest competitor a clean pair of heals on the forecourt on ability. When all said and done the BMW Mini is not a Mini in the true sense of the word.

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