GOOD looking and fun to drive – the electric Fiat 500 is a likeable little car.

So long as you’re not hoping to carry loads of passengers or luggage, there’s plenty to recommend this small electric vehicle.

My test car came with the larger 42kWh battery, offering a respectable range between charges, while the 117bhp motor provided a 0-62mph time of nine seconds.

In a smaller car with no engine noise, that acceleration felt pretty zippy, especially with the immediate power delivery offered by electric vehicles.

The 500 also proved agile and nimble when cornering, while peak torque in the 220Nm region provided a notable boost to the car’s performance.

It’s a vehicle that appeals to those with a sense of fun, but who don’t necessarily need lightening acceleration.

Bicester Advertiser: The Fiat 500 pictured next to Digley Reservoir in Kirklees, West YorkshireThe Fiat 500 pictured next to Digley Reservoir in Kirklees, West Yorkshire

The problem with putting the 500 or any EV through its paces is the rapid loss of battery charge, so the Fiat is still best suited to a relaxed driving style in its natural urban habitat.

Less expensive versions come with the shorter-range 24kWh battery, giving around 100 miles of real world range.

However, the Icon version tested here, starting from just under £28,000, was equipped with the larger 42kWh battery, offering over 170 miles of range.

It can be charged on a normal domestic output or through a rapid charger.

Bicester Advertiser: The 500 pictured near the border between West Yorkshire and the High Peak of Derbyshire The 500 pictured near the border between West Yorkshire and the High Peak of Derbyshire

In terms of looks, it has a distinctive and cute appearance. If it was a kitten or puppy, you’d want to give it a cuddle! The adorable eye-shaped headlights seem to have an almost human quality to them, further adding to the 500’s charm.

Fiat 500 models have been evolving over the years, but its traditional rounded body-style remains instantly recognisable. The rear spoiler is another nice design flourish, while the 17-inch alloy wheels on this model completed the stylish look.

Once inside, you’re greeted with a cabin that isn’t short of equipment.

Bicester Advertiser: The 500 has a well laid-out and smart interior The 500 has a well laid-out and smart interior

A large and wide-looking 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen includes such features as satnav, radio, phone connectivity and details on the vehicle’s current charging status, including how long it would take to charge the vehicle to 100 per cent.

There’s also a TFT seven-inch digital instrument cluster.

Two tone grey seats create a striking effect, with the darker material contrasting nicely with the lighter grey central section. Another nice touch is the 500 decal stitched into the back of the seats.

Bicester Advertiser: The 500 badge on the seats The 500 badge on the seats

The plastic running across the central part of the dash matches the car’s external paintwork, providing a feeling of uniformity.

There’s plenty of decent storage space for oddments, including a deep pocket between the two front seats, and a convenient ledge beneath the touchscreen where a phone could be placed near a USB port.

Legroom in the front is good, although six footers may notice their head pressed against the roof at times.

Things are very tight in the back, and you wouldn’t have much chance of sitting one tall person behind another due to restricted legroom.

Bicester Advertiser: The rear of the 500The rear of the 500

The fixed panoramic sunroof, which came as an extra option on my test car, looks to be worth the extra investment as it floods the cabin with light and creates a more airy ambience.

All in all, the 500 remains a quirky, fun and appealing little car. It feels more 'on message' than ever as it's also doing its bit for the environment.

The Lowdown

Fiat 500 hatchback Icon 87 KW 118HP
MAX POWER: 118hp
TOP SPEED: 93mph
ACCELERATION: 0-62mph in 9 seconds