New Fiat 500 buyer's guide

  • New Fiat 500 hits the streets in September
  • Get ahead of the curve with our buyer's guide
  • Best engine, trim and options picked

Fiat’s ubiquitous supermini – the 500 – has just undergone a midlife refresh complete with tweaked engines, updated styling, and a longer list of customisations.

New cars will be available from September so it’s worth getting a head start on what’s new with our handy buyer’s guide before you visit a showroom.

We’ll take you through the changes and give you an idea which engines, trims, and options are worth having, and which are not.

Also: read our in-depth Fiat 500 review here

Petrol power only (for now)

Part of the reason for the new 500 is a round of engine updates taking all of Fiat’s units into Euro 6 compliance, meaning lower emissions and less of an impact on the environment.

From launch there will only be petrol engines available, and they’re broadly similar to the current line-up.

The base engine is the 1.2-litre 68bhp, which is fine for pottering around town but feels a bit out of its depth on the motorway. It claims 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km. We have driven this engine in this Fiat 500 roadtest.

Digital dials are a decent blend of modern and vintage styles

More characterful and entertaining are the pair of “TwinAir” two-cylinder units which make a unique noise and provide either 84bhp (adequate) or 104bhp (ample).

These promise 74.3mpg/67.3mpg and 90/99g/km respectively.

We’d stick with a manual gearbox rather than the automatic and the lower powered TwinAir engine unless you plan on regularly traversing the country, in which case the 104bhp unit is the better bet.

Bear in mind though there will be an eco-version of the 1.2-litre unit and a 1.3-litre diesel following shortly which could be worth a look.

Three trims: Pop, Pop Star and Lounge

The 500’s face has been updated with a 3D effect grille and LED daytime running lights which echo the “0”s in the badge. MINI uses a similar effect for its daytime running lights. New ring-shaped tail lights with body-coloured centres give the back end a modern look. This is more noticeable on a lighter colour car though.

New face for the 500

A five inch Uconnect infotainment screen is now standard across the range, which stands out less than the screen in an Audi A1 and comes with audio control and USB/Aux-in also included. On top spec cars you get a LIVE system with Bluetooth phone and music connectivity.

There are three trim levels to choose from, with steel wheels on the entry level Pop and 15-inch alloys on Pop Star and Lounge models.

Standard equipment on a base spec Pop car includes seven airbags, remote central locking, electric front windows, electric mirrors and a space-saver spare wheel.

Upgrade to Pop Star for air conditioning, body-coloured mirror caps with defrosting function, 15-inch alloys and a 50/50 split folding rear seat with adjustable rear headrests.

Top spec Lounge cars have a panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, leather-trimmed steering wheel, front fog lights and a chrome styling kit.

Air conditioning and alloys make Pop Star a tempting trim level which still retains some of the Fiat 500’s back to basics charm so we’d stick with that.

New dash featuring Uconnect system

Loads of options

A shortness of the standard equipment is mirrored by the length of the options list. Starting with wheels, you can pay £370 for 16-inch alloys on a Pop car and £180 for the two grades above.

Then there are 13 paint colours including new Glam Coral pastel and Avantgarde Bordeaux metallic which cost £350 option and £460 respectively.

On top of this you can specify a Second Skin vinyl wrap, on the belt line of the car (£140) or the entire upper half (£780 on Pop and Pop Star versions and £460 on Lounge).

Five patterns are available, geometric “Ethnic”, tartan “Lord” multi-tonal “Comics”, nautical “Navy” and military-look “Camouflage”.

This wrap is called Camouflage

Inside the car you spec Uconnect Live for £250 option on Pop and Pop Star cars, while DAB radio will cost £100. TomTom sat-nav is £350 on a Lounge car and £600 on the two grades below. Digital dials are available on a top spec car but cost £250.

An inbuilt sat-nav and big wheels can help make your car a bit more eye catching when it comes to resale but remember you probably won’t get back what you paid for them.

Instead we suggest that you embrace the Fiat’s wealth of customisation options and give your car a look you really like – just make sure it’s not too outrageous as this may harm your chances of selling the car on.