We'd understand if you concluded that this 'new' Fiat 500 looks pretty much the same as the old one. Nevertheless, Fiat insists that no fewer than 1,800 changes have been made in improving it. None of these have altered the dinky external dimensions, so at just 3.5m long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m high, this Fiat can still fit into spaces that even a MINI would have to avoid. If you choose the 500C variant rather than the fixed-top model that we tried, you get what amounts to a full-length canvas sunroof which electrically retracts into a concertinaed bundle just above the boot.
Most of the exterior styling tweaks that have been made can be found at the front. The main round headlights adopt clever polyellptical modules for improved night time vision and integrate dipped-beam headlamps and turn signals.
Inside, delicious details are everywhere, the coloured fascia panels featuring iconic '500' badging and colour-matched against the bodywork. As for the key change to this improved model, well on a plush variant like our 'Lounge'-spec test car, that's very obvious, the 5-inch 'Uconnect LIVE' infotainment display screen mounted high on the dashboard, right in your line of sight. This system, optional on lower-spec models, allows Bluetooth hands-free calling, music streaming, voice recognition and an SMS reader that will read text messages to you.
As for practicalities, well there's obviously not much room on the rear seat but in the boot, the 185-litre space is no smaller than an ordinary mainstream citycar like Toyota's Aygo would give you.