Fiat Seicento Hatchback 1998-2004

Fiat Seicento Hatchback 1998-2004

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • It still looks fresh and current
  • Very easy to drive
  • Born to live in a town ‐ quick and possessing great manoeuvrability

Cons:

  • Takes ages to accelerate to highway speeds
  • Small and uncomfortable
  • Lack of safety features

Overview

A great little runner for short city rides but you might wish to think twice before taking your Seicento to the M1. It is very simple to drive and cheap to maintain, hence it's still a favourite amongst urban dwellers in many places in Europe. The Seicento is a successor to an even more basic car Cinquecento. It made debut in 1998 and was successfully produced up until 2004. Seicento means 600 in Italian and it was named so as to pay homage to the classic Fiat 600 microcar.

Exterior and Interior

It's a beautiful little car. Nicely proportioned and often finished in a nice bright colour. The Seicento is offered in 5 different levels of trim: S, SX, Citymatic, Suite and Sporting. The most interesting of them all is the Citymatic which features manual gearshift without clutch. If you don't plan on driving a Seicento for all your life, better avoid this model. Although the Seicento is full 3 inches longer than its predecessor the Cinquecento, it is still a very uncomfortable car and it is cramped both at the front and at the rear. The safety equipment is non-existent. Not too much to worry if you're driving in a town at low speeds.

Performance and Economy

It is very cheap to buy and equally cheap to run. With fuel economy reaching into 60mpg you'll soon forget about the petrol stations. Driving in the city the Seicento will manage around 46mpg, still a very impressive return. It's a great alternative for a person who is looking for a green motoring option on a low budget. In fact, you can buy 20 used Seicentos for the money that would be necessary to obtain a brand new electric car or a hybrid. Good news continues with regards to insurance. The Seicento is placed in the insurance group 3.

Like to Drive

Don't expect anything exciting there. Drivin a Seicento is boring and the tiny wheels and rudimentary suspension will translate into a bumpy ride. If you accelerate past 40mph (that's if you're very lucky) the car will make so much noise that you won't be able to have a conversation while driving. If you are not too bothered about leaving the right impression, the car will happily take you from A to B providing both locations are within the vicinity of a town. The Seicento wasn't designed to become a cult item or a status symbol.

Faults and Repairs

All Seicentos were assembled in Poland. Although today the Polish Fiat factory is maintaining a high standard of assembly, it wasn't necessarily the case 10 years ago. The cars are reasonably assembled but they are not reliable. Fix one issue and another one immediately pops up. Try to service your car in an independent dealership. It will be much cheaper to do so. Most problems in this car can be fixed very cheaply and quickly. With the Citymatic the most unreliable part is the gearbox. Almost all used Seicentos suffer from electronics faults and suspension.