Am I mad to want a Fiat 500 (with 2 children)?

(33 Posts)
lexie01 Sun 08-Sep-13 18:49:24

My dh thinks so! I have been admiring (from a distance) these cars for soooo long and am now in a position to buy a new car. I would absolutely love to buy the fiat 500s but I have 2 children of primary age and my dh thinks rear space would be very cramped. I currently have a Beetle so am used to 3 doors but would I regret my decision?

lexie01 Sun 08-Sep-13 22:31:05

Bump

My friend went from a Beetle to a Fiat 500 and she has two DC age 3 and 7. She loves it. If you are used to the size restrictions of a Beetle I'm sure a Fiat 500 will be fine.

lexie01 Mon 09-Sep-13 11:00:57

Thanks for this. Are there any other mn's who have made the switch to a 500?

MrsApplepants Mon 09-Sep-13 11:09:26

I have one, 2 kids are fine. If you are used to a 3 door then it wont seem like a problem. Boot surprisingly roomy. A dream to park and squeeze through gaps. I love my little car!

janeyjampot Mon 09-Sep-13 11:15:06

I've also switched from a Beetle to a Fiat 500.

The headroom in the back of the 500 is much better than the Beetle (my DDs are 14 and 15 and both quite tall, so headroom was becoming an issue).

I had a Beetle convertible. The boot in the 500 is much more practical. It might be smaller than the Beetle boot in actual litres, but it's much more accessible and thus I find I can get more in it.

The legroom is OK. Not brilliant when there are 4 of us in the car, as we are all adult-sized, but it's certainly possible.

Parking is much easier than in a Beetle because you know where all the corners are!

The biggest improvement is in fuel economy. My Beetle was incredibly thirsty and was becoming very expensive to run with rising fuel prices. 500 is much, much better, even though I have a sporty one.

lexie01 Mon 09-Sep-13 14:07:34

Phew! All the responses sound very positive. Jameyjam - I have the same problem with my Beetle. I don't travel long distances but I spend an awful lot on petrol and road tax. Could I ask you what spec of the 500 you have? Fiat don't seem to make the 1.4 engine any more so I was going to look at the twin air engine with the Sport spec. Do you have similar?

littleducks Mon 09-Sep-13 17:39:00

I hired one for a few days away with kids, lovely car. Space in back OK but boot is teeny tiny.

janeyjampot Tue 10-Sep-13 10:32:12

I actually have the Abarth 500 which I think still has a 1.4. This is my second Abarth 500 - they are really nice smile In terms of body shape and interior space they are the same as the Fiat 500, but I don't know how different the engine is, I'm afraid. I had a 1.8T Beetle and the Abarth feels much faster, but that's probably partly due to size and weight. Technically the Beetle had the greater BHP, but you wouldn't know. The engines in the Beetles were very old fashioned, which is why I didn't buy another one. I was also reluctant to drive my Beetle to its full capacity, given the fuel consumption issue!

jennyjohns Wed 13-Nov-13 21:12:02

Hi just wondering if you got the 500 in the end? Im consideting getting one have a two yr old and four year old just worried about how practical it will be but I do love them!

AlexMumsnetCars (MNHQ) Thu 14-Nov-13 11:06:08

Jennyjohns, have you looked at the 500L? Basically a bigger version of the 500.

AKAK81 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:17:47

Both the 1.8T VW and the 1.4T Fiat engines are pretty ancient. The VW traces it's roots back to the early 70's and the Fiat FIRE engine was designed in the mid 80's. I'd avoid the Fiat Twinair engine due to its poor real world fuel economy.

jennyjohns Fri 15-Nov-13 10:09:38

I have looked at 500l just a bit out of budget unfortunately so tempted with 500 as getting good price just might be a squeeze with 2 kids. Other more pratical option for same price is skoda citigo but I prefer the look and spec of 500. Really torn tho as think I may get sick of lack of space with 500 once novelty worn off. Any feedback appreciated! X

lljkk Fri 15-Nov-13 10:16:51

I got a 500-Lounge 11.5 months ago.
yabvu.
You need at least FOUR children before you are allowed to covet a 500. wink

Kids & Teenagers fold up nicely. It's my elderly parents who don't fit inside.

I think the Nissan Micra (2007-2011?) is a better looking car, though, and a bit more room, too.

lexie01 Thu 28-Nov-13 09:18:20

Hi jennyjohns, just spotted your question. I haven't chosen any car yet! I have decided to wait until the New Year.

I am still looking at the fiat 500 twinnair though. I plan to test drive this and the audi a1 sport back which has 5 doors. Weirdly though when I have sat the kids in the back of the fiat there seems to be more legroom than in the audi! I will keep you posted.

MillyMollyMama Thu 28-Nov-13 17:24:18

In answer to your original question...no. Nowhere near enough space. Your children will have limited legroom and hardly any room for school stuff. Minis are way better, or a Polo. I like the quirkiness of the Fiat 500 but only as a single person car.

lexie01 Thu 28-Nov-13 18:15:28

I know the mini hatch is a larger car but internally it is much smaller than the 500 and I don't like the countryman.

Hulababy Thu 28-Nov-13 18:21:05

I currently have a 500C, had a normal 500 before that. Also had a Beetle in the past to. I am about to swap my 500C though for a Mini Cooper next month.

I have an 11y DD and she can fit in the back of the 500 no problem, as can all of her friends. We have had adults sit in the back. If I am driving there is no problem. If DH is driving there is limited leg room for whoever is behind him. If he is in the passenger seat this is less of an issue though. It is quite high for a little car so head room is no probem at all.

The boot is okay. I can get a full shop in there no worries. The convertibe has less boot, but still managed fine, the normal 5000's boot is a little bigger.

I am due to get my Mini in a fortnight. It looks like a bigger car on the outside. Reality is that inside it is not much bigger at all, and it feels lower down too. The boot is also no bigger from what I can gather. The Mini is also a dearer car once you add on options - the vbasic one comes with very little.

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 28-Nov-13 18:23:29

Mate - I get where you are coming from - I love them. But they are not even vaguely practical if you have children unless you also have the use of a bigger family car. I do feel your pain though, I have had the same conversation myself quite a few times, they are wonderful.

How tall are you and your husband and how long do you expect to keep the car? I am trying to ascertain whether your children will fit in it for many more years. If you or your husband have long legs and have to push the seats back or if your children are going to be going through their teenage growth spurt before you are planning to change it, it is probably a no-no.

No way does my 13 year old fit in it - he has long legs and a few more growing years yet. DH really loves them and is looking for an excuse to get one again (he had a cinquecento years ago and the original 500 as a student) especially as I am in the market for a new car but DS won't fit in. We have tried but short of cutting off his legs at the knee we will have to pass. It is a shame as they are quite cute.

ValentineWiggins Thu 28-Nov-13 18:32:14

I love my mini but its very tight inside - even my 7yo struggles to sit comfortably behind me driving - and certainly couldn't if dh was driving!

Eastpoint Thu 28-Nov-13 18:36:59

I have a 500c as a runaround. It fits my 3 DC and is v easy to park, uses only a little petrol & fits through narrow gaps. DH feels he is treated badly by other men when he drives it. My DC are all at secondary school & if it had 3 seat belts in the rear I would be able to fit them all in.

Hulababy Thu 28-Nov-13 18:41:38

Long legs are, ime, only an issue if the person in front of you also has long legs.

I have pre teens in mine a lot and it isn't an issue, but that's because I don't have long legs. They can still sit behind DD is over 6 foot if he is in the passenger seat though.

We have had 4 grown aduts, inc two 6 foot+ males in it too, though wouldn't want to go on a long journey that way!

We do also have a large family car too for long trips.

IamInvisible Thu 28-Nov-13 18:43:18

We test drove a Fiat 500. When DH was driving, he's 6ft4, there was no way on this earth any person would fit behind him. It was a shame, I really wanted one. We settled on a Polo in the end.

Hulababy Thu 28-Nov-13 18:43:58

Easypoint - DH quite likes driving mine as he finds other cars are far more likely to let him out in traffic and give way to him more, than when he s in his big car.

I love that I can park anywhere pretty much. The C has prking sensors so I can get into the most ridiculously small spaces. This is a necessaity though due to parking on tight narrow streets with n oad parking only. I am hoping the Mini will manage fairly too; hve had parking sensors added to it to try t make sure.

Hulababy Thu 28-Nov-13 18:45:09

DH is 6 foot 2. We can just get behind him when he is driving, but no leg room to spare! Can get behind him in passenger seat as he can sit further forward.

qazxc Thu 28-Nov-13 18:48:24

It would be big enough but i don't find them a very nice drive and they have a really crap turning circle.

IamInvisible Thu 28-Nov-13 18:50:41

I couldn't get behind DH, nor could the salesman. We have 2 teens who are 6ft3, so it was not practical at all. We wanted it as a 2nd car. I am interested in the 500L seven seater for when we change the main car.

My point really was that even if the children are relatively short now, being primary age, they are still growing and if the OP and/or her DH are tallish or have long legs then it might not be a practical car in quite a short space of time. When I finally get my new car (it has been a long time in the deciding) I intend to keep it 10 yrs so my two DSs will be fully grown by then and I really need to think ahead which is partly what is making the decision so hard. The 500 is out though. Besides, I do some longish trips and whilst they are great around town, I wouldn't want to go far on the motorway in one.

Hulababy Thu 28-Nov-13 20:34:01

Qasxc - really? I can turn my car in a busy street very easily. And it is very light on the steering ESP in city mode.

I'm desperately hoping my new Mini is going to be as nice. I love the idea of the mini so fingers crossed

aciddrops Mon 09-Dec-13 18:38:12

I have one plus 3 kids. I'm trading it in for a 500L because the 500 is not big enough and when fully loaded is as slow as molasses!

Lovely when I'm in it in town on my own though. Not good for motorway driving.

Hulababy Mon 09-Dec-13 22:11:03

My little 500 goes back tomorrow.
Looking forward to my new car but sad to see Bubbles leave!

Amateurish Sun 05-Jan-14 12:03:02

If you want one, go for it. They are pretty little cars, and the twinnair is a quality little engine and probably the best choice if you will use it for mostly shorter journeys. The Panda is essentially the same car for less money, but life is short.

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