Launched just last year, the Fiat 500 hatchback was soon joined by the slide-open-top 500c cabriolet, followed by the up-power Abarth version late last year. For 2013, a mid-power 500 Turbo model slides in under the aggressive Abarth, and a pure electric, the 500e, makes its debut, initially limited to California.
Like its hatchback sibling, the new 2012 500 Cabrio draws on the original – and even smaller – 1957 Fiat "Nuova Cinquecento" for conceptual inspiration but overlays that canvas-crowned neo-classic vision with 21st century design and engineering upgrades.
The Fiat 500 heralds the Italian automaker's return to the U.S. market, and so far things seem to be going well. Though many will draw comparisons between the 500 and the Mini Cooper, in truth the two are very different cars. Where the Mini is about performance, the 500 lures buyers with an attractive price and miserly fuel efficiency. Those wanting more power can opt for the 500 Turbo or the high-performance Abarth, while those seeking to pay nothing for gas can opt for the all-electric 500e. Being Italian, the 500 of course comes with a variety of designer trims, colors and equipment, all aimed at helping this small car make a big splash.
By Music Dude on Saturday, April 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,700overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality of construction, fuel economy, reliability"
Cons: "Rear seat room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my 2013 Fiat 500 Sport 5 speed to replace a 2009 Mini Cooper S Clubman. After owning the Mini just wasn't confident that it would hold up long term without having to take out a second mortgage to pay the mechanic. At under 30K miles, I had to have the following done: timing chain and tensioner and front brake pads along with regular routine maintenance. When I traded the car in at 32K, the car was indicating that it needed rear brake pads in another 10K miles. So, going from a 27,000 car to a 19,500 car would be painful, right? Not at all. I have features in tis car that the Mini did not have- 7 speaker Beats Audio with satellite radio and climate control. OK I gave up the power of the turbo in the Mini for the 101hp Fiat, but I am now averaging 39 MPG on my daily 120 mile round trip commute. Highway manners/handling are excellent, and the sport seats are very comfortable, even on long trips. The brakes are excellent, and the steering is very responsive. Fit and finish is excellent and the paint quality is far better than one would expect of a car in this price range. I have had no unexpected service visits, and the built in computer indicates when routing maintenance is requires. My oil change light came on around 8000 miles. While it does have rear seats, think of them as emergency seating only. With only 101hp on tap, expect to downshift from 5th to 4th for speedy passing. I'd buy this car again in a heartbeat."
20 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By bill on Thursday, September 13, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price options mpg all around fun car"
Cons: "no winter tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"let me start by saying that ive owned 49 vehicles since i was 15,now 38. and this has been my favorite so far/my first fiat was the 500 sport which i owned for 6 months and put over 10000 miles on it with zero problems.my daily commute was 70 miles and i avg. 41mpg @70+mph. driving a lil more sensible i did see aroung 46mpg.my sport was 5 speed and had plenty of pickup,i was actually suprised from the 1.4 liter engine,very smooth,and quick.steering is quick and precise,the 5 speed has a light feel to it,shifting through the gears with very little effort.nice tight close shift pattern,although the shift knob seemed a lil cheap(plastic).the interior seemed laid out very well,i really liked the position of the shifter in relation to seating position.controls on the dash didnt look cheap.radio controls on back of steering wheel is a nice touch.door panels are kind of plain with only a small amount of leather on the armrest,but not hateful. my abarth ive had 5 months now and have 7000 miles. this car is blast to drive,very quick with great handiling.the turbo has no lag,runs 18pounds of boost,and spools very quick.the exhaust sounds amazing,quiet on the highway,but deep loud tone when you get on it..the lower stance and 17 inch wheels make this thing look great.the front bumper with vents for intercoolers and lower front lip lets you know this not your average fiat,as well as the dual exhaust and vented rear bumper with a diffuser. black leather seats with red stitching,a matching leather shift knob,and steering wheel makes the interior look a higher end sports car.ive had zero problems with this car as well although my mpg is a lil less @34 to 36,depending on how i drive it.its still respectable considering what your getting in this car. a fast sporty hatch very comparable to the mini cooper s for about 7 grand less. my only complaint is if you plan on driving this in the winter,be prepared to buy diff. wheels and tires,the tires are only three season zr rated"
16 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By minimaniac on Saturday, February 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, fun to drive great on gas"
Cons: "A bit underpowered but not bad in sport mode"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Well I did own a MINI Cooper but that was not a good experience. What a nightmare. The MINI was just not a reliable car. I owned it for 6 months and was happy to be rid of it. I love this Fiat 500. Drives like a quality small car. It is better on gas than the EPA numbers. I am getting 34 mpg around town and 42 hiway with the 5 speed. The car has been super reliable without any problems. If you are thinking of buying a MINI drive the Fiat 500 and I think you will be pleasantly surprized."
15 people out of 15 found this review helpful