Fiat 500 Mir­ror

Rutherglen Reformer - - Motors -

The 60th an­niver­sary of the trendy Fiat 500 is be­ing marked with a spe­cial edi­tion high-tech model called the Mir­ror priced from £12,515.

The spe­cial edi­tion marks the in­tro­duc­tion of Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto on the Fiat 500.

The sys­tems al­low users to ac­cess the main ap­pli­ca­tions of their smart­phones di­rectly on the seven-inch screen of the car’s Ucon­nect in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

Ap­ple CarPlay en­ables iPhone users to ac­cess Ap­ple Maps, Ap­ple Mu­sic, mes­sages, phone and more with Siri or the Ucon­nect touch­screen, while An­droid Auto in­te­gra­tion also al­lows driv­ers to man­age the com­pat­i­ble con­tent and fea­tures on their de­vice di­rectly from the in­te­grated touch screen or by us­ing the sys­tem’s vo­cal com­mands.

The Fiat 500 Mir­ror is avail­able as both a hatch­back and a con­vert­ible, with the 1.2-litre 69hp petrol engine which reg­is­ters a fuel con­sump­tion of 60.1mpg on the com­bined cy­cle and emits 110g/km CO2.

Kia’s third gen­er­a­tion Pi­canto city car is now good enough to chal­lenge the best in its class.

It goes on sale next month and will match or bet­ter any of its ri­vals for style, qual­ity and com­fort.

Burst­ing with equip­ment, more re­fined and bet­ter to drive than the model it re­places, this all-new Pi­canto is an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to the sec­tor.

The Pi­canto ar­rived in the UK back in 2004 and was and still is the Korean com­pany’s small­est and most af­ford­able car. It was cheap and cheer­ful and a much im­proved re­place­ment for their Pride model.

A new very suc­cess­ful model ar­rived in 2011 and be­came a big seller for Kia UK and is their most im­por­tant model af­ter the Sportage.

Many other man­u­fac­tur­ers have now joined the fight for sales in this de­mand­ing sec­tor and Kia has in­tro­duced the new Pi­canto to keep them at bay.

This new car is a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment on the cur­rent model and of­fers a more spa­cious cabin, higher equip­ment lev­els and greatly im­proved tech­nol­ogy. UK cus­tomers will be able to choose from a choice of three en­gines in­clud­ing a new three-cylin­der tur­bocharged unit and on av­er­age the new range will cost about £750 more than the out­go­ing line-up.

The first view of the new car in the Tus­cany sun­shine put a smile on my face as the de­sign­ers have man­aged to re­tain its cheeky looks while up­dat­ing it to sit with the rest of the Kia range.

The tiger-nose grille is now big­ger and bolder, the lines cleaner and al­though the di­men­sions are just about the same, the new model looks big­ger and of­fers more space in­side.

An ex­tra 15mm has been added to the wheel­base and the wheels pushed back and this has cre­ated the ex­tra in­te­rior room as well as in­creas­ing the boot space to a handy 255-litres – more than any of its ri­vals – and al­low­ing for 1010 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

Four adults can now travel in com­fort and the new­comer also has a tighter turn­ing cir­cle, mak­ing it a joy to drive in towns where it will spend most of its life. It is very ag­ile, easy to park and is ideal for life in the ur­ban jun­gle.

Out on the open road or on mo­tor­ways it is just as good and changes to the sus­pen­sion and steer­ing make it feel more grown-up.

It is con­sid­er­ably qui­eter than be­fore thanks to more noise sup­pres­sion and it han­dles well and gives you lots of feed­back. Torque vec­tor­ing con­trol is stan­dard on all ver­sions and the gear change feels more pos­i­tive and you are re­warded in per­for­mance if you make good use of it.

The Pi­canto is now only avail­able in five-door form and is ini­tially with a choice of two petrol en­gines – a 1.0-litre with or a 1.2 with 83bhp and they will be joined later in the year by the new turbo three pot which will of­fer 100bhp. The launch en­gines are not new but have been up­dated to re­duce emis­sions with the 1.0-litre now rated at 101g/km and 106 for the 1.2 with five speed man­ual trans­mis­sions.

That also re­sults in claimed of­fi­cial fuel re­turns of 64.2 and 61.4mpg re­spec­tively. An au­to­matic is avail­able with the 1.2-litre model and that re­turns 52.3mpg with a CO2 fig­ure of 124g/km.

I tested both en­gines on a va­ri­ety of Ital­ian roads and both units per­formed well. The smaller engine is ca­pa­ble of 100mph with the sprint to 60mph tak­ing 13.8 sec­onds and the 1.2 can hit 107mph and takes 11.6 sec­onds to reach 60mph.

The smart new in­te­ri­ors and equip­ment lev­els are im­pres­sive through­out the range and the top GT-Line S model fea­tures a touch­screen dis­play with sat nav, smart­phone com­pat­i­bil­ity, emer­gency brak­ing, heated seats and steer­ing wheel, au­to­matic air con­di­tion­ing, sun roof and a high def­i­ni­tion re­vers­ing cam­era.

The new Pi­canto is avail­able in five trim lev­els – 1, 2, 3, GT-Line and GT-Line S – with the lat­ter two grades di­rected to­wards younger cus­tomers.

With sporty fea­tures such as coloured trim in­serts, a more ag­gres­sive nose and some mesh in the front grille, the Pi­canto will turn a few heads and the GT-Line cars also have twin ex­hausts and stylish 16-inch al­loys. Leather-ef­fect up­hol­stery com­plete with coloured in­serts, smart, gloss red gloss flashes in the door pulls and sporty metal ped­als com­plete the pack­age.

The other GT-Line Pi­can­tos are based on level 2 trim which means they lack the touch­screen and its func­tions but still have most of the other ex­tras.

With prices start­ing from £9,450 through to £13,950, the new Pi­canto is plusher and more re­fined and a tempt­ing pur­chase for mo­torists of all ages.

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