This vehicle is currently in stock at Oldham Motors Citroen, Fiat and Jeep and can be purchased from County Motor Works Vauxhall.
Finished in the desirable Bossanova Pastel White paint with stylish 15 inch alloy wheels, our Fiat 500 turns heads for all the right reasons. The exterior is well presented with chrome accents decorating the door handles and body coloured decorations finishing the mirror covers. The boot is a generous 217 litres which is plenty for day-to-day activities and can be expanded with the folding rear seat. Underneath the boot floor you will also find space for a full size spare wheel. Inside the cabin you will find a 4 seat configuration with Isofix points on the rear bench for younger children and ample levels of legroom for 4 adults. With the painted Bossanova White insert on the dash, and light accents around the cabin it really is a pleasing place to be. As a driver you benefit from a brilliant seating position and good visibility thanks to an abundance of glass in the cabin. For the music lovers amongst us, you will love the USB and AUX sockets located in the centre console with finger tip controls for the radio system located onto the wheel for convenience. Electric windows, electric heated mirrors and air conditioning all come equipped as standard on the Popstar trim, making it the pick of the bunch.
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Please quote reference PF16LJJ_8405
All vehicles can be purchased from your local Motorparks dealer regardless of their physical stock location.
Best part-ex price paid
Qualifies for Warranty4life
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Electric front windows, Heat insulated glass, Heated rear windows with wash wipe
ABS/EBD, ESP + ASR/MSR + HBA + Hill holder
Dualdrive PAS, Speed limiter
External temperature gauge, Trip computer
Electric adjustable heated door mirrors
Grey dashboard trim
Exterior Body Features
Body colour bumpers, Chrome door handles
LED daytime running lights
1 passenger grab handle, Auxilliary 12V power socket, Cloth upholstery, Height adjustable steering wheel
3x3 point rear seatbelts, Curtain airbags, Driver and passenger airbags, Drivers knee airbag, Side airbags, Tyre pressure monitoring system, Window airbags
50/50 split folding rear seats with height adjustable rear headrests, Driver's seat memory, Front headrests, Front passenger seat memory, Isofix child seat preparation
Automatic door locking, Immobiliser, Locking fuel filler cap, Remote central locking
|Badge Engine CC:||1.2|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Coin Series:||Pop Star|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||8D|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||8|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||3|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||66|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||49|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||3|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||53|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||27|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||N|
|Service Interval Mileage:||18000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||999999|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||N|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||N|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||70.8|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||78.9|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||8|
|EC Combined (mpg):||57.6|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||64.2|
|EC Urban (mpg):||47.9|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||12.9|
|Engine Power - BHP:||69|
|Engine Power - KW:||51|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||5500|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||75|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||10.4|
|Engine Torque - NM:||102|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||3000|
|Emissions Test Cycle:||NEDC Correlated|
|Tyre Size Front:||185/55 R15|
|Tyre Size Rear:||185/55 R15|
|Tyre Size Spare:||TYRE REPAIR KIT|
|Wheel Type:||15" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||1893|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||35|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||1345|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||474|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||185|
|Max. Loading Weight:||480|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||800|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||400|
|No. of Seats:||4|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||9.3|
The 500 has been a great success story for Fiat, offering buyers a cute, retro citycar at affordable prices. But does it still have what it takes against newer rivals? Jonathan Crouch takes a look at a revised range enhanced with mild hybrid tech.
Fiat's cheeky little 500 is a stylish citycar that remains as appealing as ever. It's just gained clever 1.0-litre mild hybrid petrol power but otherwise hasn't been fundamentally changed in recent times - but then loyal buyers didn't really want it to be. These people will like the smart look, the various media options and the very individual feel. You can tell that Fiat knows its market.
If ever a car has built its brand, it's this one, Fiat's 500. In fact, it's done so twice. First at its original launch back in 1957. And more recently with this modern era version, first launched in 2008. Ever since, it's been a money-spinner for the Italian brand, who've never stopped trying to improve it. We got quite a wide-ranging package of updates in early 2014 that gave buyers of more expensive versions the company's 'UConnect' infotainment technology. Then in early 2020, the brand announced a 1.0-litre mild hybrid three cylinder engine. Fiat's also put considerable thought into a wide range of personalisation options. It all means that on paper at least, this car remains a strong proposition. The small, fashionable citycar segment though, has changed substantially since this model's original launch. Does this Fiat still have what it takes to compete? Let's find out.
The big news here is the introduction of a mild hybrid 70hp 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine to replace the aging 69hp 1.2-litre conventional four cylinder unit this car's been soldiering on with since launch. The mild hybrid powerplant improves fuel efficiency without impeding performance. It also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to a 12-volt 'BSG' 'Belt-integrated Starter Generator', allowing for a quiet, vibration-free restart of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode. The engine (which in conventional form we've already seen in the 500X SUV) puts out 92Nm of pulling power and works via a 6-speed manual gearbox integrated with that 'BSG' set-up we just mentioned. The 'BSG' system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt that also drives the auxiliaries. The new system also involves lowering the entire power unit 45mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower centre of gravity. As before, there's a 1.4-litre petrol turbo unit for the Abarth models. In recent times, Fiat has tried to improve both the ride and handling of this 500, though this will probably be of limited interest to the car's urban-minded audience. You'll find that the engine can get a bit vocal if you work it hard. Even then though, the gruff, slightly throbby note is characterful rather than unpleasant and around town, refinement is more than acceptable. If you are urban-bound, you might also want to consider the optional (but rather jerky) Dualogic gearbox, a kind of manual transmission without a clutch. Unless you like all that left-foot pumping of course. With the Dualogic though, you'll have to have the older less efficient 1.2-litre 69hp engine. City dwellers will appreciate the tight 9.3m turning circle.
Fiat would've been unwise to mess with the 500's shape too much, so sensibly, they've kept exterior styling tweaks to the minimum with this 500 model over the last few years. As before, there's a single three-door bodystyle, though you can order it in soft-topped '500C' form if you like the idea of having an electric fabric-folding roof. Your Fiat dealer will also offer you a fashionable choice of wheels, graphic packages and paint colours. Inside, the biggest change to more recent versions of this car has been the inclusion of 'Uconnect' infotainment systems on all models, Smart air vents flank the screen, leading to a much more integrated feel than you'd get in many more expensive cars. Drivers will also appreciate the smart steering wheel with its chrome-plated switches. Plus, if they're in a plush 'Lounge' model, they've the benefit of an optional 7" TFT instrument cluster. In the rear, larger adults will find their heads brushing the roof and will need to make full use of the elbow cut-outs indented into the side panels. Most though, will find the space provided just about sufficient for two people on short to medium journeys - and it'll probably be fine for kids. The 185-litre boot remains as before, no bad thing as this still trumps many rivals. If you need to carry more, then you can push forward the rear bench, which split-folds in all but the entry-trim level. This frees up 550-litres. Bear in mind if you opt for the 500C convertible version that the luggage capacity figures fall slightly to 182-litres.
As before, there's a choice of fixed-top and convertible 500 models. The open-topped 500C variants require a premium of around £2,500 over their standard counterparts. If you're happy with tin-top 500 motoring, then you'll find pricing that's a fraction higher than before, yet which still starts at around £12,600 for the baseline 1.0-litre Pop version. Above this variant, there are 'Lounge', 'Sport', 'Star' and 'Rockstar' trim levels. While there are cheaper and more practical cars out there, these prices are on par with other style led hatchbacks like Vauxhall's ADAM - and they undercut what you'd pay for a comparable MINI Hatch 3-door. Key options include the Dualogic semi-auto gearbox which requires a premium of around £750. So what do you get for your money? Base 'Pop' trim has LED daytime running lights and a Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers, plus AUX-in/USB ports and steering wheel remote controls. Plush 'Lounge' spec meanwhile, gets you a panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a chrome front grille, front fog lights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a Uconnect 5" LIVE touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration. If you want to go further, then your dealer will want to tell you about the latest range of so-called 'Second Skin' decal packages. 500 models are safe too, with a five star Euro NCAP safety rating, seven airbags, ABS with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, a Hill Holder clutch to make pulling away on an incline easier and hydraulic brake assistance to help with emergency stops.
One of the advantages of such a small car is that tiny fuel efficient engines are more than adequate for hauling you and your little Fiat around. Particularly the mild hybrid 1.0-litre 'Firefly' unit now fitted to all versions of this car. The electrified system used here recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration. This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift. The mild hybrid propulsion unit works with a 6-gear manual transmission aimed at improving fuel economy in out-of-town driving, thanks to new low-friction bearings and gaskets and the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant. Expect well over 50mpg (53.3mpg [WLTP]) in regular use and an NEDC-rated CO2 emissions figure of 88g/km (down from 114g/km before). If you decide to go for the open-topped 500C variant with this engine, you'll see no penalty for either economy or emissions. What else? Well, this car should certainly be cheap to insure. The warranty is a typical three year affair but with a 100,000 mile limit that's significantly higher than some other brands will give you. 500 models hold their value very well and that's unlikely to change any time soon. Don't be tempted to go customisation-crazy with the options list though: not everyone will share your taste or want to pay extra for graphics when it comes time to sell.
To be honest, Fiat hasn't needed to do a whole lot to retain this 500 model's popularity. It still looks great, it's always been fun to drive and providing the pricing doesn't get too ambitious, the market remains there for it. As for this updated version, well the mild hybrid technology is welcome. And there are plenty of personalisation options for Fiat dealers to talk about in the showroom. Otherwise, things are much as before, which means that the sound and eager response you get from the various engines very much suit the car and though the quoted running cost returns are difficult to achieve in real-world motoring, there's no doubt that this will be a very cheap thing to run indeed, thanks to the mild hybrid tech. Yes, this model remains pretty small inside, but then smallness is all part of the appeal. You'll appreciate that when zipping around town in one. In summary then, this car remains as likeable as ever. Choosing a 'fashionable' little runabout can often be a risk. Here though, is one you can enjoy without a worry.
By Jonathan Crouch
Fiat's cheeky little new-era 500 is fun, fashionable and frugal - and the Italian brand has never stopped trying to develop it. After being first launched in 2008, it was updated with TwinAir 0.9-litre petrol turbo power in 2011, then revised again three years later to create the 2014 to 2015 version we're going to examine here as a used buy. The 2014 model year changes brought buyers the option of a pokier 105bhp variant of the petrol TwinAir engine and there was a smarter TFT instrument display on top models, along with a trendy 'Cult' trim level. If you can stretch to a later Fiat 500 model, then it could well be a car from this era that you end up inspecting.
3dr citycar (0.9, 1.2, 1.4 petrol, 1.3 MultiJet diesel [Pop, Lounge, Colour Therapy, Abarth])
If ever a car has built its brand, it's this one, Fiat's 500. In fact, it's done so twice. First at its original launch back in 1957. And more recently with this modern era version, first launched in 2008. Ever since, it's been a money-spinner for the Italian brand, who've continually developed it, notably in early 2014 when buyers of the more expensive versions got a smarter TFT digital instrument display and the option of a pokier 105bhp version of the clever two cylinder TwinAir petrol engine. These changes kept buyers interested in the range until more widespread changes could be introduced in the Summer of 2015 and it's these 2014 to 2015 era models that we're going to look at here. The flagship 0.9-litre TwinAir 105bhp engine is key to this model's appeal in this period. First, it bridged the previously rather large gap between the standard '500' range and the sporty 1.4-litre turbo 'Abarth 500' models. Secondly, it at last gave Fiat a tool to directly compete with what was probably this car's closest competitor at the time, the MINI Hatch in its most affordable three-door 'MINI One' form. In truth, that rival was actually a slightly bigger car but potential buyers of this Fiat typically tended to consider trying to find the extra money for it. To keep them loyal, this improved post-2014 500 model's smarter cabin and slick TFT digital instrument display was key for the Italian brand's sales people. As before, the 500 model from this period was also available in '500C' guise with an electrically-retracting fabric top. Either way, it offered all the cute, fashionable flair buyers could want - and across most of the range, super-low running costs that, thanks to the clever TwinAir and Multijet technology, easily beat not only those of a MINI but also any conventional little small runabout.
Who couldn't love a face like this? In developing this car at the turn of the century, the Italian designers took on a big responsibility in seeking to update (and indeed re-size) arguably the cutest shape ever to clothe four wheels. Still, the sustained clamour for this Fiat, in both fixed-top and convertible 500C guises, suggests they got it spot on. This remains a head-turner that makes people smile, not least its driver when it's time to park up. At 1.65m wide, 1.49m high and 3.55m long, this Fiat can fit into spaces that even a MINI would have to avoid. If you choose the 500C variant rather than the fixed-top model we're focusing on here, you get what amounts to a full-length canvas sunroof which electrically retracts into a concertinaed bundle just above the boot. Every 500 model invites a high degree of personalisation via a myriad of colour and trim permutation options but whatever you choose is sure to dovetail deliciously with the very well-judged blend of retro chic and clean contemporary design inside. Delicious details are everywhere, your eyes falling first on the Panda-sourced dashboard with iconic 500 badging that can be specified in the same colour as the body. Before taking in touches like the chrome-ringed vents and the circular head restraints. The steering wheel, adjustable for height but not reach, can feel a little large on first acquaintance and there's a lot to take in from the single circular instrument dial in front of you. That brings us to one of the key improvements made to the updated post-2014 version that we're looking at here, the installation of the segment's first seven-inch TFT digital instrument display. Though with this set-up, the layout out and execution of speedometer, rev counter and trip computer functions will be familiar to anyone who's used to this model, the centre of the display is very different. This contains a neat digital image of the car and can be configured to show various trip computer read-outs, such as distance travelled, instant fuel consumption, range and so on. The TFT display also allows for a more prominent Gear Shift Indicator, highly visible warning messages and a more detailed media player. Plus there are telephone and navigation read-outs including junction graphics and real-time traffic updates if the original new buyer chose to equip the car in question with the optional portable TomTom 2 Live satellite navigation system. As a final touch, the TFT screen reconfigures when the 'Sport' button is activated on models with the 105bhp TwinAir engine. With that, the 'eco' gauge (which measures how efficiently the driver is performing in real time) transforms into a turbo-boost gauge. Once you adjust to the many and varied functions of this set-up, it all works well. And you'll be viewing it from what is generally a comfortable driving position - despite the fact that unfortunately, there's no reach-adjustment for the steering wheel: you can only move it up or down. Bear in mind also that if you go for the optional sunroof, that'll rob you of a bit of headroom. These things apart, only the seat height adjuster, positioned just where the handbrake should be, offers any kind of lasting ergonomic annoyance. The car's certainly been well screwed together in its Polish factory and in-cabin stowage is also well up to par for a citycar. You'll find a usefully deep shelf ahead of the passenger, a small pop-out cubby on the driver's side of the centre console and the usual door bins and cupholders. Even the passenger seat cushion tips forward to reveal an oddments compartment. The only real downside is that the glovebox is simply an open shelf rather than a proper covered compartment. In the back, larger adults will find their heads brushing the roof and will need to make full use of the elbow cut-outs indented into the side panels. Most though, will find the space provided just about sufficient for two people on short to medium journeys. Out back, the boot remains one of the smaller offerings in the segment, though the 185-litre total is still around 15-litres more than you get in rival Toyota Aygo and Vauxhall ADAM models and almost on a par with other city runabouts like Citroen's C1 and Peugeot's 108. What's probably crucial is that the space you get is only 26-litres less than you'd get in a three-door MINI Hatch. It could be bigger though - and the reason we know that is that a Ford Ka (which rides on exactly the same underpinnings as this car) offers you 224-litres. If you need more space, then you can push forward the rear bench, which split-folds in all but the entry-trim level. This frees up 550-litres.
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The 500 has earned a decent reliability record, helped in no small part by its reliable engines. The biggest reported issue to date has been premature ball joint wear and pressure plate issues - but these had mostly been sorted by the time of the 2014 model year models we're looking at here. Check for upholstery damage caused by child seats in the back, typical supermarket dints and scrapes, slipping clutches on the manual cars and ensure all the electrical functions - which can get surprisingly sophisticated on upspec models - work as advertised as these can be expensive to fix. The 500 isn't bad on consumables like brake pads and most people should be able to park it without nerfing the extremities.
[based on 500 1.2-litre petrol - 2014] Using the base 1.2-litre petrol model as an example, expect to pay around £50 for an exhaust silencer, around £140 for a carburettor, around £30 for a brake master cylinder and around £30 for either front or rear shock absorbers.
Turn the key in a TwinAir-powered 500 and there's an engine note to suit the cheeky retro looks, a putter-putter sound that seems to be exactly the kind of thing you'd have heard from the 1957 original nipping through the back streets of Naples. There's even a pleasing note of historical symmetry in that the original Fiat 500 from the Fifties also had two cylinder power - though back then, the wheezy old unit in question generated just 17.5bhp. With an output that's five times greater, this car is of course a much pleasanter prospect and for us, this is the engine that today's version of this model should always have had. Not that there isn't also still a place for the more conventional 69bhp four cylinder 1.2-litre petrol unit that props up the range. Or indeed for the 135bhp 1.4 T-Jet turbo petrol powerplant that serves in the hot hatch Abarth 500 model. You can also see why some 500 buyers might continue to prefer the 95bhp 1.3-litre diesel variant, which on paper matches the TwinAir's frugality but in day-to-day reality, probably betters it. But for all that, we can't get beyond the cleverness of the TwinAir petrol version. A two cylinder engine just 0.9-litres in size, to our thinking, is the kind of thing likely to generate little more power than the average sit-on lawnmower - which was indeed pretty much what you got in the 1950s version of this car. Yet here, there are at least eighty five braked horses on tap, sufficient to see sixty two mph blow by in eleven seconds on the way to an academic maximum of 107mph. That's the same kind of performance you'd get from the diesel version - and a big improvement on the speed you get from the base petrol 1.2 which needs around 13s to reach 62mph and can't quite reach 100mph flat out. We mentioned that the TwinAir variant can offer you 'at least' eighty five braked horses because with this improved post-2014 version, Fiat also allowed buyers to specify a pokier 105bhp version of this powerplant. This put this car right on a par with its arch-rival, the 102bhp MINI One - and the performance is comparable with that car too. In comparison to the TwinAir 85bhp unit, rest to sixty two improves to 10.0s dead, en route to 117mph. That's if you press the dash-mounted 'Sport' button which transforms the TFT dash display screen that plusher models get into a turbo-boost gauge, along with graphics that turn from white to red. It's easy to get carried away with the sporty feel that all of this provides and forget that in reality, the 145Nm torque figure this 105bhp TwinAir engine generates is no greater than the pulling power you'd get from the 85bhp version of this unit. So you'll need to be quick with slick-shifting, high-mounted gearlever to keep in the meat of the powerband. On the subject of torque, we should point out that you don't automatically get the full quoted amount unless you disengage the 'eco' mode button on the dash. This restricts the engine's output to just 120Nm in the interests of efficiency - which can be a bit disconcerting if you forget it's on, then suddenly need to dive for a gap in the traffic. It's true that if you work this two cylinder engine hard, it can get a bit vocal but even then, the gruff, slightly throbby note is characterful rather than unpleasant and around town, refinement is more than acceptable. If you are urban-bound and looking at the two lower-powered petrol '500' model derivatives, you might want to consider finding an example of this car that from new was fitted with the optional (but rather jerky) Dualogic gearbox, a kind of manual transmission without a clutch. Unless you like all that left-foot pumping of course. City dwellers will also appreciate the tight 9.3m turning circle. As ever, most of the underpinnings are based on the running gear of the previous generation version of Fiat's other, more conventional citycar offering, the five-door Panda - which is no bad thing as that car remains a pretty fun steer. The 500 is a bit stiffer though, one reason why early versions of this car had a bit of a choppy ride, an issue solved by the time of this post-2014 model by tweaks to the rear axle. You can still throw the thing about on the country lanes, but in this guise it soaks up small urban bumps much better - so everyone's happy. The more feelsome electric power steering set-up is welcome too and as before, there's a 'City' mode option to increase the assistance it gives at parking speeds. Urban-friendly through and through you see.
To be honest, Fiat didn't need to do a whole lot with the 2014 model year changes to retain this 500 model's popularity. Like earlier examples of this car, this later version looks great, and was fun to drive. As for this updated version, well the interior improvements were welcome but of more importance was the addition to the range of the 105bhp TwinAir petrol engine. This bridged the gap between this car and the slightly more powerful small city runabouts that previously had often seen themselves as a class above this Fiat. Principally BMW's MINI. In fact, both versions of the TwinAir two cylinder petrol unit are a key part of this Fiat's appeal. The sound and eager response suit the car and though the quoted running cost returns are difficult to achieve in real-world motoring, this powerplant certainly makes the 500 a very cheap thing to run. Yes, this model remains pretty small inside, but then smallness is all part of the appeal. You'll appreciate that when zipping around town in one. In summary then, this car remains as likeable as ever. Choosing a 'fashionable' little used runabout can often be a risk. Here though, is one you can enjoy without a worry.
With June Neary
Fiat's 500 is the citycar of the moment. June Neary looks at the revised version
I'm pleased to say that I don't remember the original Fiat 500. It was half a century ago that car was launched after all. So I can't tell you whether the latest Fiat 500, now recently updated, is a true retro tribute to the original. Sorry. But of course, like me, you don't care. All that matters is that it's cute, it's nippy and it's the latest thing to be seen in. A MINI? That's so yesterday...
I was a bit disappointed to learn that for all its Italian heritage, this car is in fact built in Poland. Oh well, better news comes in the realisation that it has a reputation as an entertaining steer. At 1.65m wide, 1.49m high and 3.55m long, the 500 doesn't take up a great deal of space. For reference, a MINI is much wider, a little lower and a fair bit longer. Even little runabouts like Hyundai's i10 or Volkswagen's up! won't fit into some parking spaces the 500 will be able to squeeze into. My local Lidl supermarket has a ridiculously tight underground carpark, so I can testify to the benefits of this. I tried the revised mild hybrid version but to me, it looks no different. As before, delicious design details drip from this design. It's like a tiny pearl, especially when the ivory finish interior fitted to my test car is specified. There's a very well-judged blend of retro chic and ruthlessly modern contemporary design inside, with circular head restraints, a glass roof and iconic 500 badging on the Panda-sourced dashboard. Chrome-ringed vents and a fascia that can be specified in the same colour as the body are just some of the interior design features. The exterior treatment is cool and clean too. The neighbours had a good old stare.
Fiat knows how to make great little engines for great little cars. But I did wonder what the petrol mild hybrid version might be like. Fiat claims that it's one of the world's cleanest and greenest four-seater petrol-powered production cars. My expectations weren't high. Something driven by battery packs perhaps? Or perhaps so feebly powered that it would struggle to show a bike courier a clean pair of tailpipes. I was wrong. The latest 1.0-litre engine has decent pulling power and works via a 6-speed manual gearbox integrated with a 12-volt 'BSG' 'Belt-integrated Starter Generator', allowing for a quiet, vibration-free restart of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode. The new system also involves lowering the entire power unit 45mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower centre of gravity. In preference to a 500, you could save a few thousand and buy the more practical Fiat Panda with the same mild hybrid tech. But then, you only live once and how often are you going to need five doors in a citycar anyway? If it helps you to justify things, Fiat claims that body rigidity is around 10 per cent better than the Panda's, so in theory, the 500 should be slightly more crash-proof.
As before, there's a choice of fixed-top and convertible 500 models. The open-topped 500C variants require a premium of around £2,500 over their standard counterparts. If you're happy with tin-top 500 motoring, then you'll find pricing that's a fraction higher than before, yet which still starts just shy of £12,600 for the baseline Pop version. Is that good value? Well, trendier town tots nearly all cost more. You'll need to find at least £2,000 more on top of Fiat 500 prices to buy an equivalent MINI. Fiat's Panda is one of the cheapest cars to own, so the '500' will prove little different. Expect well over 50mpg (53.3mpg [WLTP]) in regular use and an NEDC-rated CO2 emissions figure of 88g/km (down from 114g/km before). If you decide to go for the open-topped 500C variant with this engine, you'll see no penalty for either economy or emissions. Depreciation won't be anything like at MINI levels but will be much better than you'd expect on a Panda. Which is good news since insurance costs shouldn't be much more expensive.
I much prefer this approach to retro design to the kind of thing BMW have delivered us with the MINI. It seems more real somehow - and infinitely more exciting. The fact that it's more affordable too is just the icing on the cake. Right now, this remains one of the most fashionable things you can be seen in up and down the high street. How long it will remain that way is, of course, quite another question...
Mrs A Joseph - 05/10/19, owner of a Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge 3dr
User rating: 5/5
Mrs Susan Cooke - 11/08/2019, owner of a Fiat 500X Hatchback 1.0 Multiair Cross Plus 5dr 12018
User rating: 5/5
Mrs Margaret Whyman - 15/08/2019, owner of a Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge 2dr Dualogic
User rating: 4.5/5