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Car trim reviews

Fiat 500 Pop

The Pop is the cheapest way into Fiat 500 ownership but comes without air-conditioning as standard.

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The Fiat 500 Pop is the entry-level model in the Fiat 500 range, and it offers few luxuries as standard. The specification includes a CD/MP3 player, electric door-mirrors, remote central locking, electric front windows and stop/start, but that’s it. For an extra £1,500, the Pop Bicolour features two-tone paintwork, chrome exterior trim and alloy wheels. Only a 1.2-litre petrol that is capable of 59mpg is available on Pop trim cars but it is adequate for driving around town and feels nippy enough to deal with the cut and thrust of rush-hour traffic. You only discover the engine's limitations once on the motorway or open road. The Fiat 500 is fitted with seven airbags as standard, and features a 185-litre boot. That’s better than the MINI’s but slightly smaller than the Kia Picanto’s. Other cars in this class include the Volkswagen up!, Ford Ka, Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii.

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Good points

There’s no denying that the Fiat 500 is an attractive car, and its retro looks also hide a well-built, compact cabin that has space for four adults. The entry-level Pop is also relatively cheap to buy and insure, and has enough equipment to distinguish itself from other very basic rivals such as the Skoda Citigo S. If you want to stand out from the crowd, buyers are able to personalise their Pop by choosing from a range of body colours, badges and alloy wheels. Another positive to consider is just how easy it is to drive around town. Light steering and compact dimensions mean it’s easy to park in tight spaces, while visibility is also very good. The decent size boot means there is enough space for your weekly groceries, as well as several larger shopping bags.

Bad points

If you regularly travel long distances and spend hours on the motorway, the Fiat 500 Pop is definitely not the ideal car for you. The 1.2 petrol engine feels strained at speed and fills the cabin with tiresome road noise – plus the MINI Hatch is much more fun to drive. The Fiat 500 Pop is not very cheap to buy and the cost of personalisation options soon mount up. Plus, there are plenty of other equally stylish city cars to choose from that come with air conditioning and alloy wheels at this price, such as the Kia Picanto 2. Finally, taller passengers will feel quite cramped in the back of the Fiat 500 and as there is no five-door option or standard-fit folding rear seats, it’s not as practical as some rivals.

What you get

  • Folding rear seats
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player

Recommended optional extras

  • Air-conditioning
  • Rear parking sensors
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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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