Fiat 500 Review
The 2013 Fiat 500 ranks 18 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 60 published reviews and test drives of the Fiat 500, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Fiat 500 is ranked:
Many reviewers think the 2013 Fiat 500 is one of the most attractive cars on the road, but its tight interior and underpowered base engine make competitors more appealing choices.
There are several things reviewers dislike about the 500’s powertrain. The base 500’s four-cylinder engine produces 101 horsepower. Though this isn’t much horsepower for the class, several test drivers say it’s just enough power to help the 500 scoot around town, although taking the 500 on the highway is a different story. Reviewers think the 2013 Fiat 500 is easily overwhelmed by crosswinds on the highway. Critics also mention that the 500’s ride is a little bumpy, but don’t think it’s too uncomfortable. On the other hand, the Fiat 500 Abarth, which has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a standard five-speed manual transmission, impresses reviewers with its power. For the 2013 model year, there’s also a new 500 Turbo, which also has a turbocharged engine and a five-speed manual transmission, but the automotive press hasn’t evaluated this model yet. Regardless of the model they drove, test drivers are impressed with the 500's standard manual transmission and optional six-speed automatic, calling them smooth and responsive. Reviewers also like that each model has engaging steering and say the 500 is very easy to park.
The 2013 Fiat 500 doesn’t have much cabin or cargo space. The Fiat 500 seats four people, but reviewers find that the second-row seats have limited knee- and legroom for adults. They report that the front seats, however, have plenty of room for adults, though cabrio (convertible) models may not have enough headroom for tall drivers and front passengers. Test drivers also say that rear visibility is poor. Critics aren’t surprised that the 500 has little cargo space with the seats up, but think the available room is decent for a trip to the grocery store. The base model comes standard with an auxiliary input, USB port and Bluetooth. Optional features include two stereo upgrades, satellite radio and a navigation system. Overall, many reviewers think the 500’s features are rather hard to use.
- "Even the most basic Fiat 500 is brimming with European personality. All are fun to drive, with the Abarth being among the most engaging cars in its price class. We especially love that model's throaty exhaust." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 500 packs fresh styling, decent value and handling dynamics that come close to the venerable Mini Cooper’s." -- Cars.com (2012)
- "I found the car perfectly able, cleverly designed with fun touches, like the round headrests, and enjoyable to drive. It neither wowed me nor left me flat." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The Mini Cooper Hardtop is a good choice if you want a small, retro-styled hatchback that’s fast and agile. Though some reviewers say the base Cooper’s engine needs more power for the highway, they are impressed with the turbocharged engines in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. These Cooper models are fun-to-drive, but the 500 has more overall cargo space and costs less.
If you need more space than the Mini Hardtop or Fiat 500 offer, check out the Volkswagen Golf. This hatchback is available with two or four doors, and regardless of the body style they drove, test drivers were impressed with the rear passenger space, saying adults fit comfortably. Choosing the Golf also means that you don’t have to sacrifice performance. It’s considered one of the most entertaining models in the class.
Details: 2013 Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is available in base, 500c Abarth and 500c Abarth models. The base model comes in Pop, Sport, Lounge and Turbo trims. The 500c, which is a convertible, comes in Pop and lounge models. All models have a four-cylinder engine, but the 500 Turbo and 500 Abarth have turbocharged engines. Each model has a standard five-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic is only optional with the base engine. The Fiat 500 was first introduced for the 2012 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 and 2013.