A new price structure for the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands makes these iconic Italian vehicles more affordable and more accessible to the Australian market
In Europe, the small Peugeots, Fiats, Renaults and Volkswagens are our Toyota or Hyundai budget-wagons, so it’s often been puzzling that they landed here at premium prices. Fiat’s 500 was a notable victim of this price bloating. No car so small could be sold at prices that would buy a full-sized model from another brand.
The fact the 500 is such a charming and practical car exaggerated the problem, but now the importers finally have wrung discounts from the factory that put it in a far more affordable price bracket.
A re-positioned 500 range, which went on sale in June, now starts from $14,000 drive-away and there are eight core variants, in three trim levels – Pop, Sport and Lounge – across hatch and cabrio body styles.
“In February this year we outlined a new price structure for the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands to make these iconic Italian vehicles more affordable and more accessible to the Australian market,” says Fiat Chrysler Group Australia president Veronica Johns.
“The launch of an expanded 500 range is the next step in our repositioning program for Fiat vehicles by making the 500 model obtainable for a wider cross section of car buyers, including those entering the new car market for the first time.”
The 500 hatchback range includes the 1.2-litre Pop with manual or Dualogic robotised transmissions, 1.4-litre Sport with manual or Dualogic transmissions and the 0.9-litre TwinAir Lounge, which is fitted with the Dualogic transmission as standard and a perky twin-cylinder engine that reminds Fiat enthusiasts of the original 500 Bambino.
The Cabriolet range includes the 1.2 Pop, 1.4 Sport and 0.9 TwinAir Lounge models, all fitted with the Dualogic transmission.
The entry-level Pop models are equipped with standard features such as ABS anti-lock braking, ESP, seven airbags, remote central locking, electric windows and door mirrors, and an MP3-compatible CD player.
The 500 Sport specification adds: sports body kit and rear spoiler; sports seats; flat-bottom sports steering wheel; 15-inch sports alloy wheels and bigger brakes all round.
The Lounge adds fixed glass roof with sun blind; climate control air conditioning; fuel-saving idle-stop and 15-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.
All Fiat 500 models are equipped with speed-sensitive electric power steering, which is said to cut both fuel consumption and noise. The system also offers a choice of two driving settings – one for maximum feedback and driver involvement, while another lightens the steering to minimise effort in urban and low speed manoeuvring.
Prices quoted do not include statutory and dealer on-road charges unless otherwise stated. Prices correct at time of writing.