A quintessential city car, the compact three-door 500 is at home bobbing over cobbled city side streets or parading the piazza with its retro bodywork. This is just the latest update to a timeless formula; the Turin-based manufacturer has produced two million of the model since its inception in 1957 .
The 500 has maintained all of its presence and even in hybrid guise, it’s bound to stand out. Smart exterior details include a chrome-studded front grille bookended by neat running lights, chrome panels along the side window bases, and elliptical front headlights. There’s a slightly glossy finish to the exterior paintwork, which is available in a range of elegant colour choices including Star White and the hybrid-only Dew Green, which gives the car a more artisanal, workshop-fresh feel. Before stepping into the car, you’ll know this 500 is alternatively fuelled from the ‘HYBRID’ insignia etched on the rear in a futuristic font.
While its compact dimensions mean the city is this three-door’s natural habitat, the 500 still offers excellent fuel economy of 53.3 mpg. The Mild Hybrid Launch Edition achieves this strong performance through a combination of its 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, and a 12-volt starter engine – situated below the driver’s seat – and small lithium-ion battery, with emissions at lower than 90 g/km.
There are parking sensors positioned across the rear so you can preserve its pristine good looks. You can engage the excellent City Steering mode with the touch of a button on the steering wheel. This will give you a power boost that renders the steering super-light so you can guide yourself into even the trickiest of spots.
The Fiat 500 Launch Edition’s interior features soft seats in an intricate diamond-pattern stitching, with a material that’s derived from recycled plastic, and a two-colour design has been used across the range. The cabin comfortably seats a driver and three passengers with enough room in the car’s 185-litre boot for the week’s groceries, or a handful of overnight bags. Up front, the hybrid’s dashboard has a Uconnect infotainment system, with TomTom mapping software available on a secondary screen through the hybrid’s digital cockpit.