Skip advert
Advertisement

‘A decade on, the Fiat 500 is still going strong’

Editor Graham Hope pays homage to the Fiat 500 city car ten years after its first road test

The pace of change in the industry is ferocious, as this week’s issue again testifies. But amid the hi-tech development, is there a more remarkable car on sale than the Fiat 500? Incredibly, it was 10 years ago this week that we first tested the then new 500. The reborn city car lost out to the MINI, but impressed sufficiently for us to say: “It signifies a new era for Fiat.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

Our reasoning was perfectly simple. “It’s a machine that makes people smile when they see it; even those who don’t have much interest in cars,” our test reflected. History has proven just how spot-on that assessment was.

The best city cars to buy

A decade and one major facelift – in 2015 – down the line, what is ostensibly the same car continues to find buyers with ease, even though it is now some way off the pace dynamically in its class. A total of 35,149 were bought in the UK last year, down from a peak of 44,006 in 2014, but still extremely healthy for a car that is now so long in the tooth.  

As Fiat celebrates the 60th anniversary of the launch of the original 500, it deserves praise for such a successful rebirth. Redesigning a classic is no easy task, as Volkswagen will testify with the Beetle.

But Fiat must also start thinking about what it’ll do when it comes to replacing the current car. Strong sales or not, it can’t go on forever, and there are surely only so many special editions one model can inspire. The company has been quiet on its plans, but I’d imagine we’ll likely see something new by 2019.

And what to expect? When I last spoke to global boss Olivier François, he told me the 500 is “more relevant than ever because it is a city car and people are hungry for urban mobility solutions. Because it is our golden goose, we’re very protective of it”. You can deduce from that, then, that whatever is in store will in no way risk ending one of motoring’s most enduring success stories.

Are you a fan of the Fiat 500? Let us know in the comments area below!

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Best small automatic cars to buy 2024
Best small automatic cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Best small automatic cars to buy 2024

Prefer your small cars with fewer pedals? These are the best small automatic cars you can buy
13 Mar 2024
Best convertibles and cabriolets to buy 2024
Best convertibles - header image
Best cars & vans

Best convertibles and cabriolets to buy 2024

Love the feeling of the wind in your hair while driving? These are the best convertible cars for the job
19 Feb 2024
Best small cars to buy 2024
Best small cars - February 2024 header
Best cars & vans

Best small cars to buy 2024

Small cars come in all kinds of shapes, if not sizes. Here we highlight the best new small cars on sale
16 Feb 2024
Fiat 500 Collezione 1957 is a new special edition for fans of the Italian icon
Fiat 500 Collezione
News

Fiat 500 Collezione 1957 is a new special edition for fans of the Italian icon

Fiat says the new version is a “collectors’ edition” with just 1,957 units planned
5 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs
Tesla Superchargers
News

Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs

Tesla has cut the costs of its Supercharger Membership, which grants access to lower charging rates, by £2 per month
19 Apr 2024
The average UK car is now 9 years old, as drivers delay replacements
Ford Fiesta Titanium front
News

The average UK car is now 9 years old, as drivers delay replacements

41.4 million vehicles are on the road, but they’re getting older faster than they’re getting cleaner
19 Apr 2024
Best small SUVs to buy 2024
Best small SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans

Best small SUVs to buy 2024

There's a huge range of small SUVs out there, so we’ve picked out the very best
19 Apr 2024