Our Cars: FIAT 500 1.2 Lounge

29 September 2015: FIAT 500: Suddenly needed again

The Details

Mileage 19,266
Claimed economy 55.3mpg
Actual economy 55.9mpg

My little FIAT 500 1.2 spends most of its life locked up in a lock-up, kept there in case it's ever needed. Well, last week, it was.

The Peugeot 308 went back to its maker and the Honda HR-V won't arrive until October, which has meant that a car normally only taken out to charge the battery suddenly had to do 800 miles.

Happily, they were dry days. First a run to Millbrook to test the 2016 model year KIA cee'd and do a bit of secret car spotting. (One of the SPECTRE Aston Martin DB10s was there for Chris Evans feature in The Mail on Sunday.)

That was cut short because I was called back early to do a Sky TV report on the VW emissions scandal.

I had to do a sound-bite for BBC 1 the next day, an item for RTE in a London studio that night

Then, on Friday, with the phone ringing about VW all day, HM Revenue & Customs refused to take a tax payment online so I had to haul the FIAT out again to rush off to my accountant to get a payslip in order to pay at the bank. That evening it was Channel 5 on Lower Thames Street.

On Saturday came the real test: a 300 miles up to Northumberland to visit my aged parents, followed by the same run in reverse on Sunday. With weekend traffic and 130 miles of 50mph contraflow, that meant total of more than 12 hours in the FIAT's extraordinarily comfortable driving seat.

FIAT 500 RO08DZJ Shell Yorkshire

Okay, the performance is nearly non-existent. So that sharpened me up to spot the A road overtaking opportunities for a car with a mere 69PS. But the little car ran perfectly fine and was actually quite good fun.

The best bit was the mpg. An average of 54.5mpg on the outward run. And a fantastic 55.9mpg on the return, all on Shell V-Power, of course.

FIAT 500 RO08DZJ 55.9 19266

The downside is that now I've got to clean it.

But with BBC World News at 13.30 on Monday, followed by Radio 5 Live and Radio 2 that evening I never got the chance. 

« Earlier: FIAT 500 Still Alive     Later: FIAT 500 Gets Its 8th Annual Service »

Updates
HJ's 'spare' FIAT 500 doesn't get out much and barely covers 500 miles a year. Now approaching its 11th birthday it sailed through its MoT, got treated to a service and also a new set of Continental AllSeasonContact tyres.
After a mammoth 1,248 miles, HJ's FIAT 500 gets its 8th Annual Service
29 September 2015: FIAT 500: Suddenly needed again
HJ's FIAT 500 spends most of its life locked away in a garage, kept in case it's ever needed. Well, last week it was needed.
After not quite 400 miles over the last year, HJ's 'spare' Fiat 500 goes in for its annual service and MoT.
Another year and my 2008 FIAT 500 has spent almost all of it locked up in a lockup, emerging only for 30 mile runs to charge the battery.
HJ's FIAT has been busy recently and has now covered 17,234 miles
FIAT 500 on 15,000 mile tyres complately unfazed by torrential rain on the motorway.
Honest John's little used 500 gets its fourth year service and MoT and in that time nothing at all has gone wrong with the little Fiat.
Took the opportunity of a mild day to get the winter wheels and tyres fitted.
HJ's FIAT 500 finally gets to use its cold weather tyes.
HJ goes looking for snow in his Fiat 500.
HJ cleans his paintwork then coats his 500 with Autoglym High Def wax
Fiat 500 starts its Winter Tyre test.
Winter wheels arrive, winter tyres ordered.
FIAT 500 gets some winter tyres on its winter rims, and turns in a summer fuel economy of 56.2mpg.
Most recently I've had the opportunity to compare my 500 with the new, super-eco TwinAir version. On paper the TwinAir is much better, but what's the reality?
During my second year with the little Fiat 500 I drive the newer 500C cabriolet and the hot Abarth 500, both of which had their suspension improved over my older model.
My company bought the car for me in March 2008 for £9,470, including side bump strips and Italian Tricolor side stripes. Because it emits 119g/km of CO2 I was immediately able to write down 100% of the purchase price.
 

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