Steve wasnít sold, concerned about visibility if you donít use your mirrors:*ďA lot of blind spots, when you look out thereís serious blind spots,Ē he said.
But there was an upside for Steve: ďFor itís size thereís a lot of room in here.Ē
We had intended to take a lower-spec variant along with us, but instead of the Pop, we ended up with the Lounge. This three-door, four-seater is*quite small and has excellent fuel economy, just 3.9L/100km. Itís powered by a 0.9-litre two-cylinder engine so it does sound a little different, too.
Like the Swift it has a knee airbag but its curtain Ďbags only extend to the door pillar. Itís covered by Fiatís three-year/150,000km warranty. Though we had the top-spec Lounge variant on the day, right now you can get the 500 Pop from just $15,000 drive-away.
Interestingly the Lounge variant we had is off-limits to P-platers because of itís turbocharged engine. Yes, that tiny little car with a two-cylinder engine is a no-no. For now, P-platers would have to buy either the Pop or the 500S.
The regulations are about to undergo an overhaul, thankfully. Austroads has approved a new policy that isnít based on the engineís number of cylinders or whether the engine is turbocharged or supercharged. New legislation based on power-to-mass ratio is expected to be rolled out, but until then the only option is to apply for an exemption.
If youíre in the market for a new small car youíre spoilt for choice. This is a snapshot of four of the cars weíd recommend for new drivers, but there are plenty more worth considering.


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