Thursday, December 8, 2011

Conduca in italiano

We signed out the Cinquacento (aka Fiat 500) from Burnaby Green this weekend. Just to see what it was like. That's the Modo advantage: you get to drive around in all kinds of funky vehicles!
[this is one small car]

The Cinquacento is the Italian equivalent of the VW Beetle. It's got similar folk legend status, and, like the Beetle, has recently made a comeback with a retooling of the classic model. It's cute and curvy.

This is one small car. It appears sized for a slightly undernourished post-war Italian population. Yes, there's a back seat, but if someone of, say, Dutch build (that would be myself) uses it, the person in the corresponding front seat has to sit diagonally, because their knees hit the dash otherwise.
This particular Modo car is a convertible. My darling husband, trying all the buttons, wound down the roof (over my complaints - note the snow in the photos!). No, dear, turning the heat on full blast does not recreate the warmth of Italy!


[tiny tiny trunk]

The car gives new meaning to the word hatchback...the trunk door resembles nothing so much as a kayak hatch; a little flap that lifts up to reveal an oval hole. I miss the bungy cords! The space within is truly minuscule. What blows me away is that this trunk has one of those glow-in-the-dark escape tabs on it. Who could possibly fit in there??? As you can see from the photo, it doesn't even fit 2 grocery boxes end-to-end! Luckily you can fold down the rear seats, and then your groceries will fit. But access to the rear seat is really not very easy, so my d.h. started loading and unloading through the sunroof. OK, as a joke...but still...

On the inside, the seats are very high so it is easy to get into the front seat. The window space is small, though, and you feel a bit like you are in a submarine. Visibility is, unfortunately, not very good, and doing a shoulder check through the side windows is very difficult.

The car is zippy enough, but has a very short wheelbase. This makes it remarkably maneuverable in parking lots but rather "swimmy" on the highway.

In short, cute car, but probably not your best choice for family grocery runs or IKEA trips.

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