The original Nova 500 produced in 1975 was so basic that it was conceived partly as an alternative to a scooter. It offered only a single engine option, had just 2 seats and suicide doors.
Fiat decided to take that much-loved car of the 60s & reinvent it for a new generation. By comparison, the latest 500 offers thousands of different ways of specifying the iconic city car, which has morphed into a very successful second-generation car, & its cute retro styling has been well received, opening up the doors to an expanded range, including the 500L, 500L MPW, a convertible & the 500X.
The 2018 Fiat 500 is a small city car with seating for 4, although the rear seats are only suitable for small children. It's available as a 2-door hatchback or convertible (the 500C) that uses fixed roof rails & a folding centre portion. The base Pop model is lightly equipped, but its price is quite reasonable. The mid-level Lounge is more expensive, but many will find the upgraded upholstery & other goodies worth the extra cost.
Rivals for the 500 are many & varied, including the Mini hatch & various city cars such as the VW Up, Peugeot 108, also the Smart Fortwo & Forfour. The Fiat 500 certainly has style & image on its side, but plenty of rivals are better to drive & more practical, for the same price or less.
“With 6 million all-time units sold & over 2 million of the model renewed in 2007, the Fiat 500 is the European leader in the city car segment & has been the best-selling FCA car for the last 2 years. All this clearly shows how affectionate people feel towards our 500.”