2012 Fiat 500 Video Review | Edmunds

2012 Fiat 500 Video Review

This 2012 Fiat 500 video review talks about fuel economy, interior space and comfort, features, safety and trim levels like the Abarth. We compare it to other small hatchbacks and let you know if it's worth buying instead of bigger, more conventional subcompact cars.

Style is a big part of the Fiat's appeal. The cabin looks surprisingly upscale, but many of the plastics feel cheap. Bluetooth is standard. It's easy to set up, but the car's minimalist control interface makes it tough to troubleshoot connection problems. A USB input is also standard.

This car is small, 7 inches shorter than a Mini Cooper. Even so, most people will be able to get comfortable up front, but don't order the sunroof if you're tall as it really reduces headroom.

Rear-seat headroom is tight no matter what. Kids will fit, but the Fiat's crash-test performance might give you pause. The government gave the cars three out of five stars overall, but just two stars for rear side-impact crash safety. Cargo capacity is pretty good, with more space behind the rear seat than the Mini.

This is absolutely not a quick car, but you won't really notice in the city and the car's small size makes it a breeze to maneuver. That said, we highly recommend the manual transmission if you can manage it. It makes the car more fun and more fuel-efficient with ratings of 30 city/38 highway/33 combined mpg. With an automatic transmission, it drops to 27 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg. On the highway, the Fiat 500 can be noisy, with a choppy ride on rough pavement. In these situations, you might also wish you'd splurged on the higher-performance 500 Abarth model, which gives you more power for passing and merging.

What the Fiat 500 lacks in speed and polish, it makes up for in personality. Plus it's cheaper than a Mini Cooper. However, cars like the Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent offer more room and better acceleration, so you have to know what you want.

For more information, please read the Edmunds Fiat 500 Review.

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