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The Fiat Seicento is a city car that came as a successor of the Fiat Cinquecento in the late 1997 and was produced until 2010 in number of 1,328,839 units. Currently, its production is ceased. Like the Fiat 126 and Cinquecento, the Seicento was assembled in Tychy, Poland. The Fiat Seicento shares the platform with the Cinquecento although is represented in new, more stylish design and up-to-date equipment. Unofficial successors of the Fiat Seicento are considered to be the Fiat 500, Panda, and Palio.
Dimensions & Design
As it has been already mentioned, the Fiat Seicento doesn’t differ much from the Cinquecento model, its predecessor, in terms of exterior, interior, and even some technical features. In particular, it’s powered by the same engine, mounted on the same chassis, and preserve the same dimensions with the only difference – the Seicento is nine centimetres longer (it’s 3.34 metres in length). Moreover, engineers resisted temptation to make it a five-door multi-purpose vehicle, a distinguishing feature of the most of the Japanese or Korean city cars of the time such as the Suzuki Wagon R or Daewoo Matiz. Instead, they kept its three-door hatchback body.
Dimensions of the Fiat Seicento are the following: it is 3,337 mm in length, 1,508 mm in width, and 1,420 mm in height. The auto weighs 730-750 kg. Probably, it makes the Seicento such a popular city car: due to its size, it wouldn’t be challenging for a driver to squeeze through narrow streets as well as park in confined space. It’s really of great use in the city.
Trim Levels & Equipment
The Fiat Seicento is available in eleven trim levels, each of which is characterized by a unique set of special features.
At launch, the Seicento was available in four of them: the S, SX, Citymatic, and Sporting. The S trim level implies a driver’s airbag, power-assisted steering, folding rear seats, space saver steering wheel, steering wheel rake, and steering wheel reach as standard. While the SX versions add central locking, front electric windows, manual sunroof, steel wheels, and body coloured bumpers; CD is optional. The Citymatic offers the same set of features as the SX but CD is neither standard nor optional here. If to compare the S and Sporting trim versions, the latter adds alloy wheels, CD, front fog lights, and sports seats (these are all standard, with no optional available).
In 1999, the Fiat Seicento of the Suite trim level came up for sale. Unlike the S-level Seicentos, these cars were supplemented with air conditioning, central locking, front electric windows, manual sunroof, and steel wheels.
The Sound models, if compared to the Suite ones, aren’t equipped with air conditioning as well as folding rear seats. Instead, they do have front fog lights and sports seats. The Active Sport cars are deprived of sports seats and front fog lights the Sound models have.
The Mia trim level implies a driver’s airbag, space saver spare wheel, folding rear seats, steering wheel reach, and steering wheel rake. Among optional features, there are steel wheels and power-assisted steering.
The Active is almost the same as the Suite except it doesn’t have manual sunroof. Compared to the Active, the 2Tone doesn’t have central locking.
There’s one more trim level the Fiat Seicento comes in – it’s the Michael Schumacher Sporting, which is the only one has anti-block braking system. Also, there are alloy wheels, driver’s airbag, central locking, front electric windows, folding rear seats, manual sunroof, front fog lights, power-assisted steering, and sports seats. Space saver spare wheel, steering wheel reach, and steering wheel rake can be installed in a car at a customer’s will.
Reliability & Safety
The Fiat Seicento performed poorly in the Euro NCAP crash tests. It was awarded just 1,5 stars that put it in the position between the Rover 100 (1 star) and Chrysler Voyager (2 stars). The Seicento’s front and side impact crash tests as well as a pedestrian one’s results are poor. In particular, abdomen area appeared at the highest risk in the side impact test. Injuries of it can be fatal.
Specialists explain it not just with the model’s too short front end but mostly with old-fashioned details and techniques it adopted from its predecessor, the Cinquecento. If to compare it with another mini car with even shorter front end the Smart Fortwo, the latter was awarded three stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests.
Child restraints for kids under two years of age appeared rather effective. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the ones for three-year-olds and older.
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