Like purchasing a pair of Jimmy Choos, no-one buys the Fiat 500 for the comfort of the ride – it’s all about the old-school styling, the iconic status and the lure of la dolce vita.
But behind the squeal-worthy European-styled interiors and nostalgic nods to its past, the best additions to the newest models – either the baseline Pop or the flagship Lounge - are all in the tech.
The headline inclusion is the arrival of Fiat’s integrated Uconnect touchscreen – updating the distinctly retro dash in one cool move. Voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, integrated voice control and USB ports all help to deliver a more modern vibe.
But the Fiat 500 has always been about the cool factor. From its chrome-tastic front grille, the classic round headlights, leather-trimmed steering wheel, circular headrests and piped upholstery trim that would look at home in a ’50s diner, this is a car that knows how to stand out in a crowd.
Up the ante even further courtesy of customisations, from the exterior colour (Mint-Milkshake anyone?) to the interior trim inserts, headrests and even soft-top roof colours in the 500C range.
For the single city-slicker wanting a zippy runaround that can slot into the tiniest of parking spots (the teeny 500 is just under 3.6 metres in length), it ticks all the boxes. Despite its small stature, the driver sits surprisingly high in the seat adding a feeling of air and space in the compact interior - no doubt helped along by the addition of a light-diffusing sunroof, which is a must-have.
And while the booming micro-car range in Australia undoubtedly boasts similar vehicles with potentially more bells and whistles (like, say, a sun-visor mirror!), none offers the unique emotional tug of a wistful, Insta-perfect European summer holiday. That would only be Fiat.