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 cabin is surprisingly spacious, but slow acceleration, a choppy ride and a noisy interior detract from the fun.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
NA
2016
NA
2017
NA
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
NA
2017
NA
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
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 cabin is surprisingly spacious, but slow acceleration, a choppy ride and a noisy interior detract from the fun.

Other drawbacks include an awkward driving position, cramped backseats that are hard to reach, and a skinflint cargo area.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
convertible
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (160 hp)
  • 1.4-liter 4 (101 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Fiat 500 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"The alarm seems to disengage on its own and other times sets off unexpectedly."

Anonymous, NM (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Body control module

"Just quit working correctloy, only had 50,000 mile warranty"

David M., WA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Clock

"clock will not keep time...it runs fast...(it's electronic) and has to be reset frequently"

Gene W., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The CLock runs slow. After a couple weeks you will be a few minutes late. After a couple months it will be 10 minutes behind."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"clock runs slow. told it was in "perameters""

Anonymous, OR (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Cruise control

"A faulty electronic device in the braking system makes the cruise control not to disengage when it is set and you tap on the brakes. The cruise control only stops after pounding on the brake pedal. One must make an almost sudden stop to deactivate the cruise control."

Anonymous, NM (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"License plate illumination lamp failed multiple times, requiring wire harness repair/replacement. (Also, tailgate would not open from the exterior release... had to fold down the seats and use the emergency release!)"

Bryan I., OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"license plate lights both went out... dealer said the entire license plate light assembly and tail gate handle must be replaced approx.: $500... I used 2013 lights and modified the connector to make work $35"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"the lights burn out every three months or so. I have replaced every single exterior light on this car multiple times every year. I've had light blow seconds after install. My mechanic has no idea why."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Harness problem connected to brake lamp. Harness frayed and shorted to chassis. Brake lamp fuse blew (as would any replacement). Shifter did not see brake pedal pressed, so could not shift out of P."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Right & left brake lights need to be replaced often"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"License plate light went out requiring replacement of light holder"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Moisture/water collected in rear brake light"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"Idiot light went on without justification. Fiat dealer is 40 miles from my house so I took it to the local Dodge dealer. Dodge dealer service dept plugged their diagnostic computer into the car and cannot find a code to justify the warning light"

Danny S., WA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The backlighting on the cluster has gone out 3 times since I've owned this vehicle. There are no replaceable 'bulbs'; the cluster must be replaced!"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Fogged lenses"

Dale S., IL (2012 Fiat 500 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Headlights bulbs kept going out after a few days. FIAT said because we used after marker bulbs it fried the headlight system. Repair was about $1200.00"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Right headlamp burned out. Warranty"

Ernest W., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"this was not an option but had had several occasions where windows would not roll up or down...electrical issue, also impacted the lights"

Gene W., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Burned out but the bulbs/battery weren't the problem. Dealership told me I would need a $120 diagnostic test done. Decided not to spend the money."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500)

"The trunk/hatch light never worked on this car since it was new. I never knew there was a light! My tail lights stopped working and when the dealer fixed a break in the wiring harness the trunk/hatch light started working for the first time!"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"Trunk lid would not release. It has no manual unlocking ability. Dealer resolved for $50."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"both OEM remotes had to be replaced as defective. Both replacement remotes have quit working properly, except at very close range. Both are now out of warranty. Keyed entry is limited. Locking car without remotes is not possible"

Edward C., IN (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

"Tire Pressure Monitoring System failed. Especially during cold weather, would get a warning light after ~10 minutes of driving. Required replacement BCM, I believe. Fortunately I have a lifetime warranty, but still annoying."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The TPMS system is garbage. It's not worth fixing"

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Wiring issue"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I've had multiple expensive repairs to the wiring for the electrical system. Original issue caused a lockout from the back hatch. I have periodic warning light malfunction and need assistance since I can never be sure if it's a real issue"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"They were consistently on even though there was no cause"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Convertible top

"Bad seal"

D D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Doors or sliding doors

"The hinge on the driver side outdoor handle broke. To repair it with parts purchased in Canada would require purchasing the complete door handle kit for $+100.00. I was able to buy the hing only as a part online via Great Britain for $12.00 which included shipping. This part was shipped from Bangkok Thailand and the value stated for Canadian Customs was USD $ 1.47. :-)"

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I have to constantly lube the hinges on the two doors to keep them from making noise and becoming stiff."

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"Obvious electrical overload. Stopped working several times. Sent back to dealer on at least four occasions"

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"Hatch will not open"

Dale S., IL (2012 Fiat 500 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Door handle on driver's door came off completely when trying to open."

Joseph M., NJ (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The door handle on the driver side has broken off twice; on the passenger side, once."

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Both front door handles have broken of and had to be replaced."

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Both door handles became partially detached over the winter."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"TRUNK LOCKWOULD NOT OPEN"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Seat belts

"driver belt retraction slowed over time, then stopped. Dealer was no help. found a solution on YouTube. Sprayed belt with silicon spray and now belt retracts like new."

Anonymous, IN (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Driver side does not retract all the way"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Sunroof

"Paint on sunroof peeling off - had to replace the sun roof"

David J., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The latch on the hatch failed, which precluded use of hatch completely; no secondary access method is provided--no key, no cable-linked remote opener, no nothing. Just another in the continuing series of problems presented by this awful little car. Even my wife has stopped insisting we keep it. We plan to get rid of it"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Unable to open the rear hatch due to the wiring harness having broken wires. Broken where the harness comes into the hatch"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"tailgate won't open (off/on problem.) The latch mechanism was replaced once during warranty because of this issue, but it started happening again within the past 6 months"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sometimes unable to open hatchback (trunk) door. The latch does not work"

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The "spoiler" by the tires became partially broken off. I had a mechanic remove the thing so I could drive the car."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500)

"The aftermarket dealer-installed spoiler flew off the car while I was driving and landed in the middle of the road"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Hub caps should have been a federal recall. They are defective, do not fit snugly and spin off about one a month. Dealer and FCA got mad and won't fix nor replace, so I drive with no hub caps"

David M., WA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I had to return the car to the dealer twice because of loose trim. In one case it was a lower side door trim and the other was a rear reflector (which actually fell off)"

Bruce S., FL (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"molding coming off"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Fiat 500 Sport)

"Rear bumper was coming loose - fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"peeling plastic on roof"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Armrest trim broke off catastrophically and replacement parts in the same color are unavailable."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Even though the car has minimal miles on it, things are continuing to fall off,loosen. Very cheaply made."

Louis C., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Top of armrest fell off (not easily repaired) Gear shift cap fell off Driver seat fabric crack/tear Plastic cap on radio button fell off Driver door handle broke off (outside)"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Narrow paint strip above windshield between glass and sunroof peeled off and after repaint peeled off again"

Anonymous, MS (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint too thin on panel between windshield and sunroof. Depth of paint measured by body shop. It was half of what it should be. The paint peeled off. Panel needed to be repainted. Cost was about 500"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint or trim (whatever it is) has been peeling off the top of the windshield since I owned the car. The dealership said it wasn't covered by warranty. I later learned it was covered so I am really unhappy I did not get a repair I was entitled to."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The paint peeled off of the front of the sunroof (between the edge of where the sunroof starts and where the top of the windshield starts). They had to take the entire sunroof mechanical assembly off to fix it and it took about a week"

Todd K., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint on panel between sunroof and windshield cracked/pealed"

Rick N., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Roof paint in front of sun roof peeling"

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Clutch adjustment

"I did not experience and problems, but there was a recall which the dealer fixed at no charge to adjust the clutch pedal travel."

Anonymous, NT (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Manufacturer recall for clutch adjustment In addition the bearings for all four hubs needed replacing at 50K miles - not something that you would ever expect on modern vechile"

Michael G., MD (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The clutch linkage broke. This was a recall item and was repaired by FIAT at no cost."

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Gear selector or linkage

"Could not put the car in park or drive"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"When gear selector got stuck in park, had to have it towed. This has happened 2 times and was very inconvenient and expensive"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The car would not physically shift out of park. The gear indicator on the dash insisted the car was in drive so the car wouldn't start. The gear cable had snapped. It put the car out of commission for a week."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed $1400 repair after unable to shift gears while driving to work. This was a sudden malfunction and I found out later that there is a recall repair for the issue"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

"Difficult to shift into reverse. Retainer came apart and was binding on shifter when putting into reverse. Replaced shift boot. Replaced clutch / brake pedal assembly under recall"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

"Dealer twice repaired a leaky main seal, which seems to be a chronic problem with early North America spec Fiat 500s."

Veronica M., VA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"After replacing the rear main seal twice, once at my own expense and once covered by the dealer that did the first, unsuccessful replacement, this car still drips oil. Dealer said the leak is now from the oil pan seal, but that repairing it requires removing the transmission to access and remove the oil pan. Estimates are between $800 and $1200 for a repair that should be simple and that I've done myself on other cars. Very poor design, but probably necessary to cram so much stuff into such a small car."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"In Oct, 2019 they told me there was a minor leak in an axle seal. They said it should be repaired when I had the 60,000 mile check, since they have to do work in that area for that check. And so that's what we did."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Manual clutch recall as shifting to reverse could be difficult."

Frank C., BC (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Even though there was clutch part recall (and the item was purportedly fixed in 2017), my clutch went completely out this past week."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"1st clutch replaced at 25000 miles, at dealer, no warranty. 2nd clutch replaced at 50000, local mechanic, no warranty. Waiting for the next breaking at which time I will abandon vehicle unless I can not afford another car as I am retired in which case I might repair it once more. My local mechanic told me the clutch spring had been installed backward which caused over flexing. I am at the point of the next failure but the second fix seems to hold."

Anonymous, (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"My wife and I have used manual transmission for decades, and we never had to replace a clutch before, even after 100,000 miles, so we were shocked when we had to pay $1,500.00 for a new clutch after 30,000 miles. I would not buy another Fiat"

Jim S., NY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutch replaced due to factory recall on return spring deemed a safety hazard. No cost to me"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutch blew at 22,000 miles. Cost $2,200 including car rental, towing, and repair. I haven't even replaced the original brake pads on this car!"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutch failed at 24,000 miles, well within 36,000-mile warranty for drive-train components including clutch--but six weeks past the 3-year time period. Neither Fiat nor dealer would pay, or even help pay, the $1,100 replacement cost"

D H., PA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutch failed at about 35,000 miles. Replaced under warranty"

David S., WI (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Torque converter

"Failed with only 35,000 miles."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The instrument cluster had to be replaced, the computer had to be replaced, the transmission had to be replaced. All this happened within 1000 miles of the end of the warranty. I took it to dealer for regular service. It’s hard to believe dealer had no evidence that these systems were failing. I had to have a dealer replace the computer. It still is not fully functional. The trans was replaced by my local non dealer mechanic and the trans is now better than the original."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Both ball joints collapsed so that the steering was loose and the car would wander about."

Anonymous, KY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Bushings

"Noisy front end. I believe they're called jounce bumpers that have had to be replaced numerous times, to no avail. Months later, more noise."

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"had an issue but was repairable"

Anonymous, AL (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Clunking noise. Bushings (at least I believe it was bushings) replaced twice now"

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"The suspension problems with the Fiat 500 are well-known. I can't count how many times I had it in to the dealership for repair/replacement, When the extended warranty was over (itself a ripoff, butthat's another story) I vowed I would never go back to the dealer. I had the shocks replaced AGAIN by an independent a few months back. So far, so good (relatively speaking)."

W D., QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I'm not sure what I've said before but the front suspension in this car is a nightmare. Noise and clunking have become something we've just had to live with."

Anonymous, QC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The strut stops were replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CT (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Noises from steering column area. Column replaced by dealer"

Anonymous, RI (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Right rear wheel bearing went out, causing loud roar type mNoise"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"The car would not go into gear due to a cable being broke"

Victor T., FL (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Engine computer

"Check engine light always come up after fueling but disappear after driving a few miles. Weird and annoying"

Francois G., FL (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Annoyingly, the car would stall intermittently or fail to start... Starter was replaced, engine had numerous hose leaks, etc. Problem was never rectified"

Paul L., ON (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"The breather system o-ring perished and caused a puddle of oil near the intake system that would drip all the way down onto the hot exhaust manifold. Did not use much oil but smelled bad."

Dan B., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Continuous oil leaks even with the engine being dropped and gaskets replaced"

Victor T., FL (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"rear main seal leak. Fiat covered $1,100 of the $1,200 repair cost. No argument. Very amenable"

Robert L., AZ (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Oil leak resulted from poorly installed gaskets/seals on engine. Replaced under warranty"

Steven S., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Leakage from bad seal caused failure of electronic switch that opens hatch (as well as license-plate light). No key or any other secondary way to open hatch, even in emergency. Switch replaced under warranty, but aggravation factor extremely high"

D H., PA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"occassional rap when hitting sharp bump and slight rattle on rough roads"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"There is an excessive amount of audible vibration and road noise when driving"

Bruce S., FL (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Roof rattle above driver head, not able to be corrected by dealer. Rear rattle, not corrected by dealer after $500 repair to front suspension"

Roy R., ON (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Squeak coming from engine at 2500 rmp dealer unable to replicate"

Michael O., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Wind noise has always been a part of the experience with this car. It sounds like it's increased this year even with all windows closed."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"iPhone integration problems since we first got the vehicle. When device is unplugged or vehicle started after unplugging it, FM/AM comes on at full volume, much louder than iPhone had been. More recently, integration stopped working, being intermittently unable to detect newer iOS device, with same hardware after iOS upgrade."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sometimes, the radio will not detect a USB-connected iPhone"

Bryan I., OH (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The system has never fully worked seamlessly well."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"my Verizon Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 928 refused to pair. When I replaced it with a HTC One M8, the pairing went perfectly, and the system now works as it should. go figure . . . The Nokia did work perfectly with a rental car"

Edward C., IN (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I have yet been able to pair my phone with the onboard Bluetooth, and there should be no problems as my cell phones are high end"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Not been able to pair my high end cell phone to the cars bluetooth"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"Several ring gear teeth broke and caused the case to crack requiring transmission replacement."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Driveline vibration

"Vibration and road noise. Had to replace wheel bearing."

John C., VA (2012 Fiat 500 Abarth 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It was not vibration. It was a defective wheel bearing that required replacement"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Fiat 500)
Electrical failure

"The alternator has had multiple problems."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Stability control (ESC)

"ESC/Check engine light is on; as yet unresolved"

Joe S., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Failed while driving lost power very dangerous"

Peter C., MA (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery froze this winter. (Suspected)"

Paul L., ON (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Coil

"Engine running badly. 35mph tops"

Thomas M., KY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Starter

"Replaced starter two times! @ $900 each time"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Starter didn't engage"

Thomas M., KY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"Had to replace rotors. Not unusual for a sportscar."

John C., VA (2012 Fiat 500 Abarth 1.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"We had the car sit for three weeks and the brakes had rusted and had to have a complete brake job"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The mechanic showed me the rotors when he had taken them off and he commented to me on how badly they were worn down. He was surprised at the deterioration of them"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Every year I have to have 3 failed inspections before I can get a waiver of the inspection by the DMV. This car is a pain in the rear axle."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

"I was unable to fill the gas tank with gasoline with out spending 15 minutes doing so"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light came on because the oxygen sensor was slow to respond"

Rick N., CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

"Bad Radiator cap failed."

Lloyd S., TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"For the last 6 months or so the check engine & low oil pressure, stop & turn off engine light has come on when sitting in heavy traffic or idling. I took it the Fiat dealership and they told me it was one problem...and then after they fixed it they told me it was another problem. This car has been nothing but trouble. It's extremely expensive to fix and seemingly ALWAYS in the shop. Never again."

John N., DC (2012 Fiat 500)
Thermostat

"Thermostat assembly needed replacement because of leaking."

Anonymous, BC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine stopped operating... had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The engine had to be replaced after 30,000 pampered miles. We take good care of our cars and have never replaced an engine before, so this was costly and annoying, even though the manufacturer covered most of the cost. They should have covered 100% of the cost, given me a loaner car, and apologized that their engine failed after only 30,000 miles"

Jim S., NY (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Went to get routine oil change last year and was told that there was a leak which would require total engine replacement"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Not precise, changes up and down"

Robert W., OR (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced a bad A/C relay sensor---this happened twice within a 24-month period"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The cover for the airbag in the steering wheel will not stay in place. The plugs that were supposed to hook into the steering wheel were flimsy and broke. The cover was only attached at the bottom and was a nuisance. I have had the airbag unit replaced with a second hand one. This was not the only feature in this car that damaged easily. (driver armrest)"

Anonymous, NC (2012 Fiat 500 Sport 1.4-L 4 Cyl)
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