fiat 500 Collection ireland

FIAT 500 Collection Goes On Sale

fiat 500 Collection ireland
New Fiat 500 Collection models in white and red

FIAT Ireland has launched the new FIAT 500 Collection. It includes two new special editions of the iconic city car, one red and one white.

Based on the new FIAT 500 Lounge, the Collection features a number of styling and equipment enhancements for just €150 more than the FIAT 500 Lounge on which it's based.

They will also be very exclusive, with a limited run of just 24 specimens coming to Ireland!

The new model is available in white or red with contrasting detailing. White models have a red dashboard, red key cover and a chrome-finished gear shifter. As well as red mirror caps, red side mouldings, larger 16-inch alloy wheels with centre caps with red detailing. For red cars, these details are all offered in contrasting white.

Power comes from the popular 69hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine.

Standard equipment includes seven airbags, remote central locking, electric front windows and mirrors, touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system with Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, panoramic, fixed glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, front fog lights, and chrome styling kit.

Priced at €16,250, FIAT claim that this special edition is equipped with up to €725 worth of additional equipment for just €150 more than the Lounge model on which it’s based.

What does Changing Lanes think of the Fiat 500?

At Changing Lanes we are very fond of this little Italian city car. We have been lucky to test drive it a number of times. The Fiat 500 is chic, cute and easy to drive. The 1.2-litre engine is basic but adequate. This is a small car but it's cheap and so much fun. The 500 has been a great success for the brand ans spawned a number of limited editions like this one , which add more gear at a great price.

Fiat has also expanded the 500 range to include larger, more family oriented models like the Fiat 500X compact crossover and the Fiat 500L MPV.

The brand announced new hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 in spring 2020,  showing that this little Italian icon is moving with the times.  Bravo!

Caroline Kidd

fiat 500 Collection ireland
Interior of new FIAT 500 Collection

The 2016 Fiat 500!

Fiat 500 1.2-litre Review (2016)

Caroline reviews the 2016 Fiat 500.

Scroll down to read the review or watch my Fiat 500 video review!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeJCS8PSSzE]

The Fiat 500 needs little in the way of introduction - it’s a modern icon. But 2008, the year the 50’s Italian icon was relaunched, seems like a long time ago now, and as the car ages Fiat faces the challenge of how to move the design forward without upsetting the core market.

So they’ve taken a very gentle approach for this latest model update so the 500 still looks very much like a 500. However, according to Fiat there are 1,900 new components.

If you look closely there are some visual changes - some new lights front and back including LED DRLs in the shape of the ‘0’ from the 500 logo, squarer edged bumpers, and a new 3D effect grille. But I'm pleased to say the 500 is still cute as a button.

You can make your 500 stand out from the crowd now with new ‘Second Skin’ personalisation options - factory-fitted themed graphics that add more wow factor, for example “Comics”, which has a cool two-tone appearance of black-yellow or black-red. There are new alloy wheel designs and two brand new colours, “Glam Coral” pastel and “Avantgarde Bordeaux” metallic, which bring the total number of colours available to 13.

The interior of the 2016 Fiat 500
The interior of the 2016 Fiat 500

Inside the 2016 Fiat 500

The interior of the 2016 Fiat 500 has lost none of its retro charm with familiar body coloured panels and circular instrument binnacle. But it now looks even better than before with a new centre console design where the new Uconnect infotainment system now takes centre stage. The 500's interior is one of the brightest, most fun and playful interiors around and can’t but make you feel a bit happier than you were when leaving the house.

However, there are a few problems that have not been addressed with this update. The standard speedometer is not the easiest to read and the seating position could be awkward for you because the lever to adjust the seat height doesn’t really move the rear cushion up and down properly, it tilts it instead, which is a bit weird.

And remember this is a small car, fine up front for driver and passenger but rear space is snug with just two designated seats and the boot is also on the small side at 185 litres.

There are three trim levels available for the Fiat 500 and standard equipment on Pop includes LED daytime running lights, electric windows and mirrors, Uconnect and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Step up to Pop Star for air con and alloys and to Lounge for front fog lights, a panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a more advanced Uconnect system.

The Fiat 500 is a classic small car
The Fiat 500 is a classic small car

What are my options?

The engine line-up for the 2016 Fiat 500 has been carried forward so there’s the 1.2-litre petrol, with 69bhp, two TwinAir turbo petrols with a bit more power (85 and 105bhp), and a 1.3 litre diesel (95bhp), which is actually the only diesel you will find in this segment.

My test car had the basic 1.2 litre, 69bhp petrol engine. It is modest in terms of power and performance - fine at urban speeds but it’s slow to pick up pace out of town and if you meet any steep hills you will be dropping gears rapidly to maintain that pace! But this engine is the bigseller in the 500 range and the pricing keeps the car cheap and cheerful. The turbocharged units are more powerful but they do have their own peculiar noise, which you will find irritating or irritating.

Little has changed in the way the 500 drives, which is largely a good thing because this is a genuinely fun little car to drive. Nothing to do with outright power of course, but it has good grip and road holding ability, the body feels nice and rigid, and the steering is direct and accurate.

Is the Fiat 500 any good?

But if there is to be a chink in the armour it’s the ride comfort - not the 500’s strong point. But this was really only an issue for me on the motorway – and you can excuse it because the car is not designed for motorways. It just never really settles, there’s this feeling of constant movement underneath you, which can grate on a long journey.

But you can forgive it some more when you look at the pricing and start thinking about how cool you will look behind the wheel for so little money. The 500 range starts at €13,450 for your basic 1.2 litre in Pop trim. Pop Star models start at €14,400 and Lounge models start at €15,800. The cabrio is available from €16,450.

The Fiat 500 is not the perfect small car, some are more spacious and some a bit more comfortable. But in terms of pure desirability, presence and style, the 2016 Fiat 500 leads the way and there are few cars that move in such fashionable circles with the same sort of pricing as the 500.

Forever in love with the Fiat 500
Forever in love with the Fiat 500

Need more space? Read our review of the Fiat 500X!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Fiat 500 Lounge 1.2-litre
Price: €15,800 (500 range starts at €13,450)
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Power: 69bhp
0-100km/h: 12.9 seconds
Economy: 60.1mpg
CO2 emissions:  110g/km
Tax band: A3 (€190 per year)


Ford Fiesta ST

8 Cars To Beat The Winter Blues

1. Porsche Macan

The Macan is included on this list for aspirational reasons – everyone needs something to aspire to, especially in winter, and if you’ve got a spare €70,000+ down the back of the sofa you could do worse than put your money on Porsche’s compact SUV. It’s the 4x4 that handles like a sports car.

2. Renault Captur

But if you can’t stretch to a Macan there’s always the Captur. Right so this is quite a comedown. It’s not set up for pace or performance or any sort of sharp handling, but it will trudge quite affably with the family on board. There are some great colour combinations to brighten up your life and I’m feeling hot already with the thoughts of Arizona Orange or Miami Blue.

3. Fiat 500

The 500 is a real feel-good car. It’s all about the style and it’s unashamedly cute with those big, round headlamps. Some of the interior colour schemes verge on the feel of the toy car you had when you were five.  What’s not to love about that? And it’s cheap thrills with prices starting at just €13,450.

4. Ford Fiesta ST

If you have a budget of around €26,000 and you don’t need a family wagon, then I think the 182bhp Fiesta ST is the car for you. It’s a super car on the road, and both the look of that body kit and the sound of the engine is going to get your heart going. Just imagine how great you’re going to feel in that Recaro seat.

The fast and capable Volkswagen Golf R
The fast and capable Volkswagen Golf R

5. Mazda MX-5

Low, light and fast - Mazda hasn’t strayed too far away from a predictably hot formula, and whether you’ve got the roof up and the heaters on full blast or roof down wrapped in a duvet watching the stars on these frosty nights, there are few cars that evoke such legendary status as the Maxda MX-5.

6. Volkswagen Golf R

You could buy the ultimate Golf to beat the blues. The Golf R has got four wheel drive as standard so it’s well up for winter and will make all the difference when you attempt to put the 300bhp to the road on a crisp January morning. I reckon that’s going to be fun.

7. Opel Adam Rocks

The Adam Rocks bristles with attitude. He’s a tough little guy on the outside and you can spend those dark winter nights having loads of fun on the configurator making Adam Rocks your own. When you finally get on the road in your creation, let the explosive 1.0-litre turbo loose and you’ll soon realise that you’ve got a very tidy hot hatch on your hands.

8. Audi TT

A blast along some back roads in the Audi TT is sure to blow away the January cobwebs. It’s low slung and sexy, and there’s pure artistry in the design.  An expensive treat, and not very practical but you’ll be the envy of everyone.

Caroline Kidd


Fiat 500 Ron Arad

Fiat 500 Ron Arad Special Edition!

Fiat 500 Ron Arad
Fiat 500 Ron Arad: Striking in monochrome

Artistic Fiat 500 Ron Arad goes on sale in a limited run

Pity the poor Fiat 500. Its diminutive little body is prime real estate for brands to display their wares. It’s been adorned with designer clobber from Gucci, wrapped in bubblegum pink by Barbie and “denimified” by Diesel in the seven years since it’s been reborn, among others.

But things were looking up for the Fiat 500 when an actual artist turned up with his paintbrush to modify the 500 in his own unique way.

In partnership with Fiat, Ron Arad, an Israeli-born and London-based industrial designer, architect and artist, has developed a limited edition model of the 500 called the Fiat 500 ‘Ron Arad’.

Arad is a life-long fan of the original Fiat 500 and one of his most famous works is called “In Reverse” and consists of six compressed original Fiat 500 cars.

Arad was inspired to design the 500 that would bear his name with the outline graphic of an original 1957 Fiat 500 superimposed on each side of the car’s bodywork.

The result is very striking and unusual in monochrome black and white. The simple outline shows that as small as the modern 500 is, it still absolutely dwarfs the 1950s original.

The Fiat 500 ‘Ron Arad’ is a limited edition model and 200 of them have just gone on sale in the UK. Very arty indeed, but would you drive it?

Caroline Kidd


The 2014 Fiat 500s

2014 Fiat 500S 1.2 Petrol Review

The 2014 Fiat 500s
The 2014 Fiat 500s

Caroline reviews the 2014 Fiat 500.

The Fiat 500 has always been a hit with twentysomethings who love the little Italian city car for its cheeky looks and retro cabin.

It’s been kept fresh over the last six years with an eye-catching colour palette, including new additions like pearl white and matte black, and a steady stream of limited editions that range from Fiat 500 by Gucci to a Barbie bubblegum pink version to 70s kitsch and of course the storming Abarth-tuned versions that turn it into a minuscule rocket.

Then there is the string of famous owners  – Agyness Deyn, Jaime Winstone, Melanie Sykes, Elle McPherson, Jay Leno, Clint Eastwood and Michael Schumacher. It’s safe to say that the Fiat 500 has been a runaway success for the Italian carmaker since the 50s classic was resurrected in 2007.

What's new about the Fiat 500S?

The 500S is yet another addition to the range – but this one has a sporty personality borrowed from cousin Abarth. That means restyled front and rear bumpers, new side skirts, a boot lid mounted rear spoiler, dark chrome detailing, rear privacy glass, a chrome exhaust and special 15" alloy wheels.

The cherry red test car looked great – it’s definitely a car that twentysomething trendsetters will love. But the sporty update is purely cosmetic and under the bonnet there is a harmless 1.2 litre 69bhp petrol engine. Currently the other engine option is an 85bhp TwinAir Turbo petrol .  Fitted with the 1.2 litre engine the Fiat 500s will cost €200 per year to tax in Ireland and the official fuel economy figure is just under 60mpg.

The interior of the 2014 Fiat 500
The interior of the 2014 Fiat 500

The 500S is no racer out on the open road but it’s perfect around town. The small dimensions make parking a doddle. You can nip down narrow streets and through tight spaces like a secret agent on a mission in Turin. There is a button on the dash that can be pressed to lighten the steering even more. Use it for action thriller style parallel parking if that’s your party piece.

It’s not the BEST driving small car you can buy. It suffers from small car twitching out on the open road and never really settles down. So look elsewhere if comfortable motorway sprints are a priority.

But the agility makes it a FUN car to drive. It’s surprisingly grippy in the corners and there is a satisfying feel to the gear change.

The 2014 Fiat 500 interior

Then there is the seducing sophistication wafting from the air vents into the cabin that strikes the right balance between modern simplicity and a nod to the car’s vintage Italian roots. The 2014 Fiat 500 has a special matte silver dashboard panel, snug sports seats with special 500S logo, a flat-bottomed Abarth-design steering wheel with red stitching, and a red and satin chrome gear knob.  It’s quality for a €15,000 car.

The 500S looks tiny from the outside but the cabin is surprisingly roomy up front. It’s perfect for singletons but you can carry a few friends too from time to time – one in the front and two in the back with a squeeze. There are 185 litres of boot space to fit a small suitcase and an overnight bag or a few shopping bags. If more space is needed for perhaps moving house or off to university for the first time, the rear seats have split 50:50 folding.

It’s also well equipped with air conditioning, Blue & Me hands free system with Bluetooth technology, voice recognition, steering wheel controls and USB port connectivity, seven airbags, fuel-saving Start&Stop technology, electric windows and mirrors, and remote central locking as standard.

Is it any good?

This car will put a smile on your face on the dreariest of mornings. For all Dublin’s narrow, cobbled streets and pavement cafes – it’s no Milan – but somehow the Fiat 500S makes driving in town a more fun experience with a splash of colour and Italian flair.

Read another Fiat 500 review here from 2016.

The Fiat 500S is a fun and sporty small car
The Fiat 500S is a fun and sporty small car

Model tested: Fiat 500S
Price: €15,450 (500 range starts at €13,150)
Engine: 1.2 litre petrol
Power: 69bhp
0-100km/h: 12.9 seconds
Economy: 58.9mpg (4.8l/100km)
CO2 emissions:  113g/km
Tax band: A4 (€200 per year)

Caroline Kidd