Fiat’s 500 is fun and funky
THERE are lots of options out there if you’re looking for a small city car.
One company that has a long history of making super little cars is Fiat.
And after driving one of its new 500 models I reckon it should be at the top of your list.
The vast majority of owners are female and Fiat has added some new pastel colours to the range.
My test model featured one of the new colours – Glam Coral, which was a kind of pink/red shade.
But what really set it off was the second skin Scottie option for the tartan look on roof and pillars.
The interior has a super retro style as well with its gleaming dash matching the exterior colour and housing easy to see and use controls and instruments.
The new 500 arrived in the UK in September – eight years after it was launched.
And with 1.5 million sales – making it a global best seller – Fiat quite rightly didn’t mess about too much with the car’s looks.
It is the same size but no less than 1,800 changes bring advanced technologies, improved efficiency along with a refreshed exterior and interior.
The cute face remains but with new-look lights and that’s pretty much the same at the rear.
A major change inside the car is the addition of a new Uconnect infotainment system with five-inch touchscreen in the centre of the new dashboard design.
There are three trim levels – Pop, Pop Star and Lounge – with hatchback and convertible versions.
Standard spec on the entry-level model includes remote central locking, electric mirrors, steering wheel controls, start/stop, space-saver spare wheel and LED running lights.
Additional equipment on the Pop Star includes air conditioning, body-coloured mirror caps with defrosting function, 15-inch alloys and 50/50 split folding rear seat.
Lounge versions will also bring panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, leather-trimmed steering wheel, front fog lights, chrome front grille and touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth.
Petrol engine choices include 1.2-litre 69bhp and two TwinAir .9 litre units offering 85bhp and 105bhp.
My test car was a Lounge 0.9 TwinAir 105bhp and it was a great little performer.
It was much quicker than I imagined and pulled away smartly with a sprint time of 10 seconds from zero to 62mph.
The steering was light and ideal in town driving where it was easy to park although I don’t think the rear parking sensors are really needed.
There was a super rasp coming from the two-cylinder turbo engine that was well up to the task as I hustled the 500 along some winding, country roads.
The six-speed manual transmission was slick as smooth as I powered up and down the gears.
It displayed super agility while taking bends at speed with plenty of fun factor as we sped along.
Fuel economy figures are impressive – 51.4mpg urban, 80.7mpg extra urban and 67.3mpg combined.
Room up front is good for driver and passenger but two adults would be a bit cramped in the rear with limited legroom.
The boot remains small, as you would expect in a car of this size, offering 185 litres that extends to 550 litres with rear seats folded.
Prices start at £10,890 with the Lounge 0.9 TwinAir 105bhp costing £14,420.
The new Fiat 500 is a car you get to like the more and more you drive it.