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Summer in the City – the best urban run-arounds

By raccars Published

Fiat 500

We recommend the best low-cost buys for short city trips

Every car manufacturer is moving away from big fuel-guzzling engines to more efficient ones. The new generation of Porsche Boxsters and Caymans (named the 718) might look like their predecessors, but they are powered by a more traditional four cylinder engine (albeit with turbocharger). Meanwhile the latest Land Rover Discovery Sport went from a 2.2 litre to a 2.0 litre diesel, still delivering a dizzying 53mpg for a seven seat SUV!

This week I am more interested at the other end of the scale – small, efficient city runabouts. At the weekend I was driving a Fiat 500 TwinAir – an incredible combination of stylish Italian looks, a surprising amount of internal space, very classy dashboard – all powered by a tiny 875cc two cylinder but turbocharged engine. You won’t be surprised that its fuel-efficient – achieving almost 70mpg – but I was more surprised that it cruised comfortably at 70 miles an hour and handled like a ‘proper’ car. We have close to 4,000 Fiat 500s for sale on www.raccars.co.uk, with prices ranging right down to £2,989

There are plenty of other city cars to choose from – Vauxhall Viva, Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo and the Hyundai i10. My personal favourite is the Volkswagen Up! – a quirky little run-around available in a number of different trims (high up!, rock up!, move up!) that echo how Mini have transformed the small car market. The Up! can’t quite match the Fiat 500 for style but it’s still a very attractive package – comfortable, economical and feeling a little more upmarket than its fellow brands from the VW family (Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo). My personal favourite would be the Up! Available from RAC Approved Dealer Carbase in Lympsham, a 2013 model with 30,000 miles on the clock for just £6,354

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

Robert Diamond

Managing Director, RAC Motoring Services

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