The small car thinking big

If you're looking for an excuse to blow your scrappage allowance, the Fiat 500 Convertible has now officially hit our shores.

In effect, it's more of an open roof than a conventional open top - the canvas ceiling recedes in three stages via two buttons above the rear-view mirror, a direct update on the original 1957 Nuova 500 which similarly featured a roof and rear window that folded all the way to the rear-mounted engine. 

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Retaining the central pillars is good news for stability as the tiny 500 feels more robust than it should without a lid and potential problems like wind noise aren't an issue. The 1.2 litre entry level 'Pop' edition starts at £11,300 - £3,000 more than the standard model - and for that you get aircon, better interior trim and, of course, the very big sunroof.

With just 68bhp, this is a car for pootling not posing, but for that job it's pretty well suited. www.fiat.co.uk

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