The Fiat 500 is a cute, retro-inspired city car with popularity that knows no bounds. The colourful paint, endless personalisation options and clever marketing are a great way of pulling people in, and the tiny proportions and small engines make it a pretty good city car, too. It's not perfect, with a slightly awkward driving position and handling that's no match for the MINI, but you can’t go far wrong with a Fiat 500. The standard model is a three-door hatchback, but there's also the Fiat 500C, which features a folding fabric roof. Those seeking faster thrills should consider the Abarth 500 and Abarth 500C models – both produced by Fiat's performance-car arm.
- Trendy retro looks
- Easy to drive
- Surprisingly roomy
- Basic entry models
- Poor real-world economy
- Pricey special editions
The Fiat 500 has been around since 2007 in its current form, but it seems just as popular now as the day it was released. It majors on style and low running costs, with the latter made possible by its clever engines. The TwinAir is worthy of a mention, as it's a two-cylinder (most engines have four), which means a funky noise and good fuel economy – even if the claimed figure is almost impossible to achieve. The 500 isn’t the most practical of cars, but for city dwellers and style-conscious buyers, it's certainly one of the most desirable.
- Cool retro looks
- Small engines are cheap to run
- Simple electric folding roof
- Basic entry-level models
- Not that much room in the back
- Not a 'true' convertible
The 500C isn't really a true convertible, as it's only the centre section of the roof that folds back - think of it more as a car with a big fabric sunroof. It has the same retro looks and engine line-up as the hatchback, and the driving experience is virtually identical, so the appeal is still strong. The 500C is quite expensive, especially when you consider that the standard car is already pricier than many of its rivals.