What is it?
Only the most eagerly awaited supermini of the year. The new 500 combines a clever take on the design of the 1957 original with modern mechanicals.
Based on the Fiat Panda platform, 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel will be available.
Prices haven’t been confirmed ahead of the UK launch later in the year yet, but the good news is that it should undercut the equivalent Mini by a considerable margin.
What’s it like?
Brilliant. The clever design plays light of the fact this car has the engine in the front rather than the rear, while some very clever packaging means Fiat has managed to create a car that offers more space for passengers and luggage than the Mini, despite being both shorter and narrower.
Serious emphasis was given to “perceived quality” and it shows – this is Fiat’s best cabin yet with some quality materials, a well-designed dashboard and a vast array of optional trim colours and finishes.
The driving position is good and details such as the twin-bezelled combined speedometer and rev counter lend the whole thing a classy feel.
Don’t expect rocketship performance, at least, not this side of the forthcoming Abarth version. The entry-level 1.2-litre petrol motor is the sweetest powerplant in the range, smooth and happy to spin enthusiastically when the road opens up.