2019 Fiat 500 – what we know so far

Fiat is evolving its cute city car into a family of models, including estate and all-electric versions. It's also a contender in the 2019 What Car? Reader Award...

Fiat 500 rendering
Fiat 500 rendering

On sale Autumn 2019 | Price from £12,500 (est)

Fiat's 500 city car has been a big success, mixing cute looks with nimble urban handling and a peppy petrol engine. It's a popular sight on British roads, too, and there's an all-new version due next year that will continue to compete against the Volkswagen Up, Hyundai i10 and the class-leading Kia Picanto.

Don’t panic, though: the new Fiat 500 is almost certain to look much like the current car and come will in the same range of head-turning colours and interior finishes that make it so popular among fashion-conscious buyers today.

Instead, interest in the new model lies in whether Fiat can complement its cutesy good looks with a much-improved driving experience in order to give it a more rounded appeal and broaden its appeal to yet more buyers.

The Fiat 500 is one of 12 cars in contention for the 2019 What Car? Reader Award, which is your chance to vote for the most highly anticipated new car of 2019. Head over to our voting site to cast your vote.

From what we know so far, the most headline-grabbing changes are the introduction of a hybrid – alongside more traditional petrol engines – and the imminent arrival of both all-electric and estate models.

The hybrid will use mild, self-charging electrification technology to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. The all-electric model will arrive from 2020, with the estate – likely to be called Giardiniera – following after that.

Likely to be called the 500e, the electric 500 is expected to offer a shorter range than many of today's conventional electric models, simply because of the limited space available to store batteries inside the car. It will, however, face a growing number of rivals, including the upcoming all-electric Mini hatchback and Honda's Urban EV.

The launch of the next-generation 500 is part of a wider Fiat plan to carve out a niche as a provider of mostly electrified city cars. As part of this plan, the Panda will also be renewed before long, using the same underpinnings as the 500.

The best (and worst) city cars for less than £10,000

Does the arrival of the new Fiat 500 have you hankering for a small car? Well, the good news is that buying a great small car need not cost the Earth. In fact, here we've collected 10 of the best, and none of them will cost you more than £10,000 if you buy used.

10. Audi A1

The Audi A1 has proven very popular, thanks to its ability to pack the build quality and upmarket feel of Audi’s more expensive models into a smaller package. It isn’t quite as spacious as some rivals, but the pay-off is a smart interior and the same strong range of engines as the Volkswagen Polo. The downside, of course, is that it’s expensive to buy.

You can’t have a top 10 list of small cars without mentioning the Vauxhall Corsa; rarely out of the best sellers list, there are examples of them everywhere. It doesn’t seem to matter that there are many rivals that beat it in key areas; the Corsa’s appeal is that it manages to provide a practical, well-built car at an affordable price. Indeed, for this budget, you’ll be able to find numerous nearly new Corsas with plenty of kit, making it a tempting proposition.

We found: 2017 1.4T 100 SRI 5dr, 1332 miles, £9910

Read the used Vauxhall Corsa review

Find a used Vauxhall Corsa in the What Car? Classifieds

8. Honda Jazz

Maximising useful interior space was Honda’s aim with the Jazz, and it succeeded. Boot space is on a par with hatchbacks from the class above and, what’s more, the rear seats can fold completely flat, which is rare in a small car. In addition, the base of the rear bench can fold up against the seatback to allow tall or wide items to be loaded widthways. If you need a small car that is also practical, the Jazz is hard to beat.

We found: 2016 1.3 SE, 14,473 miles, £9677