Fiat 500 Lounge 1.3 Multijet - Communication

By Jeremy Laird



Full voice control of a wide range of handsets via a handsfree Bluetooth connection is one of Blue&Me's core features. Exactly how well it works will vary according to your make and model of handset.

Although the initial pairing process with an LG Viewty went smoothly, the system wasn't able to automatically pull the phone's address book. That means contacts must be individually pushed via Bluetooth. Fine for a handful of key contacts, not so great if you want your entire contact base uploaded.

Unfortunately, our 500 test car refused to accept even pushed contacts from the LG handset. That prevented us from testing the voice command system which allows you to vocally select contacts by name. However, we can confirm that dialling full numbers with the voice command system was a pleasant surprise. Numbers recited with conversational, fluid enunciation are accurately recognised. Mistakes are few and far between.

Another of Blue&Me's nattier features is the ability to read your text messages out loud. User reports indicate that support for various handsets with this feature is patchy. Nokia and SonyEricsson appear to give the best results, the iPhone and handsets based on Windows Mobile (ironically) are apparently less consistent.

Predictably, the LG Viewty we used to test the 500 also refused to play ball with this feature. On the one hand, it's a tall order to expect Fiat to ensure the system works with the enormous range of mobile phones currently available. On the other, the value of the feature is greatly reduced if it only works properly with a minority of handsets. Ultimately, if you want to ensure you get the most out of the Blue&Me, you may well have to change your handset.


March 24, 2009, 5:23 pm

About time we see some car tech here!

TR is shaping up to be even better than before!


March 24, 2009, 6:02 pm

i thought it was a printer review >.>

Rich 42c5

March 24, 2009, 6:38 pm

awesome work guy's keep it up


March 24, 2009, 6:45 pm

I am not sure if I am ready for a move to Ecoville just yet, but I certainly think the car tech channel is a good idea for TR.

Is there room for a spec table in these reviews?

P.S. @ Ilovethemonkeyhead, I love you too x


March 24, 2009, 6:46 pm

Great read! This sort of info is usually so hard to find without going to see a car itself!!


March 24, 2009, 9:47 pm

Enunciation, not diction.


March 24, 2009, 10:08 pm

That mean, he speaks the truth: amended, thanks.


March 25, 2009, 3:06 pm

Hmm I've a Grande Punto with this system installed but I never managed to get it to read txts with my N95 :P

I can verify that it does allow you to push contacts with the KC910 Renoir so presumabley other newer LG's will work as well. Although it seems sound quality varies between phones, I got better results with sound quality with my N95 then the Renoir.

It seems trying to get Eco:Drive working on the older Blue & Me's can be problematic, as it may record the data but refuse to dump it to a stick, as that what mine is doing (just going to get Fiat to sort next time I visit).


March 25, 2009, 9:26 pm

It's a pretty little car at a nice price. If the UK .gov decided to go with the old banger trade-in option some other countries have done to boost the car market I may be interested. However the old Fiat reliability still weighs on the mind... hmm...

Tony Walker

March 26, 2009, 4:14 am

I've done 12000 in 12 months in my 1.3 Mjet Sport and have loved every single one of them.

The 1.3 (1248cc actually) diesel engine is an absolute doll and rewards smooth driving with real-world MPG figures of around 55MPG. Figures arrived at by the ancient method of recording distance travelled between tank fills.

A number of the Blue & Me issues have revolved around flaky Bluetooth implementations in the phones, indeed my iPhone 3G only became usable with the v2.2 firmware.

The basic (but excellent) audio system is made by Blaupunkt and better encoded MP3's sound suitably better through the system (I use 320kbit on an 8gb USB stick). SHould you require it there is a factory fit Hi-Fi option available made by Interscope.

Final tech bit and very 500-ish is the range quoted after I've just filled the tank. It comes up as.......yes, you've guessed it, 500 miles. Which is in line with what the electronic comsumption thinks I get in MPG - this is quite a bit higher then what I do get though.


March 26, 2009, 2:51 pm

Does the Sedici have Blue&Me too, does anyone know? Their flashy website is a nightmare to use.


March 27, 2009, 2:34 am

@ MarioM

no but may I suggest, if your looking at the Sedici, you look at the Suzuki SX4 which is exactly the same car but can be considerably cheeper depending the spec your looking for

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