A compact car that could be equipped with a powerful engine at low costs (500 DM). Then it has attained the performance of middle-class cars of its time. This, however, only with increased engine load (number of revolutions) and corresponding noise. But it was stable, the little 850s pushrod engine, which was also available in the coupe.
The company Fiat did not neglect even and especially their small cars. The design of its predecessor was still a bit prettier, but the new one has also lost a few disadvantages of the 770. And even though the tank was banished to the rear, the tendency to oversteer has become even less.
Technically, it was able to keep up with the VW Beetle of the model years from 1964, at least from the Super version. From a rear axle at semi-trailing arms, the normal Beetle had still to dream until 1970 (1302). And only then it had the larger luggage compartment up front. The driving performances of the 850 N were comparable even with the VW 1300.
Only in matters of the much larger wheelbase of the Beetle (2400 mm) the Fiat could not keep up. In principle, it dragged with it nor the very scarce measure of the 770. Maybe therefore, the by no means supreme riding qualities. Also a softer tuned springing could not change much. And the indirect steering did not fit to a car of this size.
In summary, the 850 remained a mechanically well-engineered car with especially in the special version much more than acceptable riding performances. But it lacked in its development, an additional step to advance into the class of the 1000s. With regard to the durability and value for money it is to assess with certainty as good.
But with respect to the processing and value stability the VW Beetle performed better with certainty. However, it could not compete in terms of consumption with the Fiat. 04/15