The refreshed Fiat 500: As cool as you like

The Fiat 500 was first introduced in 1957 and it became an instant hit worldwide with over three million units sold. It has now been completely refreshed with new trim levels, new colours and new interiors and is available to the SA market. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent recently with the eye-catching vehicle and it certainly stole my heart. It offers great appeal to just about anyone and including the urban cool, millennials, first-time buyers and practically everyone else. The Fiat 500 has been updated with four new trim levels further boosting the distinct characteristics of each model, each receiving a high standard of specification, paving the way for its own future success.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

The original Fiat 500 offered mobility and freedom in the 1960s, becoming a veritable social phenomenon and establishing itself as a “love brand”. With the second generation, launched in 2007, the Fiat 500 introduced the concept of coolness and charm to the city car, becoming an icon of Italian fashion and style that conquered the world. An ever-evolving model that has inspired artists and musicians over the past 13 years, and has always remained current.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

Fiat 500 Cult

New entry-level excitement for the Fiat 500 is embodied in the new Cult derivative. The Fiat 500 Cult is an air of joy and lightness that refreshes the spirit every time you drive it. A striking new Arancio Sicilia orange colour lends new pop and cool to the 500, although many other colours are available. Running on 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and black exterior mirrors, Cult models feature LED day-time running lamps as standard, with halogen headlights. The interior is highlighted by blue fabric seats with Fiat Monogram and body colour dashboard. A new option for Cult is a Techno Blue Matt dashboard and the standard list of comfort features remains high.

Fiat 500 Connect

This is a master of style with cutting edge technology, tailored to a modern connected life. Adding onto the Cult standard specification, connect models are identified by 15-inch alloy wheels and specific side skirts, rear spoiler and bumpers, including foglights. New “flashy” seats, which are height adjustable, enhance the interior along with a multi-function steering wheel with eight buttons. The dashboard can be ordered in Matt Silver. Cooler than ever, other interior upgrades include cruise control, Uconnect seven-inch infotainment with CarPlay and AndroidAuto, and two additional rear speakers.

Fiat 500 Dolcevita

For the more avant-garde, Dolcevita models epitomise Italian style and flair with bespoke badging and chrome accents on the two-tone paintwork. With bespoke 16-inch alloy wheels, the Dolcevita also gets the Techno-leather multi-function steering wheel, glass roof, Matelassé fabric seats with techno leather details, and a 50/50 split rear seat.

Fiat 500 Sport

With its sleek, well-defined look, the Fiat 500 Sport wins you over at first glance. These more sporty-minded customers will be attracted to the Sport upgrades that include 16-inch alloy wheels, Sport badging, and specific side skirts, bumpers and rear spoiler will surely attract the ‘sport-minded’ customers. The new Cloud Grey aptly suits the car, together with the titanium dashboard and the red 500 logo.

Turbo power

The Fiat 500 is powered by Fiat’s TwinAir two-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. While this engine incorporates state-of-the-art technology and efficiency, it also pays homage to the original two-cylinder engine from the 1960s concept. The advanced 875cc engine is a high-performance motor designed with major innovations developed by Fiat for petrol engines. The “downsizing” technology reduces the engine power, the number of cylinder and the size of the engine, resulting in a drastic reduction in fuel consumption, offering a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 4 l/100km.

Particularly useful is the fact that Fiat 500 is available in manual and automatic. The five-speed manual transmission is a sheer delight to drive.

Safety and infotainment

The Fiat 500 life isn’t complete without a vast array of standard safety and convenience features that really do make a difference in your everyday urban adventures. ABS is standard across the range, as is Electronic Stability Control. For added convenience, the hill-holder will make you look like a pro on every uphill pull off.

On-board infotainment systems not only entertain, but connect with your lifestyle, enabling the biggest adventures and ease of convenience. Enjoy the UconnectTM seven-inch HD touchscreen with “tablet effect” and HD display that includes a range of function, including a hands-free system, Bluetooth technology, and voice recognition. Available with Apple CarPlay and Android AutoTM compatibility, the system has a user-friendly interface that will allow you to easily manage maps, music, contacts, and more.

The refreshed Fiat 500: As cool as you like

Model and pricing

  • Cult 0.9L - R219,900
  • Connect 0.9L - R260,900
  • Sport - 0.9L - R269,900
  • Dolcevita 0.9L - R274,900
  • Sport Cabriolet 0.9L - R319,900
  • Dolcevita Cabriolet 0.9 - R324,900

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on
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