Used 2019 FIAT 500
Pros & Cons
- Nimble size for easy parking
- Fairly comfortable ride quality for a car of this size
- Lots of personality for the price
- Disappointing fuel economy given the slow acceleration
- Cramped interior
- Poor rear visibility with the convertible's top lowered
- Abarth model isn't very quick or much fun
Which 500 does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2019 Fiat 500 answers a very specific question: What do you buy if you want a tiny car that combines a bit of nostalgia with distinct European styling? As a two-door subcompact, the 500 is certainly small. And with styling cues that clearly harken back to the original Fiat 500 of the 1950s, it's got the nostalgia and styling angle handled. But how does it do as a modern daily driver? That answer isn't as rosy.
To the 500's credit, it's one of the easiest cars you'll ever park. Its scant dimensions make it ideal for crowded cities, and its nimble nature lends an advantage in traffic. Unfortunately, those same dimensions mean your people-carrying space is limited. Most adults in the front seat will be relatively comfortable, but the back seat is basically a glorified shelf. The trunk is just as small.
Under the hood, the 500 gets an equally tiny turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It provides a certain amount of personality that helps the 500 feel eager and spritely around town, but the reality is that the 500 is still one of the slowest cars in the segment. Fuel economy is disappointing as well.
Ultimately, the 2019 Fiat 500 is an interesting option for subcompact shoppers, but it's not our first choice. Competitors are less expensive in many cases and offer more amenities. If you need a bit more space, we recommend looking at four-door subcompacts such as the Kia Rio or the Honda Fit. And if you've got your heart set on a two-door city car, we suggest looking at the standard Mini Cooper or even an electric Fiat 500e, which we prefer to the gasoline-powered model.
FIAT 500 models
The 2019 Fiat 500 is a small city car with seating for four, although the rear seats are only suitable for very small children. It's available as a two-door hatchback or convertible (Fiat calls this the 500C) that uses fixed roof rails and a folding center portion. Three trim levels are available: Pop, Lounge and Abarth.
All three trims are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic is optional. In the Pop and Lounge models, the engine produces 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Abarth models receive a modest but noticeable power bump: 160 hp and 170 lb-ft.
Standard features for the Pop trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, hill start assist, heated mirrors, foglights, keyless locking and unlocking, air conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver's seat, a 7-inch color driver information display, 50/50-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cargo cover, and Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment interface with a 5-inch center touchscreen, Bluetooth, voice controls, and a six-speaker Alpine audio system with an auxiliary audio input and two USB ports (one for mobile device integration, the other for charging). The Pop convertible also comes with rear parking sensors.
The Lounge trim is a bit more luxury-oriented so it includes all of the above, plus chrome exterior trim, a fixed glass roof, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery and satellite radio.
At the top of the Fiat 500 food chain is the performance-focused Abarth. It includes the parking sensors from the Lounge and adds a more powerful engine, a rear spoiler, sportier suspension tuning, upgraded brakes with red-painted calipers, a performance exhaust system, distinctive exterior and interior styling tweaks, premium cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a sport steering wheel and front floor mats.
Some of the Lounge's extra features can be added to the Pop and the Abarth as options. Other notable options include a 1957 Edition package (special colors and badging), a sunroof for coupe models, 17-inch wheels for the Abarth, a BeatsAudio sound system, a navigation system, and a variety of exterior and interior styling enhancements.
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Our experts like the 500 models:
- ParkSense Rear Park Assist System
- Sounds an alert as the Fiat 500 approaches an object behind the car.
- ParkView Rear Backup Camera
- Displays an image of the area directly behind the car in the central touchscreen.
- Hill Start Assist
- Keeps the brakes applied even after you let your foot off the pedal while on a hill to prevent rolling backward.
Fiat 500 vs. the competition
2019 Fiat 500
2019 Mini Hardtop 2 Door
Fiat 500 vs. Mini Hardtop 2 Door
Between the 500 and the Mini Hardtop, our choice is definitely the Mini. The Mini is roomier and more powerful yet is still nimble enough for easy parking. You'll have to pay more to get a Hardtop, but but we think it's worth the cost.
Fiat 500 vs. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul is completely redesigned for 2020. But in the last year of this generation, we still recommend the 2019 Kia Soul over the Fiat 500. Sure, it's larger and has four doors, but the Kia Soul is still small and maneuverable. Plus, it's priced reasonably and has a more appealing mix of features.
Fiat 500 vs. Kia Rio
Full of modern tech and lots of standard features, the 2019 Kia Rio is one of our favorite small hatchbacks. It has sporty handling characteristics along with an affordable price. It is also well-built for such an inexpensive car. As is the case with the Soul, the Rio is four doors, so it won't fit in some of the same tiny places that the Fiat 500 will.
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Is the FIAT 500 a good car?
What's new in the 2019 FIAT 500?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 FIAT 500:
- New 1957 Edition exterior and interior appearance package
- Part of the first 500 generation introduced for 2012
Is the FIAT 500 reliable?
Is the 2019 FIAT 500 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2019 FIAT 500?
The least-expensive 2019 FIAT 500 is the 2019 FIAT 500 Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $16,245.
Other versions include:
- Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M) which starts at $16,245
- Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M) which starts at $20,495
- Lounge 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M) which starts at $19,745
- Retro 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M) which starts at $19,745