2012 FIAT 500 Consumer Review: Don't be fooled ... check thes

2012 FIAT 500 Hatchback - Consumer Review

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21 of 50 people found this review helpful
Don't be fooled ... check these out first
By archi2 on


2012 FIAT 500 Lounge 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)


I bought my 2012 Fiat 500 Lounge in May 2011 and traded it in in July 2011.
I continued to have problems with the vehicle since my purchase.
Lemon? The service manager says it would take up to a year before it would even qualify as a lemon.
I had 8 problems to be resolved at my first visit with the Fiat mechanic.
Only one was resolved - the clicking noise on the driver door whenever opening.
Apparently a loose screw.
The other seven? The Fiat mechanic says for all seven, "Normal Condition.
No Fix."
The worst of the seven was being thrown around in a freeway lane, and not because of trucks or wind.

Best Features

The Fiat has a great exterior and interior look. The main flaw is that the passenger window does not roll down all the way. If you rest your arm on the window sill, expect a 1/4" of the window digging into your arm. The Bose system is excellent except that it does not let you navigate through your iPod to play certain playlists or songs.

Worst Features

Fix the alignment for better handling. Fix the organic brakes so it doesn't squeal after only 4000 miles. Give it a better passing gear because there is none. Better workmanship so you don't have door problems at your purchase. Better design for windows so that it rolls down all the way. Fix idle so that you can go into gear as soon as you start your engine rather than wait for 15 seconds. Find a way to cut down on wind noise. Better accessory options especially for roof racks. My car came with no manual explaining all the gadgets and gizmos.
Recommend (21) (29)

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Comments (5) Post a Comment
By pd14_98
on 08/16/11 06:57 AM (PDT)

Indeed to readers of this article: Don't be fooled (by this review) Check these cars out for yourself !! To react to some info about this review: the full explanatory owner's manual is stored on a DVD that comes with every car. This should be no problem to peruse since reading while driving is hazardous. But if you are pulled over and want to read about something, there is also an physical quick-reference booklet that does explain how to use all of the features. Reviewer, did you check your glove box? This is all included with your car. Additionally, Fiat has created a handy mobile app with a mini version of the owners manual. If you are interested in more accessory options, feel free to visit a car accessory store. I bought a 500 Sport and was not thrilled with the $700 price of the trailer hitch + bike rack + installation at the dealer, so I shopped around and bought an excellent new "Thule" brand one for $200 at a roof rack dealer. Just do your research. The iPod navigation is controlled through the Blue & Me bluetooth option. So if you get the excellent Bose system without the bluetooth, you will need to control your iPod with your hand, using USB plug or audio AUX in. The 1/4 inch of window that sticks out is only a small sliver that runs about 6-8" along the sill. It's a rounded tip so yes your arm will touch it if you are hanging your elbow out the window, but "digging in" is an exaggeration. This is a "tall" little car, so this design feature may be uncomfortable for you, but I guess it is a compromise to allow for such large, tall windows in a small car. I cannot comment on the Automatic transmission, but handling, gear changing and downshifting for passing are excellent with the stickshift, even on the highway, even in rain. I seriously doubt that it takes you 15 seconds to get the car to move from a stop.

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By nolalou
on 10/14/11 08:54 AM (PDT)

I've had my Fiat 500 Sport (manual transmission) for about 2 1/2 months now, and have only had one problem, the same as reported by this reviewer with the clicking sound when opening the driver side door. I noticed this was due to a loose screw that I fixed by tightening with an Allen wrench. Took me 5 seconds to fix. I've had none of the other problems reported by this reviewer.

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By freefall1
on 12/21/11 07:59 AM (PST)

Traded mine in too after a couple of months and took a huge financial hit. These cars won't hold their value. It was a sport that had one problem after another, finally having to be towed in for a week long service visit. It's a thrill being stranded by the side of the road. Granted, mine could have been a lemon too, but that doesn't make me feel any better. As fun as it was to look at, it was a pain to own.

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By mysonsmom
on 03/06/12 12:13 PM (PST)

jchasp59 ... Perhaps you could contact that case manager at kathy.nelson@chrysler.com, or katherine.nelson@chrysler.com ... it's worth a shot. Or try calling Chrysler in Auburn Hills. Good luck!

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By jchasp59
on 03/01/12 08:02 AM (PST)

Read my post! I discovered my Fiat leaking 3 days after purchase (12/22/2011) due to body seams left unwelded and unpainted during manufacture, around the windshield and from the A pillars, forward. Then, it developed electrical problems. Couldn't possibly be safe in this condition. Chrysler/Fiat granted me a replacement car. It's been on the dealers lot since 02/10/2012, with no promise of when I'll finally receive it. I got a lemon. I have a Fiat Case Manager, Kathy Nelson, but no way to contact her. Fiat Customer Service is of no help whatsoever. Beyond buyers remorse, here!

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