2012 FIAT 500 Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2012 FIAT 500 - Road Test Specs

2012 FIAT 500 Hatchback

(1.4L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)


Model year2012
StyleSport 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
Base MSRP$18,000
Options on test vehiclePower Sunroof ($850); Automatic Temperature Control With Micron Filter ($150); Quick Order Package 21D ($0 -- includes standard equipment, Nero/Grigio [black/gray] seats).
As-tested MSRP$19,000


Drive typeFront-wheel Drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated port-injected inline-4, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,368/83
Block/head materialCast iron/aluminum
ValvetrainSOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)10.8
Redline (rpm)6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)101 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)98 @ 4,000
Fuel typePremium unleaded (recommended)
Transmission typeFive-speed manual
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 3.91; II = 2.16; III = 1.35; IV = 0.97; V = 0.77; R = 3.82


Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearTorsion beam, coil springs, twin-tube dampers
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering with two settings
Steering ratio (x:1)16.3
Tire brandPirelli
Tire modelCinturato P7
Tire typeAll-season front and rear
Tire size, frontP195/45R16 84H
Tire size, rearP195/45R16 84H
Wheel size16-by-6.5 inches front and rear
Wheel materialCast aluminum
Brakes, front10.1-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brakes, rear9.4-inch solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers

Track Test Results

Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)3.2
0-45 mph (sec.)6.3
0-60 mph (sec.)10.8
0-75 mph (sec.)17.0
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.7 @ 76.4
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)10.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)29
60-0 mph (ft.)115
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)68.4
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.86
Sound level @ idle (dB)44.5
@ Full throttle (dB)77.5
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)68.2

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsEven slower than we suspected. Sport button increases throttle response, but had minimal effect on pure acceleration. The 500 revs slowly, and it doesn't help that a 2-3 shift is required before 60 mph. Rev limiter frustratingly starts to cut in just past 6,000 rpm in 1st gear, at 6,500 in 2nd (redline is 6,750). Five-speed shifter has long throws but positive gates. Best run came with 3,800-rpm launch.
Braking ratingGood
Braking commentsPowerful brakes give impressively short stopping distances for a car with all-season tires (of course, it helps that the 500 is so light). Firm pedal. Significant nosedive, but only a minor amount of wiggle toward the end of the stop. No fade.
Handling ratingGood
Handling commentsSkid pad: A lot of body roll and understeer here. Felt like it wanted to spin up the inside front tire a bit with ESC in its "partial off" setting (there's no true Off). Chassis was only somewhat receptive to drop-throttle. With ESC on, system cut throttle to the point you could keep your right foot planted around the circle. Sport button increases steering response, but it doesn't make a dramatic difference. Slalom: This Fiat may not be quick, but it sure changes direction well. Steering is well-weighted and communicative, and the chassis is balanced. Although ESC can only be partially defeated, the system has very high limits and I'm not sure you could go a whole lot faster if it was all-off. Obviously the 500 is aided around the cones by its narrowness and short wheelbase.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)421
Temperature (°F)51.1
Relative humidity (%)73.4
Wind (mph, direction)1.62 crosswind

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)30 city/38 highway/33 combined
Edmunds observed (mpg)28 worst/34.8 best/30.3 average (over 1,269 miles)
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)10.5

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,350
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)2,438
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)63/37
Length (in.)139.6
Width (in.)64.1
Height (in.)59.8
Wheelbase (in.)90.6
Track, front (in.)55.4
Track, rear (in.)55.0
Legroom, front (in.)40.7
Legroom, rear (in.)31.7
Headroom, front (in.)37.6
Headroom, rear (in.)35.6
Shoulder room, front (in.)49.4
Shoulder room, rear (in.)46.4
Seating capacity4
Cargo volume (cu-ft)9.5
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)30.1


Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion4 years/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance4 years/Unlimited miles
Free scheduled maintenance3 years/36,000 miles


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsDual front
Head airbagsFront and rear
Knee airbagsDriver only
Antilock brakesFour-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsElectronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlTraction control
Stability controlStability control
Tire-pressure monitoring systemTire-pressure monitoring
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
IIHS offsetNot tested

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