2018 FIAT 500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
Other years
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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.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

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.

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.

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.

Trim tested

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.

Seat comfort

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.

Ride comfort

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.

Convertible top

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 FIAT 500.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Replaced a great car
Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Turbo charging changed the driving experience for the 500. I drove my Neon for 13 years / 180 K miles. I loved its reliability ($300 in parts outside of scheduled maintenance), and getting 37.5 MPG over its life. It's hard to replace a car like that. Saving for 4 years, I test drove them all. I came close to buying the Fiat 124, but this little guy had similar pizzazz, as well as being practical. Performance is excellent, even in Oregon's heavy rains and, though marketed as a city car, it was comfortable on a 250 mile trip. I read the back seats are uncomfortable but, if the passengers are under 6', it seems adequate and it carries 5 bags of groceries w/o folding the rear seats. The controls are well thought out and the speedo provides lots of useful information. The drawback is that the stereo is part of the control system. I would like to upgrade it, but best I could do was replacing the speakers. It lacks navigation, except thru a phone, and its voice recognition is inadequate at freeway speeds. For value, the car was CHEAP, $14K out the door (tax, license, etc). Fuel economy is OK at 35 MPG freeway, compared to the Dodge's 41. I don't know about maintenance, except oil changes are dealer-only, $100 every 8K miles, due to special spec oil. It is a hard car to customize, and parts are limited to bling. Mostly, with its pep, decent fuel economy, and 15' turning radius, it's a joy to drive as my retirement car. Update 2 years later: It had 3 faults work during the first 8 months, all covered 100%. I deleted the rear seats, which provides decent room for cargo and transporting 3 dogs. I added sound deadening, upgraded speakers and amp, so the sound system is better than any I've heard in any new car. It's a blast to drive and it's been years since I've hard a car that navigates city traffic/parking like this one.
love my new "littlePOP"
Pop 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
everything you could want if you are looking for a small car..peppy ,( it was a must for me) cute , great interior colors . My only complaint so far is there is hardly any room to put the key in the ignition to start the car.
500c Pop is a great car!
Gregory Cook,10/23/2019
C Pop 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I really don't mind the small trunk. Or the fact other small cars get better MPG. This car is cute, sporty, and fit my price range. My only complaint is that the touch screen, which doubles as the backup cam. It's completely useless when the top is down. The sun glare is so intense. 32MPG on average. Enough zippy power in town and on the highway. Plenty of room for my son and I. And in a pinch...two adults can fit in the back seat. This is truly an amazing car for the price. My only regret...is the fact I won't be able to replace it with a new one when it is gone.
"Get over here!" - Scorpion (mortal combat)
Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
So I have had a 2018 for nearly a year now. I drive about 20k miles yearly and my drive includes driving through the blue ridge mountains. With me owning a 5spd and driving normal I averaged 38mpg. One the rare occasions that I have driven it on flat land at 55 I've turned 42-44mpg. The thing I can say is best about my car is the smile that I have while driving it. A freind has a stage 2.5 Jetta gli came back after a short drive with a huge smile and saying how fun the car is. The exhaust note is great for a 4cyl. Unlike many car companies the Abarth doesn't need to have sounds pipped through the speakers to sound great to the driver. I do have a couple of younger children and they fit fine in the back of the car. I have done a week's worth of grocery shopping using the small trunk. If I can be completely honest though, buy one used as the depreciation is crazy. Low mileage used ones can be had for half the cost of a new one. At the end of the day life is too short to drive boring cars. A golf gti is all around better, but damn it's sooo boring. This is a car for those who don't want to be boring. 2020 update: The car now has 20K on the clock and I have yet to have a single issue mechanically. I have developed an intermittent rattle from somewhere. The car drove well enough the only time we got snow on stock Pirelli all seasons.


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 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 2018 FIAT 500

Used 2018 FIAT 500 Overview

The Used 2018 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 Turbo 5M), Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), C Pop 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), C Abarth 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Lounge 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and C Lounge 2dr Convertible (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M). Pre-owned FIAT 500 models are available with a 1.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 160 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 FIAT 500 comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2018 FIAT 500 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 FIAT 500?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 FIAT 500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 FIAT 500 Lounge is priced between $17,998 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 9996 and9996 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 2018 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) 2018 FIAT 500 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2018 500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,998 and mileage as low as 9996 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 2018 FIAT 500.

Can't find a used 2018 FIAT 500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used FIAT 500 for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $11,153.

Find a used FIAT for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $8,254.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT 500 for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $25,458.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $7,900.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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