Despite looking essentially the same as just over seven years ago when it was originally launched, the Fiat 500 has been refreshed for the new model year, and this new version is now available for order in the UK. Since they’ve not bothered to change the looks at all, we’ll focus on the real changes that have taken place.
Firstly, UK buyers can now specify the curious TwinAir (a turbocharged 895cc v-twin) with 105PS (104bhp), not just 85PS (84bhp) as before; the lower-powered variant is still offered. Along with the extra power, it also comes with extra torque – 145 Nm or 107 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. These ratings are only achieved when the car is in Sport mode. Switch it to Eco and they drop down to 98PS and 120 Nm or 89 lb-ft.
With Sport mode selected, though, the revised 500 sprints to 62 mph or 100 km/h in 10 seconds and tops out at 117 mph or 187 km/h.
The rest of the engine range remains untouched, being made up of a base 69 hp 1.2-liter petrol, the detuned 85PS (94bhp) TwinAir and the perky 1.3-liter MultiJet diesel with 95PS (94bhp).
Probably the single most noticeable change featured by this refreshed 500 is the digital gauge cluster. It reconfigures itself according to the selected driving mode or user preference. However, it’s not standard and you’ll be asked to pay £250 – this is kind of silly, though, and they should have made it standard.
For 2014, buyers are also given a wider choice of upholsteries and exterior colors than before, available on both the hardtop and convertible body styles.
Pricing for the base model kicks off at £10,160, and comes with seven airbags as standard, electric windows and mirrors, central locking, height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel. The most you can pay for your non-Abarth Fiat 500 is the £17,960 you’ll need to buy a convertible one with the diesel engine, in Cult guise.
By Andrei Nedelea