Nearly-new buying guide: Fiat 500

Easily the biggest seller since 2015 has been the 68bhp 1.2. The motor may lack the TwinAir’s thrummy note and is slower over 0-62mph (12.9sec compared with the 84bhp 0.9-litre Twin Air’s 11.0sec) but it’s cheaper and less juicy. Paired with Lounge trim – there are three specs: Pop, Pop Star and Lounge – it’s a charming, well-equipped runabout. 

Superficially, the two 0.9-litre TwinAir motors seem like a better match for the 500. Their sound recalls the original’s air-cooled motor but they do need a light foot to return even reasonable economy, although ones registered before 1 April 2017 are free to tax. The pay-off is stronger performance and an ability to cruise more happily. 

The lower-powered one is good value, with a 2015-reg 0.9-litre 85 Pop Star with 25,000 miles costing £5400. The more powerful 104bhp version whips from a standstill to 62mph in 10sec but that advantage comes at a price, with a 2015-reg 0.9-litre 105 TwinAir Pop Star with 20,000 miles coming in at £6300. 

Incidentally, Fiat’s efficiency claims for the TwinAir came home to roost recently when it was forced to drop this version in the face of the RDE1 (real driving emissions) test. 

Also free of road tax, at least those registered before 1 April 2017, are the 1.2-litre Eco petrol and 1.3-litre Multijet diesel versions. The diesel is a smooth, quiet and torquey unit that can get a sprint on and cruise all day long. However, it’s rare and expensive if the 20,000-mile 2017-reg example we found, priced at £8995, is anything to go by. It was dropped from the line-up last year. 

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A used 500 will always raise a smile, but with prices for a facelift model starting at just £4000, on second thoughts, make that a laugh.

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