2016 FIAT 500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Fun and distinctive styling
  • returns good fuel economy when equipped with the manual transmission
  • surprisingly spacious for two people.
  • The sunroof severely limits front headroom
  • lethargic acceleration from base engine
  • disappointing fuel economy with automatic transmission
  • poor rear visibility with the convertible's top lowered.
Other years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

If we had to sum up the 2016 Fiat 500 in three words, they would be cute, stylish and fun. The 500 has so much personality that it's hard not to crack a smile whenever you approach one in the parking lot. Learn more about Fiat's people pleaser below.

Vehicle overview

There are plenty of fuel-efficient small cars on the market today, but only a few of them clearly stand out from the crowd. A prime example is the 2016 Fiat 500. Fiat brought its cheeky Cincquecento ("500" in Italian) to the United States after acquiring Chrysler to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Now in its sixth year on our shores, the Fiat 500 continues to challenge the status quo with its distinctly Italian flair. Offered in hatchback and convertible body styles, numerous trim levels and specifications ranging from economical to downright sporty, the 500 is an endearingly offbeat alternative to the usual subcompact suspects.

The 2016 Fiat 500 brings Italian flair and a slew of trim levels to the small-car market.

Unfortunately, the 2016 500 carries on with some disappointing traits that have been around since the car's introduction. Taller front occupants in the 500 have to deal with limited headroom if the sunroof is specified, while the rear seats are best suited to small children on short trips. Cargo capacity is also modest, especially in the convertible. Speaking of the convertible, its top greatly restricts rear sight lines when retracted, as it folds into a prominent pile above the backseat. Acceleration in non-turbo models is snooze-inducing, and while we welcome the arrival of a standard 5-inch touchscreen infotainment interface for 2016, the interior is still outfitted with mostly low-quality materials.

If you walk away from your test-drive with similar reservations, know that the Fiat 500 isn't the only small car with a sense of style. The Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle are direct competitors and they boast stronger powertrains and nicer cabins, although they're also more expensive. The Ford Fiesta is another well-rounded rival with a couple of interesting turbocharged engine options, while the Honda Fit trumps them all with its incredibly versatile interior. But the 2016 Fiat 500 still manages to cram a lot of fashion and fun into a conveniently small package, and is likely worth checking out as part of your subcompact shopping process.

2016 FIAT 500 models

The 2016 Fiat 500 is available as either a hatchback or a convertible. The hatchback is offered in six trim levels: Pop, Easy, Sport, Turbo, Lounge and Abarth. The convertible version, called the 500C, comes in Pop, Easy, Lounge and Abarth trims, and it features a three-position power cloth top. An all-electric version, the 500e, is reviewed separately.

The 1957 Edition's formerly exclusive midcentury paint scheme is more widely available on the 2016 Fiat 500.

Standard features for the base Pop trim include 15-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, 50/50-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel and Fiat/Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment interface with a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, 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 Easy is essentially a version of the Pop with 15-inch alloy wheels, premium cloth upholstery, a 7-inch color driver information display (a stand-alone option on Pop models) and an upgraded six-speaker Alpine audio system.

The Sport hatchback adds 16-inch alloy wheels, sporty exterior styling touches, red-painted brake calipers, foglamps, a sport-tuned suspension and exhaust system, front sport seats and a sport steering wheel.

The Turbo hatchback tacks on a more powerful engine, bigger brakes, gloss black exterior lighting trim, upgraded cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped shift knob, but reverts to the base audio system found in the Pop.

The Lounge trim forgoes the sporty equipment in favor of more luxurious appointments such as chrome exterior trim, a fixed glass roof, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, heated seats, leather upholstery, the Alpine sound system, satellite radio and a navigation system. The hardtop-only 1957 Edition largely mirrors the Lounge trim level with some retro styling added in, featuring a sport-tuned suspension, specialized wheels, unique paint colors, a white roof and mirror caps, retro emblems and unique interior trim.

At the top of the Fiat 500 food chain is the performance-focused Abarth. It is outfitted similarly to the Turbo trim but distinguishes itself with more power, unique 16-inch wheels, sportier suspension tuning, distinctive exterior and interior styling tweaks and the Alpine stereo. The Abarth convertible also gets an optional windscreen that fits behind the rear seats.

The Easy, Sport, Turbo and Lounge trims offer a few different "Collections" of options. Some equip the lower trims with certain of the higher trims' standard items (such as navigation, satellite radio, automatic climate control, heated seats, leather upholstery and rear parking sensors), while others contain desirable extras like a sunroof and a six-speaker Beats Audio sound system with a trunk-mounted subwoofer.

For the Abarth, optional bundles are limited to a Comfort and Convenience package (automatic climate control, heated seats and satellite radio) and a Beats Audio package (satellite radio and the Beats Audio sound system). The sunroof, leather upholstery, navigation system and rear parking sensors (hatchback only) are available as stand-alone options.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the Fiat 500 gets a standard 5-inch touchscreen interface with optional navigation that supplants the old dash-top TomTom portable navigation system. There's also a new "Easy" trim level, and the limited-production 1957 model carries on for a third year (apparently it wasn't all that limited). Furthermore, the options structure has been revised with the addition of various packages called "Collections."

Performance & mpg

Three engines are available for the 2016 Fiat 500, all of which send power to the front wheels via a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.

The Pop, Easy, Sport and Lounge trim levels receive a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a Fiat 500 Sport with a manual transmission went from zero to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, a laggardly time for the class. An automatic-equipped 500C was even slower in our testing, needing a sloth-like 12.4 seconds to get to 60 mph.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 34 mpg combined (31 city/40 highway) with the manual, but opting for the automatic cuts efficiency to a humdrum 30 mpg combined (27/34).

A six-speed automatic is optional on the 2016 Fiat 500, but it hurts performance, particularly with the base engine.

The Fiat 500 Turbo steps up to a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 135 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. At Edmunds' test track, a manual-transmission Turbo posted a 0-60 time of 8.1 seconds, dramatically better than the base engine and a quick time for this segment. Fuel economy is estimated at 30 mpg combined (28 city/34 highway) with the manual and 27 mpg combined (24/32) with the automatic.

The Abarth model's upgraded 1.4-liter turbocharged engine makes 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque with the manual transmission. With the six-speed automatic, those output figures change slightly to 157 hp and 183 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, a manual Abarth coupe sprinted to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, while an automatic Abarth convertible did it in 7.5 seconds. Those are respectable times, but a Mini Cooper S is still about a second quicker. Fuel economy estimates for the Abarth are identical to those for the 500 Turbo.


Standard safety features for all 2016 Fiat 500 models include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, hill start assist, a driver knee airbag, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, a 500 Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in an impressively short 115 feet, while a 500C Lounge needed 124 feet. Disappointingly, a 500 Turbo hatchback took 125 feet despite its upgraded brakes, and an Abarth hatchback needed 123 feet despite its ostensibly stickier summer tires.

In government crash tests, the Fiat 500 hardtop received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the 500 hardtop its top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, however, the Fiat earned the lowest score of "Poor." The 500's seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. The 500C (convertible) hasn't been rated by federal regulators or the IIHS.


The base engine's acceleration is undeniably lackluster. The manual shifter is pleasant to operate and the clutch action is light and linear, so shifting gears isn't a chore, but the reality is that this engine makes the 500 one of the slowest cars on the market. It's unfortunate that the 500 Turbo's engine is not more widely available, as it transforms the car into a fully competitive performer, while the Abarth model's upgraded engine is naturally even more engaging.

The 500's ride quality is pretty comfortable whether you're driving over rutted city streets or cruising on the highway. The firmer suspension tuning of the 500 Sport, Turbo and Abarth models improves handling response without much of a comfort penalty; if you enjoy a spirited drive, these trims are certainly worth considering. Any 500 is good fun on a quick errand, thanks to the car's diminutive dimensions and inherently nimble feel, though enthusiasts won't like the somewhat top-heavy feel and significant body roll at the limit. Steering is accurate but lacks feedback, and the Abarth's large 37.6-foot turning circle is regrettably like that of an SUV, eclipsing the other 500 models by a whopping 7 feet.


The 500's small, dim gauge cluster used to be an issue, but it was recently replaced by a bright digital display with large fonts and more easily deciphered menu logic (this is an option on the Pop trim, which retains the old gauge cluster as standard equipment). The center console was also revised, adding better cupholders and an easily accessed USB port. For 2016, the changes continue with a newly standard "Uconnect" infotainment system that features a small but readable 5-inch touchscreen with available navigation. The 500's control layout is still a bit of a mishmash, including the odd controls for the standard (non-automatic) climate system, but there's no doubt that this is the most user-friendly iteration yet.

Despite the zippy appearance and colors throughout the cabin, the quality of most materials is subpar. At least there's ample room in the front seats for taller occupants, though be advised that the tilt-only steering wheel can make finding a comfortable driving position a challenge, and the optional sunroof noticeably reduces headroom. The rear seats for any 500 are pretty much what you'd expect: torture for those older than preschool age, with basically nonexistent headroom in the hatchback due to the sloping rear glass.

Front seats are comfortable and there's plenty of room even for tall folks as long as you skip the sunroof option.

With the rear seatbacks up, the hatchback presents a reasonable 9.5 cubic feet of luggage space. Drop the seatbacks and you open up a total of 30.2 cubic feet. That's not bad for such a small car, but the Mini Cooper hatchback gives you more (38 cubes), and four-door hatchbacks like the Sonic and Fit are even roomier. Cargo capacity for the 500C isn't nearly as generous, as there are just 5.4 cubic feet available behind the rear seats and 23.4 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down. Moreover, the convertible's folding canvas top stacks accordion-like on the rear deck when retracted, all but blocking your view directly behind.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 FIAT 500.

8 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

My angry little car
Brian Ach,04/04/2017
Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Here's the thing--there are a lot of cars with more room, better build quality, more cache, better reliability, and more room. There are cars that have way more updated electronics, navigation, etc. and are more functional in terms of rear seat space, ergonomics and the like. None of them will be more fun than this car. None of them will make you smile, laugh, look forward to driving them, talk to people about them, or write a review. The Abarth (mine is a 2016 automatic in yellow) puts fun first and functionality second, but don't take that to mean it's a toy or not a good everyday car. The automatic is a hoot (I own three other stick shift cars including a Porsche 911 in NYC) and blips the throttle with a roarty exhaust backfire when you get on the brakes. It pulls hard in point-and-squirt traffic when in "Sport" mode (the only mode you should be in) and hugs off-ramps like velcro to wool. It's fun. No one looks twice at your Mini Cooper S or your GTI. I catch people looking at this yellow bee all the time. The amazing thing is how good the ride is. Short wheelbase and stiff springs don't add up to comfort, but on the highway and terrible pavement, those dual-mode shocks work their magic and it is amazing. Seriously. Front seat space is good, visibility is great (a by-product of the high seating position) and when you fold the rear seats down (or delete them) it's like the world's smallest SUV. It's as much car as you want, but no more car than you need 94% of the time. Can humans fit in the back? Better than you think...but it's tight. Can I park anywhere? Yes. Do what I did--find a used one with less than 5K miles on it, with a full factory warranty, let someone else take the depreciation hit, and drive off into the sunset. Does the exhaust sound better than a Ferrari? Yes. Is it fast? Not really, no. Does it know it? No. It's like the chihuahua who thinks it's a Pit Bull, but it's tongue-in-cheek. It's fun. It's probably just what you need.
Great Car for the Money!
Ashley Stanley,02/02/2017
C Easy 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
The 2017 500C Pop is the same as the 2016 500C Easy. I ended up purchasing the 2016 Easy, because there was one in a color I liked at the closest dealership. This model is an extremely affordable way to have a convertible, manual transmission, cruise control, great climate control, and bluetooth (U connect is super user friendly, I've never had a vehicle with bluetooth and started using it the day I bought the car). I have enjoyed shifting gears in my 500C IMMENSELY, and I'm sure the experience is similar in the 2017 Pop. I honestly don't miss all the extras the lounge offers, because I'm not a fan of leather seats (freezing in the winter when I leave for work around 7:15 A.M.). I also love the simple knobs for A/C and heat, as well as the interior air filter, etc. The design of the interior is simple and intuitive. Plus, the 500C offers the best of both worlds in practicality and owning a convertible.
Surprisingly adequate and just a little fun too
Easy 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
Spouse and I found ourselves in a rush and needing a rental car. The only car immediately available was a Fiat 500 with automatic. We took it. On a 100 mile road trip to the event venue, the car proved to be more than adequate to the task. While acceleration was slow, once at speed the car maintained interstate speeds without trouble. We drove 80 and even 85mph, passing many more powerful cars. If you know how to drive a small engine, this thing will do the job. It was comfortable for two and luggage space was adequate for a long weekend trip.
Great Car for a Great Price
Easy 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
I've been a fan Fiats for years, mainly because I always thought they were just so cute. When it came around to buying a new car, I was more inclined to Fiat because the bang-for-the-buck factor- I tell people that constantly, and it's one of the reasons I recommend Fiat so much. How many brand new cars can you get for less than $20k, taxes and fees included? Not many. One of my favorite things about my 2016 Fiat 500 Easy is the turning radius. The smaller size of the car combined with the tight-turning ability allows me to make a U-turn in the tightest of spaces with ease. It's zippier than I thought it would be too! I decided against the Sport and Abarth because I don't personally need the extra power (that, and it might be tempting), but the acceleration is just fine and SO MUCH FUN. Another one of my favorite features is the space inside- I recently went on a 6-hour road trip with a passenger, dog, 1 luggage, and a dog bed and we all fit wonderfully. Just fold the back seats down and bam, you basically have a mini SUV. I'm still surprised at how well this car handles in snow and rain. It's not GREAT in snow, but I was pleasantly surprised for how well it did in 2-5 inches. In rain it's fine, however I do find going over the large, unavoidable puddle to be terrifying because this car is small and light. However, it feels good to drive- what I mean is although the car itself feels light in snow and rain, it is SOLID. Whether you're driving or in the backseat, Fiat's feel like quality vehicles to be in. The interior is beautiful with the houndstooth fabric seats, comfortable, high quality, and durable. Sure, the backseat isn't the greatest for comfort as the seats are slightly firm, but it's better than you'd think. It's quiet, gets great gas mileage and is a smooth ride. My only negatives are that in cold weather it takes a long time to warm up, and the blindspot when looking over your shoulder at odd angled intersections is bad. Overall, the style, the drive, price, comfort/interior make me love this car so much. I highly recommend.

Features & Specs

31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
101 hp @ 6500 rpm
31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
101 hp @ 6500 rpm
31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
101 hp @ 6500 rpm
28 city / 34 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 2016 FIAT 500 features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 FIAT 500

Used 2016 FIAT 500 Overview

The Used 2016 FIAT 500 is offered in the following submodels: 500 Hatchback, 500 Abarth, 500 Convertible, 500 C Abarth. Available styles include Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M), Sport 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M), Easy 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M), Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Retro 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M), C Pop 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl 5M), Turbo 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), C Abarth 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Lounge 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M), C Lounge 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl 5M), and C Easy 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 FIAT 500?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 FIAT 500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 FIAT 500 Sport is priced between $9,495 and$9,495 with odometer readings between 27803 and27803 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 FIAT 500s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 FIAT 500 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2016 500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,495 and mileage as low as 27803 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 FIAT 500.

Can't find a used 2016 FIAT 500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used FIAT 500 for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $13,496.

Find a used FIAT for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,580.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT 500 for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,437.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $22,008.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 FIAT 500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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