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Used 2018 FIAT 500 Pop Hatchback Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 FIAT 500 Pop Hatchback.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
2 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Replaced a great car
Michael,01/19/2019
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.
5 out of 5 stars
love my new "littlePOP"
babscat,10/21/2018
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.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2018 FIAT 500 Pop Hatchback

What’s new

  • 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

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


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.

Full Edmunds Review: 2018 FIAT 500 Hatchback

What’s new

The naturally aspirated engine on last year's Pop and Lounge models has been dropped and replaced by a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder. A new Urbana appearance package — with blacked-out wheels and headlight surrounds, along with black interior trim — debuts for Pop models. A rearview camera is now standard.

Vehicle overview

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.

Driving

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.

Comfort

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.

Interior

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.

Utility

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.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2018 FIAT 500 in Virginia is:

$60.25 per month*
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