Sometimes style over substance works and that is certainly the case with small European cars. Looks, neat interior design and expertly-crafted dimensions all combine to help certain cars charm us and work their way into our affections more than others. Car makers strive to guarantee that their models remain as desirable as possible, but many either don't quite have the gentle touch of finesse, the budget or, in some cases, the inclination. Here are three models that you will fall in love with before you even put the key into the ignition and fire them up:

Alfa Mito

Few car makers can claim to have broken the styling mould quite as many times as Alfa Romeo. With every new series of Top Gear, Clarkson and Hammond reaffirm their belief that you are not a true car enthusiast until you have owned an Alfa Romeo. Most of this viewpoint is based solely on the drive, but you can hardly argue with them when you consider the styling of the Mito either. When it first came along it simply shook up the small car market vigorously. Instead of focusing on practicality and durability, it worked hard on the looks to make sure it turned heads everywhere it went; especially in the voltage red it was marketed in. Fun in every way, the voluptuous front end and curvaceous boot just play second fiddle to the side mounted license plate and triangular grille.

Mini

The only car to truly break the Italian monopoly on cool and its even built on British soil, which it endears it to many. The word legend is banded around for too many cars, but the MINI is truly an icon; having revolutionised what we consider possible in affordable motoring and changing the perception of small cars forever. It may now be a much larger car under the stewardship of BMW, but the German car maker has never lost much of what made it so popular. Wide, longer and taller the MINI range still harps back to the design of the original with a semi-circle front grille, large rounded headlamps and instantly-recognisable back end. Inside the circular displays harp back to the past and continue the charm offensive looks of the MINI that has lost nothing with age.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 instantly became the most popular small car on its revamp in the last few years. It's the cute and quirky nature of the bubble car style looks that made the 500 an overnight success on British shores; with women heading out to buy one on finance at Carbase in their droves. The 500 is as much a fashion accessory as much as it is transportation with the interior reminiscent of an iPad; with the overload of white and connectivity abounding inside. The endless options for customisability help you stand out in the crowd with ease from special designs, colour choices and choice of interior trim.