Since launching a new lease of life back in 2007, the 500 has unquestionably become the jewel in Fiat’s crown. And in 2016, the Italian car still holds its own as one of the most popular small city cars on the market. In truth, it isn’t hard to see why. If it isn’t already on your radar, then it should be.
The original Fiat 500 Nuova, which was produced between 1957 and 1975, was successful in its day. The Italian manufacturer made many, many changes ahead of the new incarnation. However, it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Quite frankly, the retro vibes that are deeply embedded in the newer 500 makes it one of the most eye-catching vehicles in its field.
Looks aren’t everything, but every driver wants to drive a car that they can be proud of. The Fiat 500 offers that in abundance. Quite frankly, the modern city motorist will always enjoy stepping inside the three-door hatchback. Of course, this car isn’t going to turn heads quite like a Lamborghini or Ferrari, but the Italian style certainly shines through. If you want a car that looks great on a budget, this is a fantastic solution.
A car that looks good makes you feel good. And the positive influence of those great appearances are a major factor behind the Fiat 500’s popularity. Despite difficult times for other models in the Fiat range, the 500 has stood firm throughout its first decade of production. And is the Italian manufacturer’s biggest seller by a considerable distance. In fact, with sales figures of 180,000 units per year, it still forms roughly one-third of all Fiat sales.
Those figures are a testimony to the love that drivers feel for the 500’s appearance and style. Quite frankly, that many people can’t be wrong. For aesthetic appeal alone, the Italian option should always be shortlisted by any driver in the market for a city car.
Looks are crucial, but it’s only worthwhile if the car also boasts the performance level to match. Like any other city car, the Fiat 500 doesn’t boast the power that you might gain from other options. But what it does do, is offer the driver with more fun than any other car in this arena.
With nearly a decade of production under its belt, there are plenty of options on the market. The Fiat 500 comes in various engine sizes including a 1.2l engine and a 0.9TwinAir. The latter is probably the most enjoyable to drive and ensures that driving around the city remains exciting. Modern cars are an extension of our personalities, and it’s no surprise that this enjoyable drive is so popular.
Given it’s small engine, a 0-60 time of around the 10 second mark isn’t too disappointing. It’s not the quickest acceleration by any means. But it’s more than adequate for the city driver. The only real downside to the lack of power is that the 500 can struggle to climb steep hills. As long as you don’t live in a ridiculously mountainous location, you should be just fine.
As far as handling is concerned, the 500 is brilliant. Steering is light, and later models offer the option to make it even lighter through City Steering. This can be particularly useful when parking. Combined with the parking sensors that are offered across the range, this stressful part of driving becomes easier than ever. Better still, the relatively compact size creates the opportunity to park in smaller spaces too.
In the TwinAir version, City Steering mode is replaced by Sport mode. This essentially provides the opposite effect by adding weight to handling. In either sense, the nippy 500 is a great option for any city driver that wants to juggle daily life and retain a sense of fun on the road.
The engine size also means that it’s a fairly solid choice for any driver wishing to find a city car that won’t cause too much damage to the environment. In fact, the greenest variants offer a two-digit CO2 emission rate. Not only is it great for the planet, but it also means no road tax too.
If you enjoy a high-seated drive, then the Fiat 500 is definitely for you. As for other preferences, it’s all about finding the exact model that’s right for your specific driving needs. There are various options available. Whether it’s making the choice between manual and automatic, or choosing the body colour doesn’t matter. Ultimately, there is a great option for everyone.
For those wanting an extra special appearance, the 500Sport is a great option. The eye-catching interiors are particularly pleasing, especially when matched with the metallic blue paint. Meanwhile, the slight boost of extra power injects a little more fun to time behind the wheel. Alternatively, drivers can opt for limited editions like the 2008 Felipe Massa edition. Again, the increase to a 1.4l engine can make a world of difference to those daily driving habits.
Whichever specific model you are looking at, it’s hard to think about the 500 without making comparisons to other brands. The Mini Cooper and Ford Ka are two options that stand alongside the Fiat model. Quite frankly, the 500 combines the best of both worlds to provide the ultimate option for any modern driver.
The Ford Ka is cheap and very compact while the Mini Cooper is a little bigger and more stylish. However, the latter comes with a higher price tag. The Fiat 500 sits nicely between the two, combining elements of fun and style with versatility. More importantly, it offers stunning value for money.
Seeking a great price should be a major priority for any driver. However, this is particularly important for a first-time driver, and the 500 stands out as an ideal solution. This is especially true when looking at the used marketplace and Thames Motor Group have a number of fantastic models available. Once again, the sheer volume of sales and slight alterations between production years is great news. It gives any driver more chance of finding the ideal drive for them.
Similarly, you’ll be able to find a model with the right add-ons for your specific needs. Quite frankly, any driver in the market for a city car would be advised to at least test a 500 at some stage.
The actual sale price isn’t the only key financial consideration. Running a car isn’t cheap. As a city driver, finding a solution with cheap running costs is a must. The Fiat 500s small size and engine sizes ensure that those expenses remain manageable. Meanwhile, it’s a fairly modest vehicle to insure too. Use the internet to run a price comparison check, and the financial commitment should be greatly reduced. Maintenance is pretty easy too, which is another huge bonus.
The looks, performance and cost of the car are all crucial elements. However, they count for very little if you don’t feel safe inside the vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a single driver or driving with passengers. We all have a responsibility to stay safe on the road. You cannot legislate for some accidents. Unfortunately, being in the wrong place at the wrong time could see you endure a crash. Still, driving a car that’s better suited to dealing with those impacts will give you a far better chance of avoiding major trouble.