FACTS AT A GLANCE Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir 85hp Cult, £14,720 Engine: 0.8-litre petrol unit producing 84bhp and 107lb/ft of torque Transmission: Five-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels Performance: Top speed 107mph, 0-62mph in 11 seconds Economy: 70.6mpg combined Emissions: 92g/km of CO2

THE 500 has been a sales hit for Fiat so understandably the changes are modest rather than radical.

A new range-topping Cult model has been introduced to offer buyers a bit more luxury and exclusivity, while a more powerful version of the clever two-cylinder TwinAir engine is now also available. Cult models get a tweaked exterior too, with additional chrome trim and a unique alloy wheel design as well as increased colour options, whilst on the inside there’s leather on the seats. Cult models also get a new instrument set up with a TFT display, with this set up available as an option on other models in the range.

The reason the Fiat 500 is still selling so well is because of those perfectly rendered looks. It’s an obvious reimagining of the original Cinquecento for the 21st Century and despite being largely unchanged it still makes you want to pick it up and pet it because it’s so cute and cuddly.

Those looks dominate the 500’s image and as a result it is sometimes unfairly labelled as a ‘girl’s’ car, but whether you’re female or male the little Fiat has charm and style.

The 500 remains a city car at heart, and while it’s perfectly capable of doing more than just nipping around town it’s worth remembering that it is a small car on the inside too.

Front seat occupants don’t do too badly, although the driving position might seem a little old school at first. However in the back it’s a bit more of a squeeze and only shorter adults and children will be able to get comfortable. Boot space is relatively modest at 185 litres with the seats up but the space is well-shaped.

The 105hp output TwinAir might be the most desirable option but don’t write off the 85hp version. Coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox it has the same healthy 107lb.ft of torque as the 105 model and the result is that the 500 has a remarkable turn of speed. The little two-pot has a thrummy, eager tone and once the turbocharger starts to strut its stuff it hurries along with real vigour. Its size means it has that small-car manoeuvrability that makes them such fun in and out of town and it can do the dull things too; parking is easy and the major controls work well. On longer journeys at higher speed the engine noise can be a little wearing, but it’s a minor issue.

The new TFT screen is a big improvement too, offering up information more easily and looking a lot smarter than the old LED display. It’s a worthwhile upgrade on lesser models.

The range-topping Cult model has a relatively high sticker price - £14,720 in 85hp form and another £600 for the higher output engine, but the Cult comes with a lot of kit as a result. Rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, leather, climate control and that TFT screen. However the entry-level Pop model starts at just over £10,000 and you can get the TwinAir engine in Colour Therapy models starting at just over £12,000.

The Fiat 500 is a car for anyone. Singles, families, retired couples, urban hipsters; it’s easy to drive and blessed with style and presence above its price tag, enough to give it that universal appeal. Thrusting young males might think it too effeminate but they can go and buy some silly ego special instead.

This car summed up in a single word: Charming If this car was an…: animal it would definitely be a puppy; small, cute and utterly loveable.