2013 FIAT 500 Review
Pros & Cons
- Adorable styling
- excellent fuel economy with manual transmission
- surprisingly spacious for two people.
- Cramped front headroom with sunroof
- lackluster acceleration from base engine
- disappointing fuel economy with automatic
- convertible's poor top-down visibility.
List Price Range
$6,999 - $9,995
Used 500 for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I have held off on writing my review for a couple of years (so my car is actually a '13) in order to see how it fared over time. I don't think they have made many changes since them to the Abarth. I did not give it a poor rating on things like ride quality and storage simply because the car is great for what it is. The ride quality is very stiff due to the sport suspension, as is the steering. It's what I wanted and what I expected, so it has not disappointed me in these regards. It is also noisy due to the awesome exhaust (which one dealer told me is made by Ferrari). My only "poor" rating is on the visibility. Even looking out the front you have to be vigilant. There just isn't a lot of clarity no matter how you slice it. Two other things I do not like: no Bluetooth connect from phone to audio (unless calling someone) so if you want to listen to Pandora, you have to have cords. This is probably not the case if you get the navigation package. The other thing I do not like: terrible turning radius! Crazy. Feels like driving a boat when trying for a tight turn. These things being said, I thought that when I bought this car I would get tired of it after two months. It's loud, fun, stiff, small, fast, manual. I got it on lease for three years, so it was a gamble. Well, I have not tired of it at all. It has been great. You will get close to 40 mpg on the highway, and I average about 30 in mixed city driving. Also, I fit a Laz-y-Boy in the back! (Only because you can separate the seat from the back with a Laz-y-Boy.) This is not a super fast car, but it FEELS super fast and it is a blast to rocket around. I will say that the turbo lag is a bit much. I hear that it is not so obvious in the automatic transmission. Also, Fiat often offers some great deals. I got this as a lease so had to pay the list price. The same car was on sale for about $4,000 less when purchasing. So leasing may not be the most economical choice. I have noticed that a lot of American reviewers are pretty hard on Fiat. I don't know why. Consumer Reports rates them with awful reliability yet I have not had a single issue. I test drove the VW GTI, and that is a great car, but a whole different animal. The GTI is faster, way more refined in terms of ride quality, but the Abarth feels like it is made for rallycross and wants to chew something up. It is just bursting to go when you put it in sport mode. You can only get a sense of the Abarth by driving it and really pushing the pedal. Again, I'm not sure why it doesn't get amazing reviews, but I am not a car expert. One person described the driving experience as "driving an angry hornet." That is right on. On the highway, it holds very firm. I have driven it fair distances and been very comfortable, but again, it is quite loud. I would seriously consider getting another Abarth when my lease is up in 2016, but the girlfriend is not in favor. She says it makes her dizzy and it is too loud for us to talk on a road trip. Also, the racing seats are not conducive to her reclining to take a snooze while I drive. So....a word to the wise. In a nutshell, if you test drive this car and finish by getting out and telling yourself you feel like you just got out of a cocktail shaker, this may not be the car for you. If, on the other hand, you get out and you find yourself eager for more, then you know you have found your next car. It will not disappoint.
Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
After 2 months of ownership, I can tell you great things about my blue green Pop. It's retro styling is so fun--it makes me smile every time I see it. I love the manual transmission; it is fun to drive and very fuel efficient. I average 36.5 mpg combined, and reached 44mpg using premium gas on a highway only trip. I am still evaluating using premium gas in town, but performance is definitely worth it for a highway trip. The seats are comfortable, and I love all the manual climate control. The bluetooth works well from both front seats. The standard audio system is really good and versatile. There is good headroom without a sunroof for taller drivers.
Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
My 2012 Pop was a wonderful car and I enjoyed getting into it every day but I knew in the back of my mind that an Abarth would eventually end up in my garage. I waited for the 2013 model to arrive and then I went for a test drive - don't do this unless you are ready to buy one. The Abarth is everything I liked about the Pop raised to the tenth power. Comparing the Abarth to the Pop is like comparing an Alpina to a base 3 series BMW - you know the cars are related, but so many components have been upgraded that it is a completely different car. If you appreciate what FIAT has accomplished with the 500 you are going to love the Abarth.
Sport 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
I have now had the Fiat for 30 months. I still love the car. I have had no problems with it, and the dealership where I bought it gives great service. The only complaint that I have is that with the stock tires, that it does not do well in deep snow. This is only a problem on my street which is not plowed. If Fiat sold the awd 500x with the six speed in the US, I would buy one. After having had my Fiat 500 for two months, I feel that I know the car well, and can comment on it. This car replaced a turbo diesel car, so needing fast acceleration was not a requirement. The first week of ownership, I put mine and my wife's road bikes on the back and took off on a thousand mile drive to participate in a week long bike ride in Northern Idaho. We had to cross the continental divide, and drive over many types of roads. This car has extremely comfortable seats, and except for the extreme climbs, has enough power. We averaged 35 mpg, for the trip. Since then, it is averaging 35-39 mpg with mostly city driving. We have had no problems, great a/c, and no rattles. Love this CAR