Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

A 0-62mph time of well over 11 seconds used to be expected of most petrol-powered city cars, but electric motors have made their EV successors much more assertive on the road. Despite not being any kind of pseudo-performance model, our Fiat 500 beat a Volkswagen Up GTI from rest to 60mph by 0.3sec.

For a small car, the Fiat is heavy on account of its 295kg battery pack. Its 1365kg kerb weight dulls its performance somewhat, but it still managed to hit 60mph from rest in just 8.1sec. It also reached the UK motorway limit almost eight seconds sooner than the 1.2-litre 500C we tested in 2016, and ultimately ran into its 92mph limiter with apparent ease.

The 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa. Normal has only slight regen, equivalent to engine braking in a petrol car; Range dulls the initial accelerator response and boosts the regen quite significantly but stops short of one-pedal driving; and Sherpa is like Range, but turns off the climate control and limits you to 50mph.

When you keep the car in Normal, the brake pedal is nicely progressive. Emergency stopping power is on a par with similar small EVs like the Vauxhall Corsa-e, with no unusual pitching or instability to report.