The Fiat 500 sets the standard for style in the city car class, and it looks much more attractive than the Renault Twingo and Toyota Aygo. It uses the same mechanicals as the Fiat Panda, but adds a huge dose of retro Italian style. The Fiat 500 feels luxurious too, thanks to customisable seat trims and equipment like air-conditioning and an MP3-compatible stereo. The Fiat 500 is available as a supermini hatchback, the more spacious Fiat 500L, or as the 500C convertible.
- Fun to drive
- Cheap to run
- Cute looks
- Expensive to buy
- Entry-level models are poorly equipped
- Suspect reliability
Retro looks are just part of the 500's appeal. It's very easy to drive, with incredibly light steering. It is perfect for driving around town, while the larger 1.4 petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engines are more than capable of sustaining motorway cruising speeds. Buyers can choose from trim levels such as S, Colour Therapy, Lounge, Gucci and Pop. Standard equipment on the entry-level Pop models is quite basic, but the Sport and Lounge versions add extras like Bluetooth phone connectivity, air-conditioning and 15-inch alloy wheels. Room for those in the front is plentiful, but don't expect much space in the back.
- 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.