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Fiat Seicento

(1998 - 2004) 

Fiat Seicento

The Fiat Seicento is a good learner's car

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
0.9 39 hp 6.1 l/100km Petrol 18 s 140 km/h
1.1 55 hp 6 l/100km Petrol 13.5 s 150 km/h

Body type Hatchback
Number of doors 3
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Front
Length 3 335 mm
Width 1 510 mm
Height 1 450 mm
Wheelbase 2 200 mm
Ground clearance 150 mm
Weight (normal) 730 kg
Weight (max) 1 190 kg
Boot space (min) 170 l
Boot space (max) 810 l
Fuel capacity 38 l


   The Fiat Seicento was produced between 1998 and 2004.

   The Sporting's 55 hp engine that became standard across the range in October 2000 is a willing little performer around town. It's out of its depth on motorways, however. The earlier 899 cc engine had only 39 hp and its poor performance limits it to city use. Both the five-speed manual gearbox and the Citymatic clutch less manual are decent enough.

   If you only intend to use a Seicento in town, it's a fine little car that is great at squeezing through gaps and a doddle to park. The engines are spirited up to 60 km/h (40mph), but beyond that the Seicento feels out of its depth. The ride is firm and the car lacks front-end grip, even in Sporting trim.

   In town, the baby Fiat is quiet, but as soon as the speed increases so does the noise. Wind whistle is an irritation, but it's the engine that really makes a din at motorway pace.

   Seicentos come in only one three-door body style. The racier Sporting has deeper bumpers and different alloys. The Citymatic has a clutch less manual gearbox for easier town use.

   Not only is the Sporting the best looking of the Seicentos, it has sharper handling than the earlier, less powerful models. It also has a more stylish cabin, although all are fairly basic. There's little price difference between S and SX models.

   Most of the Seicento's parts are rugged and reliable, but watch for oil drips from the engine bay which may indicate that the gaiters around the drive shafts require an expensive repair.

   A single binnacle contains all of the instruments and looks stylish. However, form has come ahead of function and the dials can be awkward for taller drivers to read, while there's not much space for anyone over six feet tall to squeeze in. The steering wheel is fixed and the driver's seat does not move for height.

   Even with shorter adults in the front seats, the Seicento's rear bench is very cramped for anyone but kids. It is also quite a struggle for an adult to get into the back. The boot is miniscule and can barely cope with a small shopping expedition.

   Although the Sporting is the range-topper, it has a limited list of standard kit. It does have alloy wheels and sunroof, and later cars come with a CD player, but lesser models do without such luxuries. All cars have a driver's airbag but little else. Try to find a car with the optional anti-lock brakes fitted.


   Advantages: Cute looks; revvy engines suit town driving.

   Disadvantages: Struggles on faster roads; rear seats are cramped and safety kit is lousy.

   Verdict: A good learner's car.

   Also consider: Ford Ka, SEAT Arosa.

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Fiat Seicento

Fiat Seicento

Fiat Seicento

Fiat Seicento

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