Fiat has announced the prices for the new Fiat 500 city car, which is getting its first significant update in the eight years it has been on sale in the UK. Fiat is boasting that it’s sold more than 1.5 million Fiat 500s in that time, and these changes are likely to make sure it stays a sales success.
The new Fiat 500 will cost from £10,890, and will go on sale in September 2015. That means it costs approximately £200 more than the outgoing version. It’ll come in three trim levels, called Pop, Pop Star and Lounge. Pop Star and Lounge will both come with alloy wheels as standard, and they’ll be a £320 option for entry-level Pop models.
The exterior has been tweaked with some subtle changes to the headlight shape, and some new LED daytime running lights which are the same shape as the 0s in the 500 badge. It’ll also come with a new interior with several new high-tech touches such as an optional TomTom sat-nav and improved infotainment system.
Fiat is claiming that it’s redesigned more than 1,900 components to create the latest 500 – to help you spot all those differences we’ve put the old and new cars side-by-side.
Can you spot the subtle changes?
Marginal changes have been made to the 500’s bodywork. At the front, new headlights are still round but more slanted then before mirroring those on the 500X crossover. Likewise, the smaller lower lights now have LED daytime running lights – these sit in a re-shaped front bumper with larger grilles for better engine cooling.
The rear bumper has also been restyled and now gets a chrome strip to make the little 500 look a bit wider. New taillights feature at the back and have hollow centres to let the body colour shine through.
Interior gets more tech
Owners of the current 500 will find few surprises in the interior of the new model. The major change has been the addition of a five-inch infotainment screen that’s nestled in the centre of the dash, between the air vents. This system can optionally be upgraded to include sat-nav alongside its Bluetooth connectivity, aux and USB inputs and DAB (digital) radio.
Also available as an option is a digital dial package to replace the analogue instruments behind the steering wheel. This system is configurable to include basic information like speed and revs, but can also repeat sat-nav instructions.
New engine range
Like the interior, the engine range won’t be a surprise to anyone already familiar with the 500. A basic 1.2-litre 69hp four-cylinder petrol unit comes with standard models but those looking for a little more power should consider the 0.9-litre two-cylinder turbo petrol with either 85 or 105hp.
Diesel fans get the same 95hp 1.3-litre unit that features across Fiat’s range – it emits just 89g/km of CO2 making it free to tax. Later in the model’s life an eco version of the 1.2-litre petrol will join the lineup with low-rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic tweaks. The suspension has been retuned to offer even more comfort than before.
Three trim levels
The equipment roster has been simplified and there are now three trim levels. Basic ‘Pop’ cars get seven airbags, a five-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth and DAB radio, aux and USB inputs, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and LED daytime running lights.
Mid-range ‘Popstar’ trim adds air-conditioning, chromed mirror caps and retro-looking steel hubcaps. Top spec ‘Lounge’ models get a panoramic glass sunroof, 15-inch alloy wheels, a chromed front grille and so-called ‘Live’ services for the infotainment system – essentially a method to link Fiat-specific apps from your smartphone to the car.
Like the previous model, the 500 encourages buyers to make it their own. It’s offered in 13 exterior colours with eight different alloy wheel designs. This is before the customer is given the option of various sticker packs to further personalise their motor.
A word of warning, however, because although your extensively personalised Fiat 500 might be the car you’ve always dreamed of, there’s no guarantee that anyone on the used market will agree with you. Don’t push the boat out too far with the personalisation options because you might struggle to sell it on in the future.
Price and release date
The 500 will cost from £10,890 – £200 more then the outgoing model. Just like before, you’ll be able to buy either a hatchback 500 or the convertible 500C from September. Exactly when updates will arrive on fast Abarth models hasn’t been revealed but we expect it to be close behind the standard model.