Fiat 500 - Used Car

Review

Fiat 500, 2020, hybrid, nose
Fiat 500, 2020, hybrid, front
Fiat 500, 2020, hybrid, side
Fiat 500, 2020, hybrid, rear
Fiat 500, 2020, hybrid, interior
Fiat 500 hybrid, 2020, instrument panel

THE little Fiat 500 is still one of the brightest and most individual city cars on the market, and is available as both a three door hatch or two door convertible.

Many people love its bright retro styling, which helps it look great outside and bright and funky inside.

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'll cover some of them, but from 2020, the range was reduced to just two petrols - the well-known two cylinder TwinAir, and a new three cylinder hybrid.

Now of course, there is also a fully electric version with a range of 190 miles that gets rave reviews from everyone who has driven it.

Fiat really went back to its small car roots with this tiny car, which 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 fun.

The pure petrol engine since 2020 is an 85bhp version of the 900cc TwinAir that reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in 10.7 seconds and is capable of 51 miles per gallon - but only with very careful driving.

Earlier there was also a 105bhp version of this engine that covered the sprint in 9.7 seconds with very good economy but it was discontinued.

The other current engine is a mild-hybrid 1.0-litre petrol/electric with 70bhp, where a battery is charged under braking and cruising and then adds it power to the petrol engine for acceleration. It takes 13.4 seconds to get to 60 and can do 53mpg.

Previously again, there was a very long lasting 1.2 four cylinder with 69bhp, which was the mainstay of the range. It takes 12.5 seconds to get to 60 and is capable of about 50mpg.

There was 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 covers the sprint in 10.4 while the 75 does it in 12.1.

Even in the base 1.2, performance feels good because it's so small and light, and the TwinAir is even better, with a lovely thrum when revved.

All drive the front wheels through a slick changing five speed ‘box, the clutch is very light, and the brakes are excellent. There is also an automated manual gearbox for those who prefer it.

The ride is a little bouncy is 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 huge fun, with excellent grip and tenacious roadholding in all models. Good power steering - with a city button to make it as 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 leave behind.

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.

Latest models have a seven inch digital instrument screen behind the steering wheel, and a centrally mounted five inch screen for infotainment, which includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

Equipment in mid-level 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 chic style to be available for such low prices and the 500 makes an excellent city car that's more than capable of long journeys too.

But a word of caution, there is a huge range of special editions so check the one you want to buy has all the kit you would like.

Pay about £8,600 for a '19 19-reg 1.2 Lounge, or £8,300 for a '20 20-reg 1.0 Hybrid Pop.

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