Being a supermini, it’s a pretty useful car in town.
There’s a small array of engines on offer, and all are well suited to city life, especially the nippy little petrols. All of them have been updated to meet Euro 6 emission standards meaning they are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than in the old car.
The manual gearbox is smooth, but with only five gears (six in the most powerful petrol version) it makes the 500 quite noisy on the motorway and the Dualogic automatic option is not recommended unless you really need an auto, because it is slow and hesitant to change gears.
The 500 feels best in town and powered by a Twin-Air engine
Pick of the petrol range is the 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder – its nippy nature is perfectly suited to urban driving. It is available in two power levels – 85hp that does 74.3mpg and 105hp that can do the 0-62mph sprint in 10 seconds and propel the new 500 to a top speed of 117mph while returning fuel economy of 67.3mpg.
The 1.2-litre has just enough power for city driving, but runs out of puff on the motorway and the TwinAir is generally a better bet. However, eight out of ten buyers opted for this engine in the pre-facelift 500, so there should be buyers who would prefer to add a bit more optional extras than to have a better engine.
The ‘Eco’ version of the 1.2-litre lowers CO2 emissions to 99g/km.
The 1.3-litre diesel emits only 89 g/km of CO2 and should return fuel economy of close to 80mpg. However, it’s expensive and only makes sense on the motorway where the 500 doesn’t really make sense.
The facelift 500 is identical to drive to the old model with light and easy-to-use controls and decent visibility, which sit well with the car’s small, easy-to-manoeuvre dimensions.
However, it’s not quite as sharp or as composed as its main rival, the Mini, because the suspension is too soft to prevent body roll and the ride is a bit jiggly, especially on the motorway. There’s also a fair amount of road noise at higher speeds.