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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (8)
Overall Rating
  4 / 5
Reliability
  3.9 / 5
Interior
  4 / 5
Exterior
  4.1 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4 / 5

By Brandon Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 5:43pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  4 / 5
I have the Abarth model and have never set foot in a normal 500 so I have no idea what the base models are like. I get plenty of smirks, laughs, or smiles from passers-by that have no idea what the car is but they hear the insane Italian exotic exhaust note and I see them reading the Abarth sticker on the side. I can drive this little thing for 2 hours to an autocross track, finish well above where anyone thought I would, then drive back home whilst half the cars I beat are being loaded on trailers. Bottom line if you need a family car that seats 4 or drive on rough roads-this is not the car for you. If you have to hear the American V8 growl-this is not the car for you. If you want a quirky, fun Italian sportscar that can give you miles and miles of smiles and do way better than anyone expects it to in the twisties- then this is the ONLY car for you. I did shop the Ford Fiesta ST, MINI Cooper S, Toyota 86, and Hyundai Genesis Coupe and let me tell you bang for buck this little car takes the cake.
Reliability
  3.5 / 5
Interior
  4 / 5
Exterior
  4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.5 / 5

By Anonymous Friday, August 18, 2017 - 1:24pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.1 / 5
The Fiat 500 Abarth is a fun cheap car to drive. It has decent handling, good acceleration and the best turbo 4 cylinder engine noise in it's class. It reminds me of the previous joy of owning my previous Alfa Spiders but with much better reliability.
Reliability
   3 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Flor Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 4:47pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.5 / 5
My husband and I were shopping for the perfect new car to tow behind our motorhome. We longed for the ability to get around at the different places we visit after we set up camp. We looked at every brand that offered towing with all 4 on the ground. Totally fell in love with the Fiat. It is small but very roomy for the two of us, very comfortable, handles great. Every time I get in it I smile. It tows beautifully and gives us the freedom we need to get around everywhere we visit. Highly recommend this car and am so thankful we purchased it!
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Rae Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 7:05pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
Excellent style and color. Road noise slightly irritating and seats uncomfortable on long trips. Sport mode gives an enjoyable ride. Rear end dose slides on wet roads. Overall fun drive and vehicle appearance makes people smile.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Tony P. Friday, July 28, 2017 - 4:20pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
The Fiat 500x Crossover Trekking model is a great car for the road and some off road activity. It has a lower profile than many SUV's and Higher profile than an average car. Nice styling and a powerful 4 cyl engine which a sport switch that firms up the vehicle in hwy driving at top speeds and an all whel or traction feature for rough terrain or bad weather.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Enrique Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 5:25pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   1.5 / 5
This vehicle has a lot of factory problems in which servicing parts are always on back order. Too many head aches for a new car.
Reliability
   1.5 / 5
Interior
   2 / 5
Exterior
   1.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   1 / 5

By Julia H. Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 6:07pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Its an amazing car very fun to drive. The interior to the exterior is amazing. I would highly recommend this car to anyone.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Fi Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 7:54pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.9 / 5
I love my Fiat 500 Lounge. The Electric Blue color is bright and beautiful and really stands out in a parking lot. The car is peppy and really really fun to drive in the city and on highways although it does struggle a bit on extended steep hills. I generally keep the back seats folded down so it's easy to get my dog in and out through the hatchback door. It's quick and easy to flip the seats back up when I need them. When the seats are folded down they don't lie completely flat but close to it. Overall I'm extremely happy with this car! It drives and looks great!
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2017 FIAT 500
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The little lovable Fiat 500 is now in its sixth successful year, offering big character in a tiny footprint. The three-door hatchback or cabriolet draws many adjectives, like cute, quirky, fun, charming, disarming, original and more. However it’s not entirely original, having been famously inspired by the legendary 1957 Cinquecento that skittered like cockroaches all over Italy, back in the day.

The Fiat 500 competes with the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Spark, Hyundai Accent, Mazda2, and others, even including the Mini Cooper.

It seats four, with the two rear passengers totally squeezed. It offers nimble and responsive handling, while feeling bigger than it is because of its high seating position. Amazingly, the ride isn’t harsh despite its super-short 90.6-inch wheelbase and old-school torsion beam rear axle. The acceleration is either lame or zippy, depending on the engine.

For 2017, there are just two engines, a 1.4-liter making 101 horsepower, and a turbocharged version making 160 horsepower in the sporty, snarling Abarth 500. Each comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox or 6-speed automatic. What’s lost from the lineup is last year’s turbo model making an in-between 135 horsepower.

There are only three models: the Pop, Lounge and Abarth, each of which comes as a hatchback or Cabrio with a cloth top that rolls back. There’s also a 500L wagon and 500X crossover, which we review separately, and less favorably, as the character and individuality is lost as the 500 expands.

Also a 500e all-electric car, which we’ve found to be the most fun electric car of all. When it first came out, Fiat was offering a lease for $1000 down and $139 per month, and we’re sorry we didn’t snag one for our 16-year-old to drive to high school.

The Fiat 500 with base engine and 5-speed gets an EPA-rated 31/40 miles per gallon City/Highway, 34 mpg Combined, while the turbo gets 30 mpg Combined with the manual, and just 27 mpg with the automatic. Premium fuel is recommended, even for the non-turbo. For the size of the car, the savings in fuel cost is unimpressive.

You won’t be impressed if you hit a telephone pole in your Fiat 500, either. It got a Poor rating from the IIHS in the small-overlap frontal crash test. The other crash ratings were better, with four stars overall from the NHTSA, including four stars for frontal impact and five stars for side impact. The IIHS gave the 500 its top Good score in most tests. There are seven standard airbags: dual front, side and curtain, plus a driver knee airbag to come between you and the telephone pole.

Model Lineup

The Fiat 500 Pop hatchback ($16,995) and Cabriolet ($$20,395) include cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, CD player with audio jack, 15-inch painted aluminum wheels. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Fiat 500 Lounge ($20,395) gets leather upholstery, 7.0-inch LCD display replacing the instrument cluster, fixed glass roof, chrome body and interior accents, leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls, and other features.

The Fiat 500 Abarth ($22,575) features the turbocharged engine, suspension tweaks, black 16-inch alloy wheels, and rear parking sensors.

Options include the latest UConnect system with 5.0-inch touchscreen, a power sunroof, navigation, different wheels, and a host of appearance tweaks. No rearview camera is available for any model.

Walkaround

The Fiat 500 manages the hatchback design without looking awkward. Despite its inherent uprightness, the 500 can look almost svelte. There’s a certain amount of bulk that comes with crash requirements, but they’re buried in the lower third of the body. The sides slope upward, the rear glass slopes forward, presenting a modern twist to the classic Cinquecento shape that’s now 60 years old.

Button-like headlamps and a thin mustache trim bar add character to face of the 500.

The Cabrio maintains the same roofline, because only the flat panel in the roof is fabric, offered in several colors, including a couple startling ones. Because the doors and rails are unchanged from the hatchback, with a trunk lid replacing the rear hatch, the Cabrio is structurally rigid.

Interior

The Fiat 500 offers a stylish interior from inexpensive materials. Creative Italian design takes a simple and clean instrument panel and adds bits and pieces of body-colored metal, making the final effect pleasing to the eye. It combines playful with practical in a manner that German, Japanese, Korean and American designers must envy.

Italian designers got as much interior space as they could out of the car’s dimensions, but it still falls short compared to the Fiesta, Spark, or Mini. The seats have a good contour but are short, firm, and high. That makes the car feel bigger than it is, from the view out the windshield, but also makes it feel smaller because there’s less headroom.

And it’s miniscule in the rear. That’s why Fiat came out with the 500L, which has excellent room in back. But it’s boring, and doesn’t share the spirit of the 500.

Driving Impressions

The base 101-horsepower engine is not what we’d call perky. To get the most out of it, sometimes merely what you need, you have to drive it like an Italian. Repeatedly run it to redline. Fortunately it likes that (as does the frisky Ford Fiesta); it’s flexible, lively, and even shows a bubbly enthusiasm for such abuse. It doesn’t feel harsh up there. In fact there’s a lively rasp that appears at 3000 rpm.

But even wringing it to redline (or ringing it to redline) won’t get you to sixty miles per hour in any time less than 10 seconds. And if you have a passenger, not even a fat one, think twice about passing uphill on a two-lane. Get a good running start.

The meaty electric power steering sometimes feels like there’s no power-assist at all. This isn’t necessarily bad, just not direct or nuanced. We got seat time in a Pop with the Sport package, bigger 16-inch wheels and stiffer suspension, and the ride still wasn’t harsh.

In the racy Abarth, the wider tires give it more grip and confidence in corners, without affecting the ride The tweaked suspension increases the quickness of the handling and reduces body roll.

The Abarth’s 5-speed manual transmission has closer gear ratios than the Pop, and in the first three gears you can really feel it. Your hand feels good on the 5-speed lever, because the shifting is light and precise, but your left foot feels awkward, as the clutch pedal has a long stroke and travels a bit before it grabs. The small footwell doesn’t help.

There’s a 6-speed automatic transmission available, never mind that it would be a sin to own an Abarth with an automatic. But if you do, there’s a sport mode to sharpen the shifting and throttle response.

The gearbox in the Abarth makes you want to hammer the throttle. Which you want to do anyhow, because of the remarkably raucous exhaust note. The Abarth is a car for people who want to be seen, attracting attention not only with its cheeky aggressive song, but with its bodywork and stripes.

Summary

The Pop is a good value; all it needs is a set of cool wheels and it’s as much fun as you can have in a new car for the money. The Abarth, thanks to reduced prices, is now a contender, with its turbocharged 160 horsepower, tight gearbox, quick handling and acceptable ride. But because of the tiny rear seat, the Fiat 500 is really only a car for a single person or couple.

Sam Moses contributed to this report, with staff reports by The Car Connection.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality Not Available
Overall Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
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Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
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Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
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Overall Quality - Design
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Design
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Design
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
Not Available

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

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