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#1 20-11-09 21:34:52

mrbrightside
Verified Member
From: Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Registered: 07-05-07
Posts: 189

Fiat 500

Anyone got one? Drove one? Planning on getting one?

I haven't been anywhere near one yet, but I've heard good things about them as a driving school car. Also noticed that BSM are using them now.

Any comments welcome, but keep the criticism constructive!


Part 1: Passed (11/9/07) 96/100 & 68/75
Part 2: Passed (19/10/07) 3 Minors
Part 3: (2nd) Passed (27/11/08) 4/4
Check Test: Grade 5 (16/03/11)

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20-11-09 21:34:52

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Re: Fiat 500




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#2 21-11-09 06:58:36

KevB
Verified Member
From: Amesbury
Registered: 06-06-08
Posts: 1,725
Website

Re: Fiat 500

There good for me.
I've gained 2 new clients in the last week, both citing the fact that their instructor now has a 500 as a reason for looking for a new instructor.

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#3 21-11-09 18:13:48

smithwold
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 18-08-07
Posts: 716
Website

Re: Fiat 500

I've got one but not for much longer as I have given BSM notice to leave.

There is not enough space here to write my reasons why it should never be allowed on test or for use as a tuition car!

Is that constructive enough?

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#4 21-11-09 23:52:44

c-way
Verified Member
From: Peterborough
Registered: 03-10-06
Posts: 1,170
Website

Re: Fiat 500

Would love to test drive one just to see what it is like, not sure I can fit in one  wink Day off tomorrow, might just go and find out!!!


ADI, IAM, B+E Training, CAT C & C+E Training www.c-way.co.uk

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#5 22-11-09 18:14:38

MJK
Verified Member
Registered: 23-01-06
Posts: 28

Re: Fiat 500

I've got one and I love it. I am convinced a lot of the negative stuff about it is because BSM use it and there is a lot of hostility towards them on this, and most other, forums.

I have got the Lounge version which means it has rear headrests and a glass roof (makes the car feel roomier). I am 5' 10" and my tallest pupil is 6' 2" and we are both comfortable in it. Maybe some of our colleagues should get down the gym more often  wink.

It is very manoeuvreable, sticks to the road well, has plenty of power for our needs and is reasonably economical. Whilst not cheap to buy it should hold its value pretty well. In fact, while most suppliers are slashing prices the purchase price of the Fiat 500 keeps going up.

Give it a try.

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#6 22-11-09 20:14:29

john55
Verified Member
From: Stirling
Registered: 25-05-06
Posts: 227

Re: Fiat 500

I've got one but not for much longer as I have given BSM notice to leave.

There is not enough space here to write my reasons why it should never be allowed on test or for use as a tuition car!

Is that constructive enough?

Wow, that bad. care to expand please??


If you can't do it safely don't do it at all

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#7 23-11-09 13:18:17

graemeg
Verified Member
From: Johnstone
Registered: 02-10-09
Posts: 40
Website

Re: Fiat 500

Whilst not cheap to buy it should hold its value pretty well. In fact, while most suppliers are slashing prices the purchase price of the Fiat 500 keeps going up.

Might not hold its value very well next year when around 3000 1year old ex b$m 500s arrive on the used forecourts!!

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#8 23-11-09 19:25:32

mrbrightside
Verified Member
From: Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Registered: 07-05-07
Posts: 189

Re: Fiat 500

smithwold, it's not really that helpful to say you think something is bad and then don't give a single reason. I'm also not after a slanging match.

I would just like some honest opinions, good and bad. But if bad, at least give some constructive reasons. And also, please keep it about the car- the Fiat 500, although now used by BSM has nothing to do with them!

Thanks


Part 1: Passed (11/9/07) 96/100 & 68/75
Part 2: Passed (19/10/07) 3 Minors
Part 3: (2nd) Passed (27/11/08) 4/4
Check Test: Grade 5 (16/03/11)

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#9 23-11-09 21:42:47

smithwold
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 18-08-07
Posts: 716
Website

Re: Fiat 500

Ok here goes.

Based on the 1.2 pop.
As a back sufferer, 3 months off last year, there is little support in the seats.
The gear column is so large that it interfears with my physical space in the car and has a small drawer in the side that pokes into my leg all the time I drive.
As above, can't see any feet on the clutch and depending on how close somebody sits, sometimes the brake too. (Eyes, hands and feet is now eyes, hands and ears!)
Drivers seat heighth adjusts by tilting the base only. If you adjust it all the way down, you are wedged into the seat until you separately adjust the rake and this can leave a gap at the bottom causing discomfort to some people.
Fuel consumption not good - around 42mpg according to the onboard computer. Some people however, may be happy with this figure.
Blind spots are incredible, basically anything behind the door pillars.
As I have my seat back as far as it goes, the seat and head restarint block any vision to the passenger side blind spot.
Many students struggle to reach the seat belt as it is a 2 door car and is therefor set quite a long way back.
Head restraints, front seats only, adjust a maximum of 2 inches in heighth. I am 6ft and it is nowhere near high enough to be practical.
I have never known a car that stalls so easily and after 3 weeks, I think I have just about mastered it, let alone some students who only drive 2 hrs a week.
Spacesaver tyre!!  Tyrewell is not big enough to put a full size tyre if you get a puncture and I speak from experience.
Car has been refused for check tests due to lack of rear head restraints.
In the case of BSM, the decalling cannot be seen until the car is less than 2 car lengths away in daylight, and we have no topbox to help identify us as a driving school car. Apparently FIAT wouldn't allow them to be used.
If a student has the misfortune to stall at nightime, you have to switch the ignition off completely including all the lights before a restart is possible.
Roadholding - on bends or roundabouts, if you catch an uneven bit of road, the car can slide sideways as it is so light.
The engine is gutless at higher speeds. On a Pass Plus session, we had to abandon overtaking at 65mph as we only managed to get level with target vehicle on a less than 5% incline.
Legroom in the back is virtually non existent, but this does also depend on the size of the person in the front.
To sit in the back, the roof is so low due to the bubble shape, that at 6ft tall, I would have to sit with my chin buried in my chest.
To get into the back, even with the seats tilted and moved as far forward as possible, you need to be a contortionist.
Speedo not visible until 60mph, unless invading pupils space.
Full beam light on dash is brighter within the car than the fullbeam lights are on the road in front.

On a plus, the door mirrors are quite large, and manoeuvres are easier.

All the above is of course my personal opinion and I'm sure that there are people who do in fact like the car.

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#10 23-11-09 21:46:55

smithwold
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 18-08-07
Posts: 716
Website

Re: Fiat 500

Might not hold its value very well next year when around 3000 1year old ex b$m 500s arrive on the used forecourts!!

At the rate BSM instructors are currently leaving, I wouldn't worry about the second hand market becoming flooded.
Beggining of this year the official figure was 2400 and it's rumoured that 600 plus have already left since the company has changed hands yet again and the announcement of the FIAT car to be used.

Of course, many of these will be replaced with PDI's.

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#11 24-11-09 10:58:01

Target
Verified Member
From: Winchmore Hill North London
Registered: 17-01-05
Posts: 5,695
Website

Re: Fiat 500

If B$M had chosen the Volvo C30 for example I certainly would not have said they have made a poor judegment on their choice of car, the total opposite.

Dont under estimate B$M intentions....Who knows perhaps they want to get rid of anyone over 15stone in weight so employed a small car. It would rule me out...

I would assume your average B$M instructor is in the family way and having a 2 door car is just not practical for that purpose.

Ive seen a Fiat Punto around which may be the best of the worst, having instructed in one it would certainly not be the car for me, but a nice car none the less.

I have noticed smithwold some instructors using their roofsigns, granted you either love them or hate them.

Ive not looked into the 500 spec, but having a higher spec model would seem a better choice. Climate control seems to be a must, and surely for safety in such a small car headrests would be standard.


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#12 24-11-09 15:47:37

graemeg
Verified Member
From: Johnstone
Registered: 02-10-09
Posts: 40
Website

Re: Fiat 500

MJK wrote:

Whilst not cheap to buy it should hold its value pretty well. In fact, while most suppliers are slashing prices the purchase price of the Fiat 500 keeps going up.

Might not hold its value very well next year when around 3000 1year old ex b$m 500s arrive on the used forecourts!!

smithwold, it's not really that helpful to say you think something is bad and then don't give a single reason. I'm also not after a slanging match.

And also, please keep it about the car- the Fiat 500, although now used by BSM has nothing to do with them!

Thanks

I was not getting at b$m I was trying to be objective about the potential value effect for instructors who have/might buy a 500 when all the used ones start to appear on the dealers forecourts. At present vauxhall distribute the to all their network Q dealers I would assume fiat will do similar.

Graeme

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#13 24-11-09 19:14:07

leon
Member
Registered: 30-09-09
Posts: 92

Re: Fiat 500

Many instructors used Ford KA before ,and nobody complained about space   roll.500 is small car but popular and cheap to run (cheaper than my Focus).So leaving BSM for car  lol maybe high franchise fee is reason

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#14 24-11-09 23:17:11

la.monikita
Verified Member
From: SE LONDON / KENT
Registered: 12-03-05
Posts: 3,064

Re: Fiat 500

Has anyone heard of Eco friendly driving? and the global warming? and the fact that Vauxhall has almost gone bust and the could not sustain supplying BSM because of their own greed and lack of service? And FIAT (last year they sold 23 cars to instructors, and I asked them to change their ways  roll) was the only one that was a healthy enough company in this recession to give them a car? Beggars can't be choosers. Their businesses are only about making money!

BSM charges £385 per week for a franchise around South East London/ North Kent! Who in their right MIND, and able to add 2+2 will ever work with them for 1 Millie second longer then necessary? Stupid, fearful, bolockless fools IMHO   roll 


"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Abraham Maslow

21st Century Women http://www.loisontheloose.com/my-advent … /the-team/

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#15 25-11-09 10:02:51

graemeg
Verified Member
From: Johnstone
Registered: 02-10-09
Posts: 40
Website

Re: Fiat 500

Maybe the instructors who are paying that fee for a corsa now think that they are being ripped off at being downsized to a 500.

Maybe the change is the straw that broke the camels back for some instructors.
I dont know, but I do know that I would not fancy having to sit in a 500 for 7-8-9 hours a day, especially if the first 20 hours a week were worked just to pay a franchise fee.

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#16 25-11-09 12:07:27

GrahamADI
Verified Member
From: Wisbech, Cambs
Registered: 20-06-07
Posts: 150

Re: Fiat 500

And let the BSM bashing begin...   roll

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#17 25-11-09 14:35:52

graemeg
Verified Member
From: Johnstone
Registered: 02-10-09
Posts: 40
Website

Re: Fiat 500

And let the BSM bashing begin...   roll

Not at all, I have no gripe with them or what they do. If their instructors are happy with the franchise and car supplied they will stay, if they are unhappy they have the freedom of choice to go elsewhere. Simples....

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#18 25-11-09 18:15:05

smithwold
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 18-08-07
Posts: 716
Website

Re: Fiat 500

And let the BSM bashing begin...   roll

No need. It's been happening on their own instructor forum for ages.

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#19 25-11-09 21:42:50

Target
Verified Member
From: Winchmore Hill North London
Registered: 17-01-05
Posts: 5,695
Website

Re: Fiat 500

BSM charges £385 per week for a franchise

When you put it like that it still sends a shiver down my spin. £20k a year. :?


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Cardington Grade (A) Diamond Special DIA MSA IAM ROSPA (Silver)
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www.targettuition.co.uk
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#20 21-07-10 15:36:49

luigi
Verified Member
Registered: 09-07-10
Posts: 32

Re: Fiat 500

Ahem, anyway back to the topic.

I ordered my 500 1.3 Lounge before the launch in January 2008, collected in April and have what is therefore quite possibly the highest mileage car of its type in the UK, with my 60k warranty running out last week  8-)

I must say that it fits in with my job perfectly; to be honest it is not a car I would buy for me personally but my particular model is still very popular with new and current pupils.

The main gripes listed appear to me to be a little misplaced, obviously someone with a history of back trouble and/or the larger build may find such a small car a problem but I've had pupils between 4'8" and 6'4" and I have been able to accommodate every single one, not a single person I've taken on has been disappointed with it.

If I'm honest I would say that the blind spots are quite large considering the size of the car but I've sat in other comparable cars with much worse rear visibility.  And yes the rear head restraints (which are std on all 500s except the Pop) stick out a bit even when fully retracted but not to excess.

My own history has amounted to a new clutch last month (typical for a 2 year old school car), new electric power steering module (replaced under warranty), new battery this week (again typical), more than the average number of blown stop/tail lights (five), two pairs of front tyres and one pair of rears (again I think typical) and a couple of engine mount rubbers (also under warranty).  Bearing in mind I'm very much a guinea-pig for future cars clocking up this number of miles I think I've done very well, though I expect this particular car will be replaced in the next 12-18 months.

But for me those small problems aside I have absolutely no doubt that the pros outweigh the cons, the main thing is that it still gets me work, the one thing that picks me out from many other ADIs in my area.

I've got the Lounge spec so I have the advantage of air-con over the Pop version (which B$M use, but do they have it fitted?), plus the very-handy-for-close-up-traffic-lights glass roof, chrome bits, Blue&Me (which I don't really use anyway, USB port is handy though), std alloys etc so it really does look better than B$M's.

I get 50mpg average (all driving inc. me) although the nature of the engine's performance doesn't really echo the rest of the car, it's not exactly peppy or brisk in any way.  The 1.4 petrol would sort that out, though you'll pay £125 VED a year as opposed to £35 (as a business-more-than-personal car, the saving of £90 + better economy means I'll stick with the diesel)  wink

Would I buy another?  Definitely.  As long as I avoid ending up looking like just another B$M car and choose one of their awful grey or black colours, maybe next time I'll go for the Pasodoble Red metallic, Cha Cha Azure, Calypso Orange...... Oh and I've test-driven an Abarth big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

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#21 23-07-10 13:02:16

robinsamuels
Verified Member
From: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire,
Registered: 09-03-08
Posts: 425
Website

Re: Fiat 500

I looked at one about 6 months ago. Doing my normal test of putting the driver's seat into a position I would be able to drive comfortably in, then jumping into the back and looking at the lateral vision, I thought it was next to useless. I couldn't sit in the back with my legs straight, so how can an SE cope for 45 minutes? I couldn't see out of the rear quarter due to the opposite headrest from either front seat. The right blind-spot, from the drivers seat, extended from the door pillar to the rear window due to the small size of the rear side window and the thickness of the pillars.

I'd loved to consider one, it's a great looking car and I'm sure it's very nice to drive. But, despite wanting to take the Abarth for a test drive, I had to be realsitic and accept that there was no point as there was no way I was going to buy one.


When it gets to the stage of sadobestionecrophilia, give up: Otherwise known as flogging a dead horse!

http://www.robinsdriving.co.uk

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#22 24-07-10 00:45:40

luigi
Verified Member
Registered: 09-07-10
Posts: 32

Re: Fiat 500

Fair enough, that can only mean one less instructor who uses one......I honestly believe this car has kept me in work for the first two-and-a-half years of being indy, because my pupils LOVE it  8-).  Not many indys local to me use a 500 probably for all those rational reasons given above  :angel:

As for the blind spots, a bit of movement in the seat shows everywhere I need to see......maybe I'm too normal-sized??

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#23 08-07-11 09:50:13

Pass With Precision
Member
From: Lincolnshire UK
Registered: 11-05-11
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Fiat 500

fiat 500's
where to start, awful on fuel, gearbox very clunky n difficult for learners to get to grips with to start with
what it has got going for it is its turning circle, flipping fantastic!
but
and this is the but
reversing anything through a letterbox rear window is hard,
cant wait to give mine back in september to the BSM!
im looking at either ford KA/Fiesta or C2!
thats my plan
any thoughts on this?


Pass With Precision
School Of Motoring
http://www.passwithprecision.co.uk/
Lincolnshire, UK

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#24 08-07-11 09:56:18

Hilary Hughes
Verified Member
From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
Website

Re: Fiat 500

reversing anything through a letterbox rear window is hard,

Means you can use the garage for something else, I guess...;-)
Hilary.


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#25 09-07-11 01:43:11

luigi
Verified Member
Registered: 09-07-10
Posts: 32

Re: Fiat 500

cant wait to give mine back in september to the BSM!
im looking at either ford KA/Fiesta or C2!


Erm........isn't the Ford Ka the Fiat's ugly twin??  :?


For the record, I'm on my second privately owned 500, a 1.2 Sport and while it suffers a bit on performance and economy compared to the diesel I'd still choose one over anything else.   8-)

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