Fiat 500 variants
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Fiat 500 hybrid review – is there a good car behind that cute face?

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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £11,399. Borrowing £9,119 with a £2,280 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
Fixed interest rate
Total amount payable
Cost of credit
Optional final payment
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Owners typically fall for the 500’s chic styling first, and then love their cars for their perky driving dynamics, affordable running costs and the compact size that makes parking a piece of cake.

A mild-hybrid petrol engine was introduced in 2020, and this offers the best fuel consumption of any 500 engine. Now, there’s also an electric Fiat 500, a new-generation car that looks similarly stylish but adds a zippy, zero-emission powertrain. It’s the perfect city car!

Fiat 500 buying guide

What Fiat 500 trim levels are there?

The 500 line-up has been tweaked throughout its life, and special editions have appeared for limited periods, so if in doubt, remember every Motorpoint advert lists the spec highlights.

As an introduction, used Fiat 500 models sold up to 2021 are available in Pop, Lounge, Sport, Star, Rockstar and the limited-edition Dolcevita trim levels. You need at least Lounge specification to get a seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, DAB radio and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Star specification introduces a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and 3D satellite navigation. 

During 2021 the line-up was re-jigged to Pop, Connect, Dolcevita, Dolcevita Plus, Hey Google, Sport and Red. At this point, Connect became the entry point for the seven-inch touchscreen, and Dolcevita Plus for the TFT instrument cluster. Step up to a Hey Google model and you get voice control with Google Assistant.

Red trim is a collaboration with the (RED) charity that raises money to help people dealing with AIDS or Covid-19. It gets an eye-catching red-and-black colour scheme, plus a few extra equipment bits and even a hand sanitiser dispenser.

The 500 Electric gets its own trim levels: Action, Red, Icon and La Prima. Action relies on your smartphone for all media and infotainment functions, while higher-spec cars get a much-improved 10.25-inch touchscreen. Top-spec La Prima has lots of equipment such as cruise control, a rear-view camera and leather upholstery.

Fiat 500 interior and technology

There aren’t many cars with an interior as characterful as the Fiat 500’s. On petrol versions, you get a big slab of glossy body-coloured plastic that stops it from feeling drab. The gear lever is mounted high, with the benefit that it’s closer to your reach and it frees up space for cupholders underneath. You’ll notice that the rev counter is inside the speedometer, with both needles eagerly chasing each other as you drive about.

Fiat’s Uconnect touchscreen is fitted on all but the entry-level version of recent petrol 500s. It has smartphone connectivity for telephony, audio playback and navigation, which makes a 500 feel much more up-to-date than one without it. The touchscreen is pretty easy to use but it can be slow to respond and sometimes needs a firm prod.

In comparison, the interior in the electric Fiat 500 feels more upmarket. Premium fabric dashboard inserts replace the colourful plastic, and the buttons all feel a bit more solid as well. There are more storage areas and it feels more spacious without a gear lever and lower centre console. It’s not without its quirks, mind – the door handles have been replaced by buttons, but there are still physical door handles hidden lower down in the door pockets.

Fiat 500 engine range explained

(Most popular!) Fiat 500 1.0 Mild Hybrid petrol

If you’re looking at the petrol 500, the pick of the range is the 1.0-litre mild hybrid. The 70hp engine feels nippy enough around town – just don’t expect to win many drag races – and, more importantly, uses much less fuel than the older 1.2 engine. Fiat suggests that up to 60mpg is possible in the right conditions.

Fiat 500 1.2 petrol

Fiat’s 69hp 1.2-litre petrol engine feels like it’s been around since the world was in black and white. It was the main engine choice when the Fiat 500 launched in 2007, and was still going strong 12 years later. It’s not quite as frugal as the mild hybrid and feels wheezy, but it does have its plus points. As it’s fitted in older 500s, you’ll pay less than for an equivalently specified mild hybrid, and insurance is cheap.

Abarth 595

If you want the most exciting, most raucous Fiat 500, you need to check out the used Abarth 595 models we have for sale. These have a powerful 1.4-litre turbocharged engine and get go-faster bits like better brakes and a sports exhaust.

Fiat 500 24kWh

The entry-level Fiat 500 EV has a 24kWh battery for a quoted 118-mile range. If you’re only planning to use the car around town or as your family’s second car, then this battery size will suffice. You get 93hp, a little less than the bigger-battery version mentioned below, but the smaller battery weighs much less. This electric 500 is a lot quicker than the petrol ones.

Fiat 500 42kWh

Most electric Fiat 500s come with a 42kWh battery and a 199-mile range, so it’s more versatile and won’t give you any range anxiety when you set off on a long journey. The 500 EV offers lively acceleration in town, or you can stick it in Sherpa mode to preserve range. Need to fast-charge on the motorway? You can recharge to 80% in just over half an hour.

Your Fiat 500 questions answered

Every Fiat 500 is a small three-door hatchback, but you’re certainly not limited for choice when it comes to trims and special editions – because there are loads. You can even pick 500C convertible versions with a fold-back fabric roof for open-air thrills.

The soft-top differs from most convertible models, though, because the convertible roof is more like a fabric sunroof that includes all the roof and rear window area. It peels back to leave the side windows and roof rails in place when the roof is fully open. The hatchback is also replaced by a smaller boot opening that hinges below the rear window area rather than at roof level. But the 500C is a clever and cost-effective way to enjoy some fresh air!

For a spicier take on the 500, there’s the Abarth 595. This is a Fiat 500 on steroids, with a pumped-up bodykit and more than twice the power.

Then there’s the electric version. It shares the same name as the older petrol 500, but the electric Fiat 500 is essentially a different model. Designed from the ground up as a purely electric car, the electric 500 uses different underpinnings and has a more modern-feeling interior.

Not very big at all. It measures just 3.5m in length – that’s about four paces – and 1.6m wide, so is perfectly suited to nipping through tight Italian streets… or parallel parking on a busy British city road. The 500 can squeeze into parking spaces that bigger cars wouldn’t have a hope of squeezing into. Because it’s not much bigger than the postage stamp, the back seats are a bit tight and the boot is compact. If you need a small car and will be carrying people in the back regularly, a Volkswagen Up will suit you better.

The vast majority of Fiat 500s come with a small petrol engine. In the past, super-thrifty diesel engines were also offered, while in recent years a mild-hybrid engine replaced the long-lived 1.2-litre petrol. There’s now a fully electric 500 too.

Look around the internet and you’ll get a mixed response. The Fiat 500 is generally reliable, but not every car is problem-free – like any model. You’re more likely to experience small trim failures and infotainment glitches rather than major faults that’ll leave you stranded. On the off chance something does go wrong, parts and servicing are comparatively cheap, and you can take out a Motorpoint Extended Warranty for absolute peace of mind.

The Fiat 500 sits in groups 3-10, depending on the exact spec. That should mean that insurance is cheaper than on cars like the Mini and DS 3. The electric Fiat 500 occupies slightly higher insurance groups than petrol 500s, as is the case with rivals.

A three-star safety rating isn’t exactly the best result, but the same number of stars was given to the Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10 as well. Part of the reason for the 500’s score is that it doesn’t come with some of the active safety features that are more widely available in bigger, costlier cars.

The Fiat 500 is a good first car because it’s easy to park, fun to drive and cheap to run. We’re not just talking about petrol – it’s inexpensive to insure and the small wheels mean that new tyres aren’t costly either.

Practicality isn’t usually top of the list for a Fiat 500 buyer – many will accept the cramped back seats and compact boot as a consequence of the car’s size and style. But you’ve got a good amount of space if you fold the rear seats down – and the seatbacks are clad in hard-wearing plastic that’ll stand up to lots of heavy and bulky items.

The Fiat 500 is often bought for its styling and its fun interior. Its low running costs, easy driving experience – especially its city driving mode – and customisation options appeal to buyers too. To top it all off, the 500 doesn’t cost very much to buy. Fiat 500s at Motorpoint start from under £140 per month.

If you don’t often carry many passengers and want something stylish, the Fiat 500 is a really good choice. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and a happy driving experience – that sums up the 500.