The latest Fiat 500 has gone on sale in the UK, bringing with it a number of aesthetic tweaks, eco-friendlier engines and, shock horror, the ability to go up hills.
It may be difficult to tell from the pictures but Fiat assures us there have been 1,800 changes to the new 500, including slightly revised headlights, a three-dimensional grille on the front bumper and ’empty’ rear lights that have a ring-shape design.
Inside there are new cup holders, a revised location for the 12v power socket, revised front seats, revised electric window switches, additional soundproofing and a new lidded glove box.
Three engines are available at launch, the smallest of which is the 69hp 1.2-litre that provides a 0-62mph sprint of 12.9 seconds, 99mph top speed, 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km when equipped with the Dualogic automatic gearbox.
The TwinAir 0.9 ups the ante with 74.3mpg, 88g/km of CO2 emissions, 117mph top speed and 0-62mph in 11 seconds, while outputting a healthier 145Nm of torque and 85hp. Atop the range is the TwinAir with 105hp, which has 145Nm of torque and can hit 0-62mph in 10 seconds.
Fiat has given the new Fiat 500 bigger anchors up front in the form of 257mm disc brakes, while safety has been improved with the addition of seven airbags, electronic stability control, Hill Holder, hydraulic brake assistance and anti-slip regulation.
A choice of Pop, Pop Star and Lounge trim levels are available, whether you opt for the hatchback 500 or the convertible 500c. Standard equipment across the range includes remote central locking, electric front windows, electric mirrors and Fiat’s UConnect infotainment system with AUX-in and a USB port.
It also has LED daytime running lights, steering wheel controls, Start and Stop for saving fuel when idle, space-saver spare wheel and, in the case of the convertible, a fully-electric roof with a heated glass rear window.
Pop Star adds 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, split-folding rear seat with adjustable headrests and body-coloured mirror caps with defrosting function. Lounge, meanwhile, includes rear parking sensors, leather-trimmed steering wheel, front fog lights and a touchscreen version of Uconnect.
Like the previous Fiat 500, customisation is king. A plethora of Mopar accessories are available from launch, including vintage-style wheel trims, various alloy wheel designs, a multitude of interior and exterior colour choices, tailgate rack for skis and decals for the sides and roof.
In Rory Reid’s new Fiat 500 review, he said: “They had a great blueprint to work from, but the important thing is that they haven’t ruined that blueprint. Ultimately they’ve made the best in the sector even better.”
Prices start from £10,890 for the 500 Pop with the 1.2 69hp rising to £14,420 for the 500 Lounge with the 105hp 0.9 TwinAir. A 500c Pop 1.2 69hp starts from £13,540 rising to £17,070 for the 500c Lounge 0.9 TwinAir 105hp. You can go and buy it now.