Classified as a city car, the Fiat Seicento was introduced in 1997 to replace the Cinquecento. It was manufactured until 2010, with production reaching more than 1.3 million units at the end. As successor to the Cinquecento, it was not much different because it retained the same engine and chassis, as well as the general dimensions of the car and the overall design. Based off the Punto, the Seicento stuck with a three-door hatchback body complemented by a front-engine layout and a front wheel-drive system. The car got its name for the Italian word for 600, seicento. As such, it was only fitting that it was renamed to be the Fiat 600 in 2005. The renaming is also in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first ever edition that was released in 1955.
When the Fiat Seicento was launched, it came with three trim levels: S, SX, and Sporting. An S trim gave the basic of the basics with black bumpers and an 899-cc engine, while the SX trim was a bit of an upgrade from the S with the addition of coloured bumpers, central locking, a sunroof, and electric windows. As for the Sporting trim, a larger engine was included, plus anti-roll bars and lower suspension. An Abarth styling kit is also available as an option, which featured 14-inch wheels, a close-ration gearbox, embroidered headrests, sill kick plates, leather steering wheel and gear stick, bumpers trimmed with blue highlights, a spoiler, and side skirts. Both Sporting trim and the Abarth kit also include air conditioning, power steering, and ABS.
In terms of performance, the Seicento did quite well for a city car, offering just the right amount of speed and acceleration that would be needed in an urban setting. And even in tight spaces, there was also just enough control so handling was easy even if you're using a unit with an S or SX trim which doesn't include power steering. Because of sufficient control, this makes it easy to park the car as well, a task that is nicely complemented by its size.
The Fiat Seicento is not a safe car. In fact, calling it not safe may be an understatement since it only got a 1.5 star rating in a EuroNCAP crash test. It was just better by a mere fraction from being the worst car to be ever tested, coming in behind the original Voyager MPV from Chrysler and the Rover 100. No one's arguing over the results though because the rating is to be expected from a car with an extremely short front. That, and that many of the components of the Seicento were retained from its predecessors, a lot of which were considered modern in 1991.
Despite the many trim levels and options that offered improvements that could lead to a better experience with the Seicento, these are quite costly so many owners ended up not taking advantage of them. The added choices would've been more attractive had they been at more affordable prices.
The Seicento Elettra, the car's battery-electric version, was only produced until 2005. The additional option would've been ideal for individuals looking for more environmentally sound vehicles.
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