Fiat 500 vs new Beetle? What to do??

(18 Posts)
Orlea Thu 30-Jan-14 10:55:06

Currently have an old Golf which is great re space, power etc, but is promised to MIL as I'm supposed to be getting a new(er) car. I desperately want a 'handbag' car (DH's term, bit rich as he has a totally impractical sporty 2-seater). Was looking at the Fiat 500 before Christmas as it's tiny, cute and I have coveted one for ages... but just found out I'm pregnant, so now worried it may not be practical to get one as the 2-seater is here to stay, so we need something we can get a baby + equipment in.

I test drove the 1.2 Fiat in December: it was totally gutless and I don't want to be one of those drivers who can't overtake on a motorway! The dealer hasn't been able to get me a 0.9 twinair or any other engine to test drive in the Fiat, so at the mo, its only saving graces are the handbag/parking factors. I am planning to get a friend to come look again, with her baby/buggy etc in tow, but not managed to do so yet, so any thoughts on this? I don't do massive food shops or anything so it would mostly be used for me commuting to work (12 miles, motorway and town roads), nipping to shops or into the city where being able to fit in small spaces would be very useful. However, since we found out I'm pregnant, DH is even more anti-Fiat 500. I'm partly annoyed because he has his handbag car so I 'have' to have the practical one... but our versions of 'practical' are obv a bit different.

So I had a look at the new Beetle which is nice and seems to be a bit bigger inside and in the boot, and a lot more powerful. I'm due to test drive it next week. I like it so far, but it actually feels bigger than the Golf which isn't great re parking. I'm not convinced that the alleged extra amount of boot space/back seat space is enough to make up for the parking.

Should point out that cost isn't a factor in this choice as we'd be leasing, and the costs weirdly work out roughly the same despite the cars costing completely different prices! I'm also not interested in any other cars... especially the 500L, having hired one for a week.

Also, we would only have it for 2-3 years, 4 at the most, so could change at some point to another car if we had another baby... So right now, it is only for max 2 x adults, 1 x baby + equipment, and the occasional overnight bags/shopping.

So my questions are: is the 0.9 Fiat 500 any better re power/acceleration? Is it practical re 1 x baby/buggy? Is the boot space enough for a buggy + shopping, or will it only take a buggy? Is the Beetle really much better re back seat space/boot space? Is it difficult to park (thinking re extra corners!)? Help me make a decision please!!

antimatter Thu 30-Jan-14 11:07:18

If I were you I would first look at prams/buggies and see which one you are likely to get into the boot of that car smile
Some of them the are huge!

Orlea Thu 30-Jan-14 11:17:26

Ha, that is true, but I'd rather choose a car then get a pram to fit, than choose a pram and then end up with a huge (ok, normal-sized) car that I can't park anywhere in the city centre sad

Pooka Thu 30-Jan-14 11:20:49

My neighbour had a beetle. Then had a baby. It was totally impractical for her (she found). If the beetle was impractical, I think the fiat would be as bad or worse.

I feel your pain. The day before I put my deposit down on a mini I found out i was pregnant. Got a Peugeot 206 instead (this was 10 years ago). It's much better to have a 5 door because of the hassle of car seats.

I now have three kids and an smax!

Pooka Thu 30-Jan-14 11:22:47

Incidentally, we were recently shopping for a car for dh (smaller because not needed to transport kids all the time). We wanted it to still have the possibility of getting a pushchair in the boot.

Tried loads of dinky cars and none fitted even my Maclaren buggy which is tiny compared to many pushchairs and prams. Got an Audi a3 in the end.

There is a table at the bottom of this page suggesting that the 0.9 is around 10 mph faster and does 0-60 about 2 seconds quicker.

wentshopping Thu 30-Jan-14 16:03:55

my teenage daughter has a fiat 500. (disclaimer: we live in USA where teenagers drive themselves to school!)
The boot is tiny - she can fit her violin case in it, across the width, and that is all.
My youngest daughter uses a car seat - it is almost impossible to clamber into the back of the fiat to place her in the car seat.
I am 5'1". I have legroom issues if I sit in the back.
My mum has a vw polo, and you can't fit a pushchair in its boot either.

lljkk Netherlands Thu 30-Jan-14 16:05:07

I have a Fiat 500 1.2. Can't comment on the Beetle.
I have seen travel systems you could get into mine, they are more expensive sort, but I don't think that puts you off.
The engines are small, though. They don't like hills or going above 60. If you want oomphf I think something like a Fiesta/Micra might suit you better.

I have a 2002 beetle. It's coped with the arrival of two children fine, although the choice of buggies was pretty limited. Mothercare told me to get rid of the car for something more practical, but kiddicare actually made the effort to find a pram that fitted.

The boot in my model is tricky because it's not rectangular. The sides come in so it's wider at the back of the boot and narrower at the front. I had a quinny buzz which basically took up the whole boot (this was 2006, no idea what current buggies are now). I could never get a Mcclaren style stroller as they are 100cm+ long folded whereas the buzz folded to about 80cm on the longest side.

It's also quite hard on the back lifting a first stage car seat in, but this would be an issue for any 3 door car.

My DC are now 4 and 7 and they have plenty of room in the back. However DH is 6ft 5 and he moans that the passenger leg room isn't great. We found that he couldn't put his seat all the way back if the second stage car seat was reclined behind him, which was slightly limiting but he has a large estate so my car tends to be used for short runs or just for me and the DC anyway.

I love my beetle and would totally recommend it, but it was tricky with the baby kit so I think you have to really want to do it.

milktraylady Thu 30-Jan-14 16:35:13

I've looked at getting a 500 too.
Definitely a boot space issue. You will be able to get a pram to fit though.

I think more of a problem would be the passenger in the front- with a baby seat behind. The seat will be very forward.

My dd is about to move to stage 2 car seat- it's massive. Fits ok in a Bmax but doubt it would fit in a 500.

What about a fiesta?
Or a ka? More engine choice with them. Defo enough room with a fiesta.

dannydyerismydad Thu 30-Jan-14 16:36:09

I went out and bought a Maxi Cosi infant carrier and took it out on test drives when I was pregnant. I had a Smart, and knew that had to go.

I couldn't get the infant carrier into the back of the Fiat 500 without tipping it on its side and my buggy only fitted in the boot with the wheels off. If you're happy with leaving the infant carrier in the back of the car, it's doable, but I couldn't see it was possible to remove the carrier with a baby actually in it!

I ended up with a Mini - still small and cute, but better handling, much more poke and easy to get the infant seat in and out of.

Orlea Fri 31-Jan-14 11:59:57

Thanks everyone for the advice! Really helpful, if depressingly clear that I probably can't have a handbag car sad I know that having a pretty car is not exactly the top priority here though.

I think I am still going to test-drive the Beetle; if it's rubbish in any way I can find, that will make me feel better. I will try to borrow a pram or car seat or something to take along, it's all very well looking at or measuring a boot, but it's clear that it's about what will actually fit and how.

I think I am probably going to end up with another Golf... either that or sell DH's pride and joy and make him get something more practical... hmm

dannydyerismydad Fri 31-Jan-14 15:45:46

BabyStyle Oyster and iCandy Cherry are pretty much the smallest buggies you can get - if you can't get either of them to fit, you need a bigger car.

MillyMollyMama Fri 31-Jan-14 16:00:36

A Mini 4 x 4 is bigger and more practical. More expensive though. The new Golf has excellent reviews, so what is wrong with one of them? I managed DD1 in a Merc SL! Big boot though. What about a BMW 1 series? The smallest Audi (1) is also an extremely good car.

KatoPotato Fri 31-Jan-14 16:06:16

I had a Fiat 500 when DS arrived. A bugaboo bee fits in the boot with not a lot of room to spare.

I had a maxi cosi cabrio fix with the easy fix base, but it was a tight squeeze getting the seat past the front seat and I feared for the door rubber trim.

I didn't like the lack of a glove box but other than that I loved it - but I soon upgraded to a bigger car.

My friend has a beetle, and the boot is bigger but an odd shape, not a lot of 'height' if that makes sense?

Gooner123 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:46:32

I had a beetle which I did like but when they the 500 came out couldn't wait to get one,Big mistake,after 1 yr I had enough,was just way too small & uncomfortable( gr8 on fuel though)am now happy with another beetle ( 1.9 diesel) the petrol beetles are a bit thirsty & the smaller engines haven't got enough grunt.

Tea1Sugar Sun 09-Feb-14 17:58:55

I've got a new 500L the family size one and the boot and rear seat space are HUGE. Plenty of room for two car seats and a bugaboo chameleon. Love it :D

JaunitaFanjo Tue 11-Feb-14 21:51:39

Ah just get a sling then you can have any car you like as long as you can disable the front airbag!
I had a classic mini and baby in the front seat next to me... and an umbrella fold buggy jammed on the back seat! Was fab until DS arrived and spoiled our fun

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