Should you buy a Fiat 500?
Yes, if you're on a budget and want a cool image. Don't think that just because the basic design dates back to 2008 that it's an old and unappealing car – far from it. The Fiat 500 still looks fresh, and more recent updates to the interior mean it keeps up with the competition when it comes to tech. There are good new-car deals available, and used examples are abundant. Don't worry too much about reliability – this one is proving exceptionally dependable in the long-term.
' Exceptionally popular – and it’s not hard to see why. Brilliant styling, cheap running costs and endless options for personalisation mean the reinvented 500 has lasted the course.'
– James Dennison
The TwinAir is great to drive, and though it won't deliver anywhere near its promised fuel consumption if you drive it with gusto it’s the best of the lot if you regularly venture out of town as well. But for city-dwelling drivers, the 500 is hugely relevant, and a surprisingly capable 2+2-seater city car that looks and feels cheerful to drive. Considering its reasonable price (as long as you don't compare it with the mechanically similar Panda sister car), the 500 is a bargain.
Fiat 500 trim levels are numerous (and sometimes confusing), but the recognisable models such as Pop, Lounge and Sport have been around for a while and do roughly what they say on the tin. Pop is entry-level, Lounge is a reasonable step up and offers plenty of equipment (such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity) and Sport brings racier styling (and a good range of standard kit) to the 500.
One of the benefits of the current 500’s long production run and huge popularity is that there are plenty of nearly new or used examples around. Many will be ex-hire cars that, despite the reputation, have been given regular maintenance from new – meaning they should be a solid buy if you’re in the market. It goes without saying that with such a dearth of cars around, any haggling should be done with confidence and decisiveness. If you’re not 100% happy with the car or the price, walk away, as there will be plenty more for you to choose from.
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