Fiat 500 Colour Therapy

The Fiat 500 gets more character thanks to the 1970s Colour Therapy trim

Fiat has introduced the retro Colour Therapy trim level to its hugely popular Fiat 500, and it has a starting price of just over £10,000. 

The 500 Colour Therapy sits between the entry-level Pop and Fiat's higher end 500 Lounge and S models. Inspired by the 1970s, the Fiat 500 Colour Therapy comes in five colours - New Age Cream, Countrypolitan Yellow, Pasodoble Red, Volare Blue and Tech House Grey. In addition to the hatch model, it's also available on the 500C convertible. 

Carrying on the retro feel, all Fiat 500 Colour Therapy models come with white mirror caps, plus retro white and silver wheel covers. There is also a "poolball design" gear knob. Thankfully, this is where the 1970s influence stops. 

Like all other Fiat 500 models, the Colour Therapy gets electric windows (instead of winders), MP3 connectivity (instead of an 8-track), as well as driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver's knee airbags as standard, as opposed to a true 1970s car, which wouldn't had anything remotely safe. ABS and Isofix child seat mountings are also standard. What's more, the dash is clearly laid out and the interior feels nicely designed and well screwed together. 

The Colour Therapy is like any other Fiat 500 to drive, excluding the hot Abarth version. It's softer than a MINI or Vauxhall Adam, and there's quite a bit of body roll. Still, the steering is quite light unlike a car from the 1970s and the handling is pretty nimble and good fun. 

While it's not the most practical car in the world, the Fiat 500 has a pretty small boot but with 185-litres, but it's bigger than more expensive rivals like the MINI, which has 160 litres and the Vauxhall Adam, which has 170 litres).

Like the Pop and Lounge models, the Fiat 500 Colour Therapy is powered by either a 1.2-litre or 0.9 litre Twinair engine. The first offers 58.9mpg and emits 113g/km of CO2 and the peppy little Twinair engine returns 70.6mpg, but where it emits just 92g/km of CO2, it's exempt from road tax as it falls under the 100g/km marker. 

Both engines are available with Fiat's Dualogic automatic gearbox, and this addition sees the 1.2-litre return 60.1mpg, and 110g/km of CO2. Mated to the Twinair, it manages 72.4mpg and 90g/km of of CO2. However, it's best avoided as the system is jerky and not up to the standard of the manual gearbox. 

The Fiat 500 has had a few reliability niggles since it was launched, meaning it's not quite up there with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and the Skoda CitiGo. The Fiat 500 didn't feature in our 2014 Driver Power survey, but it 2013, it ranked a poor 142nd out of 150 cars. 

Happily, though, the Fiat 500 is one of the safest cars you can buy as it received the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, when it was first launched in 2007. 

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