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The 500's alert handling, free-revving engine, and crisp-shifting manual make it engaging to drive. The base engine and manual returned 33 mpg overall, but it lacks low-end thrust. The 135-hp turbo improves the experience. On all versions the ride is choppy and the cabin noisy. Head room up front is good, but some will find the steering wheel too far away and the driving position awkward. The tight rear seats are difficult to access, and the cargo area is miniscule. The convertible top can be pulled back like a sunroof or fully dropped. The Abarth is quick and grips well, and the electric 500e is enjoyable for its silence and efficiency. Reliability has been well below average. The 500 scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap crash test.

Road Test

Nimble handling and a free-revving engine make the funky, retro-styled Fiat 500 microcar engaging to drive. Zippy around town and easy to park, this two-door subcompact seems the ideal urban runabout. Its cuteness may be undeniable, and the front cab...

Highs

  • Cute, retro looks
  • Agile handling and rev-happy engine makes it fun to drive

Lows

  • Cramped, awkward driving position
  • Choppy, unsettled ride and noisy interior

Best Version to Get

Perhaps the most pleasing overall engine choice is the 135-hp Turbo model -- it delivers a welcome punch compared to the base engine. The Abarth is most appealing as an around-town runabout, so it makes the most sense to skip a lot of options and stay closer to the $22,000 base pric...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
  • Basic: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Rust through: 5 year/100,000 miles
  • Roadside aid: 4 year/50,000 miles
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
convertible
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • electric (111 hp)
  • 1.4-liter 4 (101 hp)
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (160 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results