FIAT 500 Review
The 2015 FIAT 500 ranks 26 out of 42 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the FIAT 500, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2015 FIAT 500 is ranked:
Test drivers write that the base Fiat 500 falls short with an underpowered engine and cheap interior materials, though they love the Fiat 500 Abarth’s thrilling performance.
The 2015 Fiat 500 comes with a four-cylinder engine that some reviewers say provides enough power for city driving. However, most agree that the base 500 feels underpowered on the highway. More powerful turbocharged engines are available in 500 Turbo and 500 Abarth models, and critics say that the 500 Turbo offers quick acceleration after some initial turbo lag, while the 500 Abarth earns praise for its abundant power. The base 500 gets an EPA-estimated 31/40 mpg city/highway, which is good for a subcompact car. The 2015 Fiat 500 also pleases reviewers with its good maneuverability in the city, though many note that its high center of gravity and dull steering result in ponderous handling on winding roads.
Most critics are disappointed by the 2015 Fiat 500’s cheap cabin materials, as well as its confusing audio and climate controls. However, auto writers report that the Fiat 500’s cabin has a unique and stylish design, and a few say that it’s built with materials that are better than expected considering the 500’s starting price. The Fiat 500 earns praise for offering a surprising amount of front-seat passenger space, though critics note that there’s not much room for cargo or back-seat passengers. The 2015 Fiat 500’s standard features include an auxiliary input and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Optional features include satellite radio, Alpine or Beats audio systems, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a sunroof and a TomTom navigation system.
- "By now, everyone knows the FIAT 500 as a small car that is primarily remembered for its unique looks and risqué television ads. The 2015 FIAT 500 offers a lot more than that, touting fuel-efficient powertrains, a modern interior, and in Turbo or Abarth guise, surprisingly impressive performance." -- AutoTrader
- "The 2015 Fiat 500 isn't the most practical or logical choice for an economy car. But what do you expect from something Italian? If you're shopping for a personable small car, the 500 is worth a look." -- Edmunds
- "Smaller than the Mini Cooper and Ford Fiesta, the 500's primary attraction are its playful attitude, impressive list of colors and features, attractive price and good fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
The Mini Cooper gets great fuel economy for the class, and test drivers report that it offers nimble handling and powerful turbocharged engine options. The Mini Hardtop also offers a bit more overall cargo space, and critics love its high-quality interior materials.
The Chevrolet Sonic is available with a long list of available features, and reviewers are pleased with its spacious rear seats and large trunk. The Sonic also earns praise for its poised handling and responsive, optional turbocharged engine.
Details: 2015 Fiat 500
The 2015 Fiat 500 seats four and has front-wheel drive. A 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission are standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. The Fiat 500 is available as a three-door hatchback or a convertible (500c), and comes in Pop, Sport, Lounge, Turbo and Abarth trims. The 500 gets a few updates for 2015, but has not been fully redesigned since it was introduced for the 2012 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 through the current model year.