Fiat 500 - Used Car

Review

Fiat 500 Lounge, front static 2
Fiat 500, 2015, front
Fiat 500 Lounge, side static
Fiat 500 Lounge, side action
Fiat 500 Lounge, rear static
Fiat 500, 2015, rear
Fiat 500 Lounge, dashboard
Fiat 500 Lounge, front seat
Fiat 500, 2015, interior

MOST people love the Fiat 500's retro styling, which helps it look great outside and bright and funky inside.

It's still one of the brightest and most individual city cars on the market and is available in either three door hatch or two door convertible body styles.

The handling is very good and there is a wide range of engine options from the years since it was launched back in 2008.

I can see why Fiat has not seen fit to replace it yet, because it's still selling like hot cakes despite many more up to date small cars coming on the scene in the meantime.

Here we have Fiat going back to its roots with two and four cylinder cylinder engines in a tiny body that is really only a three seater if we are talking about adults or big children.

But what it lacks in practicality, it more than makes up for in driving fun.

Since 2008 there have been three petrol engines starting with a 900cc TwinAir two cylinder turbo with 85 or 105bhp.

Even the 85bhp model can accelerate from zero to 60 in just over 10 seconds and the 105 is a second quicker. Government average economy for both is over 67 miles per gallon, making them very cheap to run.

Next comes the four cylinder 1.2-litre with 69bhp, which is the mainstay of the range and above that is a 1.4 with 100bhp.

The 1.2 takes 12.5 seconds to get to 60mph and is capable of about 60mpg, while the 1.4 is much quicker at 10.2 seconds and will do about 50mpg.

There is also a 1.3-litre diesel engine with either 75 or 95bhp and the lower powered model is capable of no less than 83mpg. The 95 is much quicker and is still capable of 67.

Even in the base 1.2 performance feels good because it's so small and light and the Twinair and the 1.4 are even better.

The TwinAir in particular has a very special sound and revs very easily and sweetly in the gears.

All drive the front wheels through a slick changing five speed gearbox, the clutch is very light and the brakes are excellent.

The ride is a little bouncy in the way of most small cars but once above 40 miles an hour on the open road it smoothes out most imperfections very well.

The handling is safe and sure and huge fun, with excellent grip and tenacious road holding in all models. Very good power steering - with a city button to make it light as a feather for parking - adds to the enjoyment.

Obviously, because it's so short and has a good turning circle, it will slot into parking spaces that most other car owners have to drive by.

Inside, there are body coloured touches around the cabin, a rev counter mounted inside the large speedo and white for the rest of the dash and steering wheel, which really make it feel special.

Equipment in Lounge spec is good, with four airbags, electric windows, remote locking, height adjustable driver's seats and steering column, a good stereo with remote controls, alloy wheels, electric mirrors and folding back seats.

It's rare for a car with such style and panache to be available for such low prices and the 500 makes an excellent city car that's more than capable of long journeys too.

There are a myriad of special editions so check the one you want has all the kit you would like.

Pay about £3,800 for a '15 15-reg 1.2 Pop Star, or £6,550 for a '17 17-reg TwinAir Lounge.

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