Road test: Fiat 500 Colour Therapy

500 Colour TherapyJames Batchelor

Fiat has created a very groovy version of its 500 which celebrates the 1970s. Is it any good?

What is it?
It's very simple really – the oh so retro Fiat 500 which normally evokes a happy 1960s, has been shoved into the seventies to celebrate all that was good about that flared-trouser era. So 500 Colour Therapy models get groovy detailing such as white wing mirrors, a white aerial, natty little white and chrome wheel trims and a poolball gearknob. 500 Colour Therapy cars also come with special ignition key covers, and come in a 1970s range of colours: New Age Cream, Countrypolitan Yellow, Pasodoble Red, Volare Blue, and Tech House Grey. You can have the Colour Therapy as a 500 or as a 500C convertible.
What's under the bonnet?
Fancy a 500 Colour Therapy? Well, you can only choose a petrol-engined one. Fiat's famous 0.9-litre TwinAir is available, so too is the perennial 1.2-litre. Our test car was the TwinAir and this engine's distinctive engine note suits the fun 70s feeling. Don't expect it to reach the claimed 70.6mpg, though – we barely exceeded 40mpg. There's a choice of five-speed or Fiat's Dualogic gearbox.

What's the kit like?
On top of all those special vintage features, Colour Therapy versions are based on the 500 Pop model. So as standard you get air conditioning, electric mirrors, electric windows and MP3 connectivity. Colour Therapy models cost £800 more than Pops (but adds more than £1,000 worth of extra equipment); prices are: £10,760 for the 1.2 manual, £11,510 for the 1.2 Dualogic, TwinAir manual costs £11,960 and the TwinAir Dualogic costs £12,710. 500C models cost an extra £2,550-£2,660 depending on engine or bodystyle.

500 Colour TherapyJames Batchelor

Any rivals?
No other supermini so enthusiastically celebrates the 1970s, but in terms of stylish chic, the 500's closest rivals are the Mini, the Citroen DS3 and the forthcoming Vauxhall Adam. They all cost more, so it really comes down to where your retro sympathies lie and how much you want to pay.

Is it any good?
The 500 is ideal around town. The light steering and the rather perched up high seating position make the 500 a doddle to sneak through city streets. But anywhere other than the town and the handling becomes all roly-poly and the ride is too bouncy.

The AOL Cars verdict
Fiat has sold more than 100,000 500s in the UK, so this new special edition may appear to be yet another way of shifting more of them. But you cannot deny this car has character, and with Colour Therapy models only costing £800 more than the standard cars, we think it'll be a hit.

The knowledge
Model: Fiat 500 Colour Therapy TwinAir
Price: £11,960
Engine: 0.9-litre, turbo petrol
Power: 85bhp, 145Nm
Max speed: 108mph
0-60mph: 10.8s
MPG (comb'd): 70.6
Emissions: 92g/km

Fiat 500 Colour Therapy
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Road test: Fiat 500 Colour Therapy
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