If it’s retro charm you’re after, the uber-chic Fiat 500 is your cheapest option. With timeless looks that are inspired by the 1957 classic of the same name, it can still turn heads more than a decade after its launch. No wonder it remains one of the best-selling city cars on the market.
Over the years, Fiat has made (very) minor tweaks to the exterior styling and the interior, but more significant improvements to the engines and infotainment system. Various special editions have come and gone, but this is still a car that still very much majors on personalisation: there are countless colours, alloy wheel designs and styling options to choose from to make your Fiat 500 'unique'.
In this review, we're focusing on the regular Fiat 500 hatchback. However, there's also a convertible Fiat 500C and a couple of feisty hot hatch models named Abarth 595 and 695. Or if you like the looks but need something altogether more family-friendly, Fiat offers the Fiat 500X and Fiat 500L – although both are much larger and, name aside, share little with car you're looking at here.
Over the next few pages, we'll walk you through the Fiat 500 in detail and tell you how it compares with key rivals, including the Kia Picanto and VW Up, in all of the key areas. We'll also tell you which engines and trims make the most sense and which you'd really do best to avoid.
Already decided the Fiat 500 is the car for you? Don't let your heart completely rule your head and just run straight down to your local Fiat dealer – there are big savings available that can usefully undercut the brochure price. To find out how much you could save, without getting involved in any awkward haggling, just head over to our deals section.