2018 FIAT 500 Review
2018 FIAT 500 Review
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
Used 500 for saleAppraise This Car
FIAT 500 model years
See Edmunds pricing data
Has Your Car's Value Changed?
Used car values are constantly changing. Edmunds lets you track your vehicle's value over time so you can decide when to sell or trade in.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Cameron Rogers has worked in the automotive industry since 2013. He has tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Today, he leads the news team in developing cutting-edge news articles, opinion pieces and sneak peeks at upcoming vehicles. Favorite cars that he's driven during his tenure at Edmunds include the 991-era Porsche 911 Turbo S, Rolls-Royce Ghost and several generations of Honda Odyssey (really).
- Fun and distinctive styling
- Handling abilities are much better than other low-priced superminis
- Fairly comfortable ride for a car of this size
- Lots of personality for the price
- Disappointing fuel economy given the slow acceleration
- Poor rear visibility with the convertible's top lowered
- Abarth model isn't very quick or much fun
- Cramped interior
- New, more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- New Urbana appearance package
- A rearview camera is now standard
- Part of the first-generation 500 introduced for 2012
Subcompact cars generally aren't much to write home about. They usually sacrifice materials quality, quick acceleration and an exciting driving experience in exchange for a rock-bottom price tag. Something must have been lost in the English to Italian translation, however, because the 2018 Fiat 500 offers what others don't. Not only is this pint-size coupe fun to drive, but it also brings distinctly European design flair to this otherwise dowdy segment.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 FIAT 500 Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$162/mo for 500 Pop
Avg. Compact Car
The 500 has been on sale for a while now without any significant refresh, but the things we liked about it when it debuted for the 2012 model year hold true even today. The cabin design surpasses many in this field, and its cute looks still command attention on the road. Plus, the previous naturally aspirated base engine has been replaced with a turbocharged unit, so this year's 500 is noticeably quicker than the 2017 model.
On the other hand, we're not sold on the top Abarth trim's performance chops, especially considering you can get the more luxurious and faster Mini Hardtop for about the same price. We think the base Pop and more luxurious Lounge are both better buys. There are still some inherent downsides, too, such as the cabin that's really only big enough for two people. Overall, though, the 500 is a good choice if you want an affordable subcompact with some personality.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
If you want a new car at a low price, chances are you're looking at a subcompact car. All of them will get you from Point A to Point B, but little more. The 2018 Fiat 500 is different, though, with surprisingly good handling and lots of personality.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Fiat 500C Abarth Convertible (turbo 1.4L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2015, the current 500 has received some revisions, including a new touchscreen in 2016. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 500, however.
The Abarth may look and sound sporty, but its actions don't back up the bravado. With 157 horsepower, you can spin the front tires at full throttle. But in terms of instrumented acceleration numbers, it can barely keep up with the base Mini Cooper Hardtop, let alone the Cooper S model.
The Abarth reached 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, a tick slower than the Cooper but well behind the Cooper S. There's considerable turbo lag from the turbocharged engine when leaving a stoplight, followed by a nice hit of power. The shifts from the six-speed automatic are quick.
In a simulated-panic stop, the Abarth required 125 feet to stop from 60 mph; this is a typical result for a small car with all-season tires. There was noticeable side-to-side wiggle during our panic-brake test, making it feel a bit unsettled.
Steering effort is appropriate for a sporty runabout, but there's little feedback to indicate when the front tires are losing grip. The Sport button firms the steering up but doesn't add more feedback. The turning circle is SUV-like.
Compared to its rivals, the Abarth is less sporty on a curvy road. It feels top-heavy, and the front tires frequently wash out and struggle to regain traction. It doesn't instill confidence like its competitors.
The hesitation on initial acceleration gets frustrating; the car works better with the manual transmission. The Sport button livens things up. The massive space needed for U-turns — the Abarth has a 37.6-foot turning circle — makes it poor for tight city driving.
Limitations to seat and steering wheel adjustability compromise comfort, and the contouring of the front seat will bother some drivers. The lack of adequate elbow padding and the drone of the engine and exhaust further hurt comfort scores. The ride quality is decent enough.
Average-size adults will find that the lack of a telescoping steering wheel forces them to sit closer and more upright than preferred. The contour at the top of the seatback also creates an uncomfortable pressure point for some drivers.
Despite its sporty intentions, the Abarth's ride quality isn't overly firm. You do feel flaws in the pavement, but the 500 rarely comes across as harsh or overly intrusive. That said, moderate undulations will cause some jostling.
Noise & vibration
Purely for the fun of it, the Abarth's exhaust is loud, with only a minor reward in terms of actual power. For some, this booming baritone will seem tiresome. Others will dig it. It was hard to detect road and wind noise over the commotion.
While the 500's minimalist interior has a certain retro design appeal, it also serves to limit the functionality of many systems. The limited passenger space leaves it trailing rivals by a considerable margin.
Ease of use
The primary controls are simple in terms of layout and operation, but they're also limited in functionality. Searching for music on external devices is difficult at best.
Getting in/getting out
The doors are short in length for easy access in tight spots, and they open wide. The narrow opening to the rear seat means it's nearly impossible for adults to crawl back there. Even if you can do it, you'll look and feel awkward.
Most adults will feel confined up front, especially if there is a front passenger. The hard center console can protrude into the side of the driver's right knee. The rear seats are suitable for children only.
All-around visibility is good with the top up, but when the top is fully retracted, it severely blocks the view rearward to the point that even large city buses can be hidden from view. A standard rearview camera helps getting out of parking spots.
Hard plastics are more prevalent in the Fiat 500 than in its competition. The surfaces feel flimsy and have a tendency to creak. For the most part, the interior falls short of the standard set by the Mini Hardtop.
It's hard to consider the fabric roof panel a true convertible top since it's more like a retractable panoramic sunroof. Folded back, it completely obscures the rearward view and blocks access to the trunk.
The cabriolet's trunk only measures 5.4 cubic feet, roughly half the capacity of the hatchback model. The tiny opening hampers usefulness. It's a struggle to get a carry-on suitcase to fit. Interior storage is minimal, with shallow door pockets and cramped cupholders.
Which 500 does Edmunds recommend?
The 2018 Fiat 500 is a spunky car that deserves a little extra Italian flair with its cute-as-a-button looks. That's why we'd go with the mid-trim Lounge. The price jump is pretty high, but the 500 Lounge is still reasonably priced. The extra cash outlay primarily adds leather upholstery and a glass roof, but there are other goodies such as satellite radio and heated front seats, too. We're not impressed by the Abarth's purported performance chops, even though it's not much more expensive than the Lounge, so we wouldn't recommend that one unless you absolutely need the additional power.
2018 FIAT 500 models
The 2018 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. The base Pop model is lightly equipped, but its price is quite reasonable. The midlevel Lounge is more expensive, but many will find the leather upholstery and other goodies worth the extra cost. The performance-oriented Abarth rounds out the lineup, with a peppier engine, sport-tuned suspension and boisterous exhaust note.
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: Manual-equipped versions produce 160 hp and 170 lb-ft, while automatic models make 157 hp and 183 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 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 luxurious Lounge trim 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 Abarth as options. Other popular options include a sunroof for coupe models, 17-inch wheels for the Abarth, a six-speaker Beats Audio sound system with a trunk-mounted subwoofer, a navigation system, and a variety of Mopar-branded exterior and interior styling enhancements.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
My angry little car
Brian Ach, 04/04/2017
2016 FIAT 500 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.
5 out of 5 stars
Most smiles per dollar available!!
2017 FIAT 500 Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I have owned this car for about 8 months and have put just over 6k miles on it. I drive it daily in city traffic, take it for spirited drives through the mountains, and have taken it to the local track day a few times. This car has never let me down, had any real issues, or made me regret buying it. The dealership has been very helpful with the 2 issues I have had(a bad clamp on the … A/C condenser and a bad clamp on the coolant overflow reservoir). I am 6'2" and simply don't fit in a lot of the sportier cars on the market. I tried the MX-5, Toyota 86, and Ford Fiesta ST and this was the most comfortable to me and I don't even have to put my seat all the way back to fit! Incidentally this car is faster than every one of those cars that cost at least a couple grand more. My 8 year old that is 4 and a half feet tall fits easily in the rear seat and I have room in the hatch for a surprising amount of groceries. The interior is good quality and I have yet to hear a single rattle or squeak. The driver's screen is very easy to read and all controls are intuitively placed and easy to reach. The window controls in the middle throw people off but to me it just makes sense since my hand is already there for the shifter anyway. Is this the most practical or fastest car....not at all. Will this car have you looking for any excuse to do a rev-matching downshift and cost you hundreds of dollars in plastic surgery to remove those smile lines....DEFENITELY!
4 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly adequate and just a little fun too
2016 FIAT 500 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.
5 out of 5 stars
Great Car for the Money!
Ashley Stanley, 02/02/2017
2016 FIAT 500 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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 FIAT 500, so we've included reviews for other years of the 500 since its last redesign.
2018 500 Highlights
|Combined MPG||30 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$162/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
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.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover14.7%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestPoor
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood