Small cars need to be big on character and they don’t come more stylish than the Fiat 500. We’re at the Lingotto factory in Turin, to sample the new for 2015 Fiat 500 C, though we take the word ‘new’ with a pinch of salt.
"Small cars need to be big on character and they don’t come more stylish than the Fiat 500. We’re at the Lingotto factory in Turin, home to the original Cinquecento, to sample the new for 2015 Fiat 500 C, though we take the word ‘new’ with a pinch of salt. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted revised bumpers and slightly tweaked headlights and taillights, but the core structure remains unchanged.
Inside remains unfettled too, save for a new 5-inch infotainment system that is touchscreen on this Lounge specification, and can be ordered with additional DAB digital radio and Tom Tom satellite navigation. Unfortunately, some of those old interior niggles remain; the poor driving position, the awkward ergonomics, the scratchy and hard plastics to touch and if you spec this new Tom Tom satellite navigation, the processing speed is pretty languid.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine is quite wheezy when combined with the five-speed manual gearbox, but because the steering is so light and the packaging so small, it still makes a really perfect city car. The ride quality again may not be able to match class-leading rivals, but this is still a very frugal and very fun way to get around town, especially with the roof down because it is free from buffeting at high speeds and you can unfurl the roof at speeds of up to 37mph.
I think what Fiat also does better than any other small car maker, is in the level of customisation it offers, from this coral paint, the Prince of Wales fabric and now Fiat is offering wraps that it is branding second skins. So In summary, Fiat hasn’t really pushed the boat out with this new Fiat 500, but the formula is still a very compelling mix, based purely on aesthetics alone, and in that respect, the 500 C remains one of the most coveted and desirable small cars on sale."