ENGINE 903cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 41bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 48lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 83mph 0-60MPH 20.3sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 35-42mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, fice-speed manual MoT 12 months ODOMETER 16,110 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This Fiat is hard to fault from behind the wheel, as you would hope from a car with such a low mileage. The teeny 903cc engine fires willingly from cold (no manual choke to worry about), pulls with all its might, and idles happily without overheating. The servo-assisted brakes bring the car to a halt without undue effort or swerving and the gears select smoothly, if a little sloppily. Refreshed gear linkages may help here. We tested the car to 60mph and detected no wobbles or noises to trouble the next owner. Accept its limitations and you’ll have a very rewarding drive.
We could find no damage or corrosion on the galvanised body, but close inspection reveals small stone chips on the nearside door, rear quarterpanel and bonnet. There are also a few very light scuff marks on the front and rear bumpers, but all these would be easy to remedy if you want a concours finish. Three of the 13in alloy wheels are kerbed but all four wear matching Accelera 165/55 tyres showing plenty of tread and even wear. The glass and lights are in fine order.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
There’s a small amount of wear to the bolster on the back of the driver’s seat, but apart from that the interior is generally in lovely condition. The blue fabric seats and door panels show no significant signs of fading or pilling, and the mats, carpets and plastic dash are undamaged – in short, there’s no evidence of rough use or water ingress anywhere in here. On-board equipment is pretty limited, extending no further than a rear window wash/wipe, rear foglamp, heated rear window, heater and an aftermarket radio/CD player – there isn’t even a glovebox – but it’s all fully operational.
UNDER THE BONNET
The compact engine bay continues the clean and unmolested theme demonstrated elsewhere on this car. There’s no sign of any rust, and neither leaks nor perishing materials around the engine itself (rather unusually, even the insulation against the bulkhead is intact and looks smart). Oil, coolant and hydraulic fluid are all topped and clean, and there appears to be a new hose fitted beneath the radiator, as well as a recent air filter. Receipts are sadly lacking from the service history, but the logbook shows seven stamps verifying the low mileage, the latest stamp being in 2015 at 14,515 miles. There are no advisories on the latest MoT.
THE CCW VIEW
Is the Cinquecento a modern classic, or nothing more than a quirky toy? Either way, this little Fiat offers a perky and hopefully reliable way into nofrills motoring. It’d be a shame to put too many miles on this particular example, but for an occasional whirr through the countryside with a picnic, it’s an ideal candidate.