Fresh from a new makeover, the Fiat 500 AND 500C looks as cute and cuddly as ever, but now packs the toys and technology to match its city style keeping it a strong contender in its segment.
The Fiat 500 packs a choice of thee engines, two petrol and one diesel. Petrol engines consist of the two cylinder 875cc TwinAir with a choice of power outputs of 85 and 105bhp. There is also a three cylinder 1.2 petrol option with just 69bhp and the 1.3 MultiJet diesel with 105bhp. All three are frugal options with the TwinAir being the most spirited of them all in terms of pace and noise. It loves to rev and it’s great to listen to. The 1.2 is just too faint and lacks any sort of pace and is quite boring really while the 1.3 diesel is very pacey and enjoyable too.
The Fiat 500 has quite a firm ride overall, but it does have good levels of grip in the corners despite its skinny tyres. That said, there is evidence of body roll in the corners too. The steering is quite light too and doesn’t give much feedback. Paradoxically, it is still good fun to drive. The car exudes its Italian qualities resulting is a feisty and fun driving experience. The new driving position is also notably lower than its predecessor.
The Fiat 500 is available in four different trim levels Pop, Lounge, Sport and Cult with varying levels of comfort and kit on offer. The overall finish to the cabin is good with a modern take on the previous generations dashboard layout with an emphasis on technology and style. It’s still a decent throwback to the original 1960’s model on which it is based but with modern funky styling cues like two tone seats and dashboard. One nice touch is the button on the dashboard to make the steering even lighter to tight manoeuvres and city driving.
There are some real quality touches throughout the new Fiat 500’s revamped cabin which include the 7 inch uConnect infotainment system featured as standard from the entry level Pop trim upwards and the drivers cluster with a new digital instrument layout. There is a glossy finish to the plastics and materials used throughout the cabin enhancing its modern but old school ambiance. Both the interior and exterior has even more customisable options than before, even down to being able to personalise the colour of your key.
The Fiat 500 is a very safe car for a small city car scoring a 5 star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test. It gets a decent amount of safety kit as standard too including seven airbags, ABS brakes and electronic stability control. All models are also fitted with hill assist and a hydraulic braking system to aid emergency stopping.
Being a city car, the Fiat 500 is practical in ways that make it easy to manoeuver around car parks and tight roads. There is space in the back for two adults with good access in and out, but it can feel quite tight on longer journeys. Up front it feels spacious and top trim levels get a panoramic roof making it nice and airy. Boot space may not be its forte, but it’s not bad either with just 126 litres, while in Lounge spec upwards, the rear sets get a 50/50 split folding mechanism opening up the rear space to 550 litres.