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2019 FIAT 500 Review

The 2019 Fiat 500 offers easy maneuverability and a user-friendly infotainment system, but its awful predicted reliability rating and tight, poor-quality cabin sink it toward the bottom of our subcompact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Good city commuter
  • Powerful Abarth model
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Low-quality cabin
  • Cramped seating space
  • Abysmal predicted reliability rating

5.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.3
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 5.2
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
N/A
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

The 2019 Fiat 500 is not a particularly good used subcompact car. Its cabin is among the smallest in the class, and it's filled with lots of low-rent materials and hard plastics. Also, like many subcompacts, its base engine is underwhelming at highway speeds.

On the plus side, the 500's small size makes it easy to drive on crowded city streets and fit into tight parking spots. And if you want more oomph, the Abarth model has a stronger engine and sporty enhancements like a performance-tuned suspension system.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the Fiat 500 – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 94 Fiat 500 reviews alongside performance specs, interior dimensions, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Fiat 500 Cost to Own?

We currently do not have projections for the 2019 Fiat 500’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance.

2018 vs. 2019 Fiat 500: What's the Difference?

The 2019 Fiat 500 saw no major changes, making it nearly identical to the 2018 model. Notably, 2019 marked the final model year for the Fiat 500 and 500e in North America.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 500 »

Here are key changes for the Fiat 500 over the last few years:

  • 2016: gained standard 5-inch touch screen; Easy trim joined lineup
  • 2017: optional features became available across all trims; Easy, Sport, and Turbo trims discontinued
  • 2018: added available turbocharged engine and rearview camera; refreshed styling
  • 2019: no major changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 Fiat 500, 2017 Fiat 500, and 2018 Fiat 500 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Fiat 500?

The 2019 Fiat 500 has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five.

Read more about 500 reliability »

2019 FIAT 500 Recalls

There have been 1 safety recalls issued from NHTSA.

POWER TRAIN:MANUAL TRANSMISSION:FLOOR SHIFT ASSEMBLY Recall Date: 07/02/2019
  • Summary: DLT, LLC. is recalling certain CravenSpeed Fiat Short Shifter shafts sold for use in 2011-2019 Fiat 500 vehicles. The Shifter Shaft may have been improperly manufactured with a through hole for the set screw rather than a blind hole, which may lead to the breakage of the Shifter Shaft.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 740
  • Consequence: If the shifter breaks while the vehicle is in motion, it can increase the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: DLT has notified owners, and will provide a complete replacement shifter assembly with an updated shaft, free of charge. The recall began July 24, 2019. Owners may contact DLT customer service at 1-503-505-6886.
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 19E044000

See more information on Fiat 500 safety recalls »

Which Used Fiat 500 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Fiat 500 comes in four main trims: Pop, Lounge, 1957 Retro Edition, and Abarth. The Lounge trim will likely appeal to most shoppers. It comes with the base trim’s features and adds comfort-oriented amenities like leather-trimmed front seats. If you want the stronger engine, you'll have to step up to the top-of-the-line Abarth trim.

You might be able to get your hands on an electric-only 500e model, which was available in select regions when new.

  • Fiat 500 Pop: The base Pop trim comes with a 135-horsepower turbocharged engine and either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include cloth upholstery, 50/50-split-folding rear seats, and an infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice command, and six speakers.
  • Fiat 500 Lounge: The Lounge trim adds heated and leather-trimmed front seats, heated mirrors, and rear parking sensors.
  • Fiat 500 1957 Retro Edition: The 1957 Retro Edition builds off the Lounge trim and adds exterior Retro Fiat badging and trim-specific interior styling.
  • Fiat 500 Abarth: The Abarth trim comes with a 160-horsepower engine and gains a performance-tuned suspension system, upgraded brakes, and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
  • Fiat 500e: The 500e model features an 83-kWh electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack that make a combined 111 horsepower. The 500e also comes with a single-speed transmission.

See 2019 Fiat 500 trims and specs »

What Does Fiat's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Fiat offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Fiat extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Fiat warranty page carefully.

Fiat has one of the worst CPO programs among affordable carmakers, according to our analysis. Kia, Hyundai, Chevy, Ford, Honda, and Mazda are all better.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the 500?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Fiat 500 four out of five stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. This Fiat did not receive an overall safety rating.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 500 the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the lowest rating of Poor in the driver’s side small overlap front crash test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Rear parking sensors

See 500 safety scores »

2019 Fiat 500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Fiat 500 or 2019 Honda Fit?

The 2019 Honda Fit is superior to the Fiat 500 in most ways. In addition to its higher predicted reliability rating, the Fit has adult-friendly seating in both rows, and the Honda’s cargo capacity of 52.7 cubic feet is much more than what you’ll get in the Fiat. In addition, the Fit boasts one of the most enjoyable rides in the class thanks to its responsive steering and composed handling. About the only mark against the Fit is its engine, which is noisy at higher speeds and isn’t as potent as those that are available in the 500.

Which Is Better: 2019 Fiat 500 or 2019 Mini Cooper?

The 2019 Mini Cooper is significantly more expensive, on average, than the 500, but it’s a more well-rounded subcompact car. The Cooper has quality interior materials, as well as more cargo space than the 500. The Mini is also more fun to drive thanks to its sporty suspension system and sharp steering. In addition, the Mini Cooper has two available turbocharged engines that are more potent than anything you’ll find in the 500.

Compare the 500, Fit, and Cooper »

2019 500 Performance

How Does the 2019 Fiat 500 Drive?

The 500’s standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine has enough power for commuting on city streets, but it lacks the oomph you want for highway driving. With its small size, this Fiat easily maneuvers through tight spaces, but minimal steering feedback prevents it from handling well at high speeds.

Those looking for additional power and athleticism will want to look for an Abarth. This model features a slightly stronger turbo-four engine and a performance-oriented suspension. Fiat offered the all-electric 500e model in select markets when it was new.

  • Base engine: turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 135 horsepower (Pop and Lounge)
  • Available powertrains: 
    • turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower (Abarth)
    • 83-kWh electric motor and a lithium-ion battery with a combined 111 horsepower (500e)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard five-speed manual; standard single-speed (500e only); available six-speed automatic
Does the 2019 Fiat 500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

Models with the automatic transmission earn decent fuel economy estimates. Models with the manual transmission have superior gas mileage figures. The 500e has a lithium-ion battery and is the most efficient model of the bunch, but it will likely be hard to find given its limited availability.

  • With automatic: 24/32 mpg city/highway
  • With manual: 28/33 mpg
  • 500e: 121/103 MPG-equivalent

Read more about 500 performance »

2019 500 Interior       

How Many People Does the 2019 500 Seat?

The 2019 Fiat 500 has seating for up to four people in both its hatchback and cabrio (convertible) body styles. In models without a sunroof, the 500 has a good amount of space in the front row. However, models with the available sunroof have limited headroom. Also, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel can make it difficult for the driver to find a comfortable position, and there’s not much space in the back for adults.

This Fiat has an attractive design, but it uses some poor interior materials, including hard-touch plastics.

Standard seating features:

  • Cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • Leather-trimmed front seats
  • Heated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Fiat 500?

The 2019 500 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats.

2019 Fiat 500 Features

The standard infotainment system is easy to operate, but critics note that its push-button controls for audio and climate functions aren’t as useful as traditional knobs.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice command, and six speakers
  • Available infotainment features: satellite radio, Beats premium audio, and navigation
  • Other available features: a sunroof

See 2019 Fiat 500 specs »

Read more about 500 interior »

2019 Fiat 500 Dimensions

Fiat 500 Cargo Space

This Fiat has limited cargo space for a subcompact car. The 500 hatchback has 9.5 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 30.2 cubic feet with these seats folded down. Cabrio models have just 5.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

2019 Fiat 500 Length and Weight
  • Length: about 11 feet, 8 inches to 12 feet
  • Curb weight: 2,366 to 2,512 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Fiat 500 Built?

Fiat built the 2019 500 in Mexico.

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