As quirky as it always was, albeit not strictly speaking the best city car on sale today. The Volkswagen Up and its Seat and Skoda siblings have shown us that it's possible to enjoy decent driving dynamics, but the 500 can't match them.
Its steering offers up no feedback and feels inconsistently weighted throughout a turn when you start to push. Of course, pressing the 'city steering' button on the dash drops the weight of the helm to comically low levels and makes tight, twisty urban navigation a cinch, which is arguably more important.
It won't be long until the front tyres start to give up their grip, and you'll notice the 500's body is prone to swaying its way through bends a tad more than a Hyundai i10 or an Up/Mii/Citigo would. That said, given the target audience, we doubt any of this will prove to be a deal-breaker.
Our potted Italian test route exposed the 500's poor ride, too. Low-speed bumps are felt and heard too often, with vertical body movement the order of the day. High-speed driving is more settled, although expansion joints still thud their way inside.
The best-selling 500 engine is the 1.2, a unit that needs serious coaxing beyond the city limits. This pricier TwinAir is a different story; even in 84bhp form it feels far more urgent, spinning up more quickly and forcing you up through the five-speed manual with greater haste.
Trouble is, beyond 5000rpm the urgency dies off rapidly, meaning you have a tighter window in which to work. Far more noise and vibration are felt in the cabin at higher revs, too, and the TwinAir's manual gearbox suffers the same lack of precision as the 1.2's.
Fiat has been busy improving soundproofing for this new 500, but our example suffered a similar level of tyre roar at high speeds to the previous model, although the retro looks help elsewhere, as wind noise is never an issue.
Two adults will have sufficient space in the front seats, but the driver may find it difficult to fine-tune a position due to an abesence of reach adjustment on the steering wheel and a poor range of driver's seat adjustment to go with it - not uncommon in this class. A new-for-2015 glovebox is a decent size and a welcome addition.
Rivals such as the i10 have shown that adults can sit in the back of city cars, but the 500's rear quarters are too tight for most. Boot capacity is 185 litres, which is smaller than most rivals and features a large lip to lift heavy bags over. Split-folding rear seats are standard from mid-range Pop Star trim up.