Find a car review

Make
Model

Fiat 500 review - fashion victim or stylish mover? - Ride and handling

Retro charm offensive that’s inoffensive to drive

Evo rating
Price
from £11,050
  • Retro charm, reasonably inexpensive, compact, did we say charming?
  • Too compact, a bit too charming, more fun to look at than actually drive

Ride and handling

Cute looks, a smart, retro cabin and some gorgeous detailing might hoodwink you into thinking that the 500’s going to be a scream behind the wheel, too, but it’s not.

It’s fine in its intended environment, where its light steering, soft suspension, upright seating position and easy gear change make it a biddable city car, but escape the confines of town and the 500 quickly gets out of its depth. The suspension that makes a decent fist of absorbing the worst city streets can deliver gets a bit busy and out of shape when the speed rises and you ask a bit more from it.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

There’s plenty of body roll and with steering that’s utterly devoid of any sort of feel - even more so if you’ve chosen the finger-twirling lightness of the City Mode - the 500 reveals its limitations. Where you’ll be excited at the prospect of taking a Mini for a lengthy weekend journey out of town, you’ll be far less inclined to do so in the 500.

Grip levels are actually quite high, if you’re brave enough to push the 500 further than you feel you should, but chances are you won’t. The 500’s a car that’s a bit one-dimensional compared to many of its rivals - in standard form at least, as the Abarth models bring some real entertainment to the city car class.  

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/mclaren/201759/new-mclaren-gt-review-woking-muscles-in-on-aston-martins-home-ground
McLaren

New McLaren GT review – Woking muscles-in on Aston Martin’s home ground

Is McLaren’s first grand tourer just a toned-down supercar, or something more nuanced and special?
17 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019