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2013 FIAT 500

Overview
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2013 FIAT 500 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

The slick and sassy 500 anchored Fiat's 2012 return to the U.S. market, where it's become Chrysler's new small-car brand. It's easy to see the 2013 Fiat 500 as an Italian Mini Cooper: They're both small cars with big personalities and both have storied pasts dating to the 1950s. But they're very different cars, the 500 countering the Mini's superpower and sharper handling with lower prices, a more comfortable ride and superior fuel efficiency. For 2013, the 500 comes in eight model/trim configurations, including a convertible, two levels of up-power sport tuning, and a new electric version, the 500e (California only). All models offer opportunities for personalization.

You'll Like This Car If...

Cool, funky, fun and unexpectedly refined, the 2013 Fiat 500 bridges the gap between the sportier, pricier Mini Cooper and the more pedestrian Toyota Yaris. If you like a little car with attitude, and hear the call of Italian style sensibilities, the Fiat 500 may be for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're not smitten by the style of the 2013 Fiat 500, you can get more car for your money in something like a Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta or Mazda2, all offering more doors, more room and more standard power.

What's New for 2013

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.

Driving the 500

Driving Impressions Whereas the Mini Cooper is an undersized action hero – as in The Italian Job – the Fiat 500 is more likely to appear in a romantic comedy. The lightweight,...

101-horsepower Fiat is definitely fun, just not in a car-chase kind of way. The 500 combines tiny car advantages with comfortable accommodations and a relatively smooth highway ride. The steering, brake and shift controls all have a quality feel, and the optional 6-speed automatic surprised us with its responsiveness. Obviously, the 160-horsepower Abarth model runs and drives a lot more aggressively, and the newly added Turbo model, at 135 horsepower, splits the difference in terms of over-the-road intensity. With an EPA-estimated range of 87 miles per charge, the electric-powered 500e delivers stronger acceleration than the naturally-aspirated 500s, and the quietest operation of the entire line. In any form, the 2013 Fiat 500 is tiny and quirky until you drive it. Then, it's tiny, quirky and respectable.

INTELLIGENT POWER CONVERTIBLE TOP
The 500c's dual-layer power top cycles in just 15 seconds and can be deployed at speeds up to 60 mph. The folded top stack automatically slides up into an "easy-access" position when you pop the decklid. Unfortunately, it also hampers rearward views.

ECO:DRIVE
Plug a USB memory stick into the Fiat 500's glovebox-mounted USB port and the car will upload onto it a variety of trip details including carbon dioxide emissions information. Plug the memory stick into your computer and you'll get personalized tips on how to improve your driving efficiency.

2013 FIAT 500 Details
Interior

The Fiat 500 is roomier up front than you might expect, and just as tight in back as it looks. If you will transport more than two adults on a regular basis, we'd suggest a larger 4-door alternative. The interior style lives up to the promise of the quirky but fashionable exterior, and we found the materials, build quality and seat comfort impressive for a car with a starting price around $16,000. As the athlete of the group, the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth offers aggressively bolstered front seats, exclusive red seam stitching and a thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel.

Exterior

The 2013 Fiat 500 is a modern interpretation of 1957's tiny, rear-engined original. Although larger than the original, it's still seven inches shorter than today's Mini Cooper. The iconic sloping rear end is a big part of the 500's personality, though it limits rear headroom. For 2013, the Fiat 500 is available in eight distinct models and trim combinations: The hatchback offers Pop, Sport and Lounge trim levels, while the soft-top 500c comes in Pop and Lounge. The new Turbo, Abarth and 500e electric are their own packages. Wheels, fascias and body trim differentiate the models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Fiat 500 and 500c Pop include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch covered steel wheels, a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, cruise control, power window/locks/mirrors, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port for portable music players. The range-topping Abarth variant includes a Bose premium audio system, 16-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, and a leather-wrapped dashboard. Standard safety features include seven airbags, hill-start assist to help prevent vehicle rollback on steep inclines and seemingly all the other advancements we're seeing on new cars in this price range and beyond.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, Bose audio system and automatic climate control. The 500 Sport model is differentiated by a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch wheels and a variety of aesthetic touches including red brake calipers and a subtle rear spoiler. The new Turbo model adds larger front brakes and more serious suspension tuning to go with its specific 16-inch wheels and identifying trim. The mighty Abarth offers larger 17-inch wheels, 2-tone leather-trimmed seats and your choice of either white or red body side stripes.

Under the Hood

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Fiat 500 is motivated by a small but sophisticated 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine using Fiat's patented MultiAir technology, which varies intake-valve timing and lift. Fiat tunes this engine to three power levels: The base hatchback and cabriolet get 101 horsepower (naturally aspirated), the new-for-2013 Turbo makes 135 horsepower and the Abarth, also turbocharged, cranks out 160 horsepower. The new 500e electric is rated for 111 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers may look modest, but they only have to move some 2,400 pounds of car. Most of the 500s offer the choice of a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, but the turbocharged engines get only the 5-speed manual gearbox. We like the automatic for its extra ratio and responsive shifting though it does cut fuel efficiency by more than 10 percent. The 500e uses a single-speed automatic.

1.4-liter inline-4
101 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
98 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/40 mpg (manual), 27/34 mpg (automatic)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
135 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
150 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 mpg

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 mpg

Permanent magnet electric motor
111 horsepower
147 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 122/108 mpg equivalent
EPA range on a full charge: 87 miles

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2013 FIAT 500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 117 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Small but amzing

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good MPG, easy to parking, fast"

Cons: "small backseat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, manual transmission of course, and it's fun! The abarth is totally different than others Fiat 500 models. This car is insane! if you like to have a fancy and quick car, this is a perfect fit! I haven't had any issue so far. Honestly i was skeptical at the beginning, but after the firts test drive I just fell in love... I do not recommend this car if you do not have very good driving skills."

Worst mistake I've ever made

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
4/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "It's a cute care"

Cons: "Screams when I start it, leaks oil and transmissio"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I was in love with how cute this car was when I first spotted it. I've had the car almost 4 years and it's already had three major repairs as well as a few recall issues. There is nothing good I can say for this car or the customer service that comes with it. Seriously do not purchase one of these."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great in town, on dry days

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "fun to drive around town on dry days"

Cons: "horrible in snow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"This little car is great for parking. It's small, easy to maneuver. Gas mileage is good, getting around 38mpg over the 3+ years I've had it. The downside is it's noisy and bumpy so you don't want to take it on long trips. It's also horrible in the snow, there's no traction."

16 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Bought it because it was cheap- Love it!

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Stylish, saves gas, spacious front seat"

Cons: "Tiny back seat, long throws between gears on shift"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had my 2012 sport for about a year now and love it. It's been reliable and the small size is great in the city. The engine doesn't have the pick up up of some cars, but then, I knew that going into a tiny car with 101 hp. Would definitely buy again"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Lemon!!!!!!!!!

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Nice color"

Cons: "zero reliability and dangerous"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car has been in the shop 4 times in the the last 6 months. They do not know what is wrong with it, and cannot fix it. It has left me stander countless times, not to mention in the middle of a main intersection. I love the car when it works but they can't fix it and are not willing to do anything about it. Don't take the chance if you want a reliable car."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Love my little red car

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cute, great mileage, makes me happy"

Cons: "Difficulty opening hood and hatchback."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I do love my little red FIAT, despite the fact that the clutch died within one year - which was NOT my fault. Chrysler paid $1,000 of the $1,200 repair cost, which was nice, but I don't think I should have had to pay even $200. It gets great mileage, can fit just about anywhere and is just adorable. I have had a couple of issues of not being able to fit stuff in that would fit in most cars, but that's a small sacrifice to the smile my car brings to me ever time I see it."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?