THE acid test of whether a car really merits the description ‘iconic' is if it manages to succeed second time around.
The MINI definitely achieved it, the Beetle didn't quite muster sufficient popularity, but the diminutive Fiat 500 cracked it big time. And 63 years after the original car rolled off production lines, it's still going strong.
Spawning a variety of shapes and sizes including people carrier, convertible and SUV, it is the latest high-riding crossover that we focus on here.
The 500X is a tad larger than the basic model yet more compact yet has a lower roofline than the somewhat awkward looking L version. In fact, to many eyes, proportions of the X are the best balanced and elegant of the range.
No longer sold with a four-wheel drive option the 500X is a B segment crossover to rival shapes such as the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Crossland. More exciting looking than a hatchback and roomier than a supermini , the style hits the mark for many family buyers.
With its new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine pushing out an impressive 120bhp, the 1.0-litre City Cross Firefly presents an appealing prospect.
First point to be made is that the new motor is noticeably livelier and more refined than earlier incarnations of the three-pot design with an eagerness to rev despite possessing decent torque so going through the gears isn't essential for reasonable pace.
The slick six-speed manual gearbox adds to the zesty nature of the 500X and well damped suspension keeps body roll well in check. The ride can be a trifle choppy over poor surfaces, but it settles down well as speed mounts. There's some road noise transmitted into the cabin from the 18-inch tyres.
With a 0 to 62mph in just under 11 seconds, it's hardly a rocket ship, but with quick throttle response and decent mid-range urge it feels faster than its statistics suggest.
The cabin is retro heaven for those who relish individuality. Colour matched painted dash, big central touchscreen , clear old-school dials and sensibly positioned heater and air con controls help make it a fun and easy to live-with environment.
The boot, at 350 litres. is larger than those of most superminis but falls short of the Focus- Golf brigade. Rear seats fold to expand luggage capacity.
Handled cautiously most owners will easily top the 40mpg mark, but press on a bit and 36mpg is more likely to be the norm. The car borrowed came with a few extras including smart blue metallic paintwork at £550 and LED lighting pack for £750.
Just to add to the fun factor, I would choose to add electric sliding sunroof which comes in at Â£950. It's one of those saloons that benefits from fresh air driving even though it's hardly a sports car.