The latest version of the Fiat 500 has been revealed, with lightly refreshed looks front and rear.
Although Fiat is referring to the latest version as a new car, it only gets small revisions to the styling while retaining the same small dimensions as the outgoing version. However, Fiat says that it has made as many as 1800 changes to the details on the new car.
The front end gets the most notable updates, although the overall impression remains largely unaltered. It now comes with LED daytime running lights and a restyled grille. The main headlights are now more slanted than before, while the lower lights are the same shape as the zeros of the car’s ‘500’ badging. The grille is larger and trapezoidal in shape, with chrome strips on either side.
At the rear, Fiat says the car gets newly restyled light clusters with a ring-shaped structure. The rear fog lights and the reversing lights have been relocated and are edged in chrome or black. The large chrome boot grab handle has been retained.
Other visual changes on the outside include new alloy wheels of either 15in or 16in in diameter. Two new colours - Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy - take the total number of colours offered up to 13.
Fiat will continue to offer a wide range of personalisation for the 500, with a ‘Second Skin’ option allowing the buyer to choose a range of patterns, decals or two-tone paint effects for their car.
The interior gets a selection of tweaks, with the most striking being the Uconnect infotainment screen. This is standard on all models and has touchscreen capability on Lounge trim and above. The Uconnect system sits lower than it did on the previous car and comes with Bluetooth, aux-in and USB sockets as standard.
The range-topping Lounge trim also comes with Uconnect Live services, which are available for the first time on the new 500. Fiat says it can connect with either Android or Apple smartphones and display applications from your phone on the screen. This will allow the driver to stream music over the internet, connect to internet radio, access Facebook and Twitter or display driving statistics. DAB digital radio is also available, as is a Uconnect TomTom satellite navigation system.
The steering wheel is new and now features buttons with chrome-plated edging, while the high-trim models come with a 7in instrument cluster, which displays all the driving data.
Other changes to the interior include new upholstery on the seats, which is now available in nine colour combinations. Fiat also says the seats are now made with more ergonomic materials to improve comfort and access to the rear of the cabin. The cabin also has a new lidded compartment to boost storage, while there is more soundproofing throughout the car to improve noise levels. The changes apply to both the hatchback and convertible versions of the 500.
There will be three trim levels available on the new 500 from launch - Pop, Pop Star and Lounge.
As well as the Uconnect system, the Pop comes with steering-wheel mounted controls and LED daytime running lights. Pop Star adds air conditioning, chrome plated door mirrors and alloy wheels. The top-of-the-range Lounge model adds parking sensors, a panoramic glass sunroof, a leather steering wheel and a chrome plated front grille.
A full range of accessories is also available from launch, including vintage style wheels, a further range of alloy wheels, chrome roof detailing, a rear roof spoiler, chrome-effect or coloured door mirrors and a tailgate rack for transporting skis or snowboards.
The 500 comes with the same range of engines as before, but with a series of tweaks to improve emissions and economy. A 0.9-litre Twinair petrol is available in two power outputs - 84bhp and 104bhp. The former now produces less than 90g/km and is capable of 74.3mpg. The most efficient is the 94bhp 1.3-litre Multijet diesel, which conforms to Euro 6 emissions requirements and now produces 89g/km of CO2 - a drop of 6g/km. The final engine is a 68bhp 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit. This is capable of emissions of just 99g/km of CO2. The 1.2-litre petrol and the diesel are not yet confirmed for the UK, though.
Fiat also says that the suspension on the new car has been revised to improve comfort and handling.
Pricing for the new 500 has not changed drastically, with the starting point now at £10,890 - £200 more than the outgoing version. The full range of prices will be revealed closer to the car’s arrival in the UK.
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