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Battle of the super minis: ForFour vs. Fiat 500C

2017-05-17 09:16

CUTE AND QUIRKY: The Fiat 500C is a whole bag of charm, but it will not find favour with everyone. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

  Video

This 1968 Fiat 500 F is being brought to life in a somewhat strange yet brilliant way. Watch as designers to hope recreate the iconic city car using Lego blocks.

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - City cars are usually adorable little things, agile and compact too. Pocket rockets we like to call them, little nippy things that can get you from Point A to B in two shakes of a tail feather. 

But these days, cute doesn't mean spineless. Modern day city slickers can pack a punch and leave your fellow motorists with gaping mouths at their quick pace and distinctively good looks.

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post picks her top three city slickers she'd swop a mommy-van for in SA.

Smart ForFour

While the Smart ForTwo is still dimuntive compared to the average compact car the ForFour has space for four adults.

The automaker’s third generation ForFour has grown-up with new styling, design tweaks, enhanced technology and better driving dynamics. Despite the enhancements, it retains its cute-as-a-button persona.

It's powered by a 999cc litre, three-cylinder engine, with two power outputs and three trim levels - prime, passion and proxy. The bi-colour body options are refreshing and adds a whole of spunk to these little city slickers.

Here are 5 quick facts about the car:

1 Looks much better than the previous Smart ForFour.
2 It has the best upholstery to absorb all kinds of spills.
3 It's uncluttered, neat and tidy
4 It has the smallest cubbyhole, ever
5 It can go the distance with that tiny little engine.

If you're in the market for an entry-level car, or funky car that seats four, this is a good option. It'll certainly grab attention.

Trendy in style, and its fuel consumption won't break the bank. The best part is that you can actually fit a few shopping bags in the boot too!

It has a quirky list of features but one of the ForFour's best selling points owners will come to truly appreciated is its awesome upholstery. At first glance it appears to be black leather but it's actually versatile cloth. It has sporty bucket-esque front seats too. At the rear there are two individual seats with a storage compartment between them.

If you're dealing with a active toddler these materials are heaven-sent. Tomato sauce, baby powder, chip crumbs are no match for the tough surfaces.

The seats are as comfortable as they are durable. Even the areas which usually have plastic covers such as the dashboard and door panels are covered in the same material, so grubby little fingers can’t leave their marks behind.



Fiat 500C

When I first saw the Fiat 500C, in sunshine yellow paintjob, I thought this car is as cute as a button. In fact, when my toddler saw it, she walked up to the car and tried to hug it as if it was a big bright teddy bear with a cute face. Needless to say, she likes cars too.

But then I had drove it and the auto 'box is an acquired taste. The 500C isn't slow but it performs best when confined to city/suburbs for those who need to drive short distances, and perhaps mild traffic. It doesn't work for someone like me who has to drive in excess of 120km on my daily commute. Also, driving it can be a bit strange when changing gears; like a child strapped with a 'kiddy harness' who wants to be unleashed but is instead held back causing frustation.

I still like it though, it's so quirky. In fact, I felt like the childhood fictional character Noddy (created by Enid Blyton) driving in his little yellow car. By the way, the original Noddy car was a 1969 Fiat Gamine Vignale, a small two-seat roadster built by the Italian firm Carrozzeria Vignale. The car was bought by Blyton's company a year after her death in 1969.

The 500C is also a convertible and I love its easy-to-use droptop function and it's body-colour dashboard. Then there's the huge instrument cluster and its giant speedometer reminiscent of a Mini, and all its cute. This car is like an annoying yet catchy Justin Bieber tune; eventually you'll come to love it, even if you don't want to.

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