Fiat’s cute 500 model has been a style icon since first created back in the 1950s and the current version still has plenty of charm which gives it a distinct advantage in the city car sector.
While you can pay around €23,000 (£20,000) for the top-specification versions of the 500 with lots of kit and more sporty engines, the entry-level Pop version starts at a more accessible €14,695 (£12,615) and while at that price you don’t get too much standard equipment, you still get the cute cachet of the car and its cool retro-image.
The featured model is the entry version with a 68 hp 1.2-litre petrol engine and five-speed gearbox.
Standard kit is limited to remote locking, electric windows and door mirrors, a radio/CD player and a USB socket, though there are a variety of options which can be added at extra cost. It also has seven air-bags as standard.
The 500 can seat four adults in reasonable comfort and while the boot-space of just 185 litres is tiny, it is adequate for local shopping and can be expanded to take larger items by folding down the rear seats. The retro-style cabin is simple, unfussy and functional.
The car has good all-round visibility and its small stature and light steering make it an ideal city car, agile in narrow streets and tight parking spaces. Out on the open road it can cruise at motorway speeds without too much engine noise intrusion and although the seats may look basic, they are comfortable on longer journeys.
Top speed of 1.2-litre petrol model is 186 kph (116 mph) and the 0-100 kph time 12.9 seconds which in such a small and nimble car doesn’t actually feel as slow as the time may suggest. Average fuel economy is 18.9 kpl (53.3 mpg) and emissions 116 g/km.
There are many rivals in the city car sector, including the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10 and SEAT Mii and while some may offer a little more in terms of standard equipment or better fuel economy, when it comes to sheer visual charisma the Fiat 500 still leads the way.
Facts at a glance
Model: Fiat 500 Pop
Engine: 1.2 litre petrol
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Performance: 0-100 kph 12.9 seconds, top speed 186 kph (116 mph)
Economy: 18.9 kpl (53.3 mpg)
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.