standard airbags except for the Naked
Fiat 500 is the first car in this category to offer up
to 7 airbags (front, side, curtain- and knee-bags are
all standard throughout the range, except for the
It also provides active safety
elements such as the ABS with EBD function (standard
on the Pop, Sports and Lounge versions), ESP
(Electronic Stability Program, standard or optional,
depending on versions and markets), which includes
other function such as the ASR (Anti Slip Regulation),
HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) and a Hill Holder
Seat-belts with double
pretensioners and load limiters are standard on the
front seats, with three-point belts at the rear. The
front and rear seats are fitted with anti-submarining
devices that prevent the occupant from sliding
forward, under the seat-belt. Isofix attachments for
child seats are standard throughout the range.
The ABS comes complete with EBD
(Electronic Brake Distribution). The latter
distributes the braking force between the front and
rear wheels to prevent the rear wheels from locking.
The ESP (Electronic Stability
Program) is standard with the 1.4 engine and
optional with the other two engines. It incorporates
sensors that measure the wheel speed, the vehicle’s
rotation around its vertical axis (yaw speed), the
lateral acceleration and the steering angle set by the
driver (which indicates his chosen direction). If the
front or rear is about to veer (understeer or
oversteer), the system brakes the appropriate wheel
(nearside or offside), and reduces the engine power by
adjusting the throttle valve. ESP is always engaged.
The ASR (Anti Slip
Regulation) is part of the ESP system. It functions at
all speeds and adjusts torque on the basis of the grip
detected. The system helps to maintain vehicle
stability when there is a loss of grip, either by
decreasing the throttle valve aperture, or by
automatically brakes the slipping wheel.
Another advantage of ASR is the
reduction of stress on mechanical organs such as the
differential and gearbox, which is achieved by
controlling take-off and traction at low speeds. ASR
is engaged automatically every time the engine is
started, but can be excluded by a switch on the centre
console (when snow chains are mounted for instance).
On cars fitted with ESP, the HBA
(Hydraulic Brake Assistance) function (known also as
the BA system in other brands) is performed
electronically by the ABS control unit. During ‘panic’
braking, the Brake Assist devices are triggered, to
ensure the best deceleration that would be achieved by
braking with every possible force.
The Hill Holder system helps
the driver on hill starts. During a hill start, the
pressure on the front brake callipers is maintained
for about 2 seconds after the driver releases the
brake pedal, allowing him to set off without
difficulty. The Hill Holder is not activated when the
car is started downhill with first speed engaged.
Similarly, when reverse is engaged, the system is
activated for downhill starts, and it is not activated
for uphill starts.