Fiat 500 UK
Base 1.2 £9960
0-60mph 12.9 sec
Top speed 99mph
Average 58.9 mpg
Range 454 miles
Fiat 500 US
Base 1.4 $15,500
Americans don't quote performance figures much. Who are they kidding that they don't care?
Average 30 city/38 highway
Range 315/399 miles
I once had to dump an extremely handsome boyfriend because he was dull. I felt bad about it (and somewhat ungrateful). After all – let’s call him Colin - was a nice chap, and good at some things, but there were other people who were much more fun - and I wanted to be with them.
That’s just how I feel about the Fiat 500. It looks so cute my husband and I got the brochures and went for a test drive. The 1.2 we drove wouldn’t have threatened the skin on an average jug of custard, but more than that, it just wasn’t fun.
We bought a Mini and, although I don’t like design as much as the Fiat, it takes corners with more gusto and feeds back more about what the wheels are up to. You just feel more connected.
Recently my girlfriend and I took a six-hour trip in a Fiat 500 in Florida. We’d booked the smallest, cheapest car, hoping to get an upgrade or deal at the rental desk, but when we saw it was a Cinquecento we decided not to quibble.
Even in its Allegro brown metallic, the bambino was cute. Plus, I’d had to wriggle my case into the Mini on the way out, but it slotted easily into the 500’s rear.
I wondered if I’d like the car more in the US. It had a 1.4-litre engine, and there weren’t many bends on our route, so it didn’t need to handle.
Our first surprise was that we had to stop to fill up twice. Carole last did this trip in a Tahoe and it has such a huge tank, she didn’t have to stop at all. OK we did a lot of freeway miles, but the tank is just 10.5 gal, annoying.
Afterwards, we I agreed it had been comfortable and generally not bad, but not fun. So again, the American 500 was a bit of a Colin.
I really must try the TwinAir.