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2013 FIAT 500 Review

With an underpowered base engine, a cramped interior, and below-average crash test results, the used 2013 Fiat 500 sits near the bottom of our subcompact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy available engines
  • Easy to park
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Limited passing power in base model

New for 2013

  • New 500 Turbo model
  • New Abarth Cabrio model
  • Beats audio system available

Rankings & Research

The 2013 FIAT 500's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Subcompact Cars category. Currently the FIAT 500 has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 80 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 FIAT 500 Overview

Is the 2013 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

By most measures, the 2013 Fiat 500, available in coupe and convertible (Cabrio) body styles, is not a good used subcompact car. It has spirited handling, but that’s not enough to compensate for a tiny list of standard features, low-rent cabin materials, and a poor reliability rating.

Used 2013 Fiat 500 Performance and Interior

A 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine comes standard in the front-wheel-drive Fiat 500, and a 135-horsepower, turbocharged engine is available. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed automatic is available. The base engine works well around town but struggles getting the 500 up to highway speeds. All 500s have a stiff ride, but they are easy to park, even in urban environments.

The performance-oriented Abarth model has a 160-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Its sport-tuned suspension and brisk acceleration allow the 500 to tackle any racetrack or twisty road with ease.

With the base engine and six-speed automatic, the Fiat 500 gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which are lower numbers for such a small car. With the base engine and five-speed manual transmission, ratings improve to 30/38 mpg city/highway. The Fiat 500 Abarth gets 28/33 mpg.

Read more about 500 performance »

The Fiat 500 seats four in two rows. The front seats are comfortable, but the cramped rear row offers little leg- and headroom. The available sunroof restricts front-row headroom, which is already compromised by the high-set seats. The 500 has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear seats.

Standard features in the 500 include a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and Bluetooth. Available features include satellite radio, upgraded stereo systems, and a navigation. The 500’s radio interface and Bluetooth are difficult to use and don’t integrate well with smartphones, while the available navigation system isn’t as easy to use as competitor’s systems. The Fiat 500 has 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 30.2 cubic feet with them folded.

Read more about 500 interior »

Used 2013 Fiat 500 Prices

The price of a used 2013 Fiat 500 ranges from about $5,800 for the base Fiat 500 Pop trim to around $8,900 for the Fiat 500 Abarth. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 80 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 80 professional evaluations for this 2013 Fiat 500 review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricy gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Fiat 500?

The 2013 Fiat 500 has a reliability score of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s below average for the auto industry.

See Fiat 500 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Fiat 500?

The 2013 Fiat 500 earned an overall rating of four out of five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal and rollover crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Fiat 500 a Top Safety Pick. It earned the top rating of Good in all categories except the small overlap front crash test, where it earned the lowest rating of Poor.

No active safety features come standard in the 500. Rear park assist is available.

See Fiat 500 safety scores »

Is the 2013 Fiat 500 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Fiat 500 is part of a generation that launched for 2012. A 2012 Fiat 500 might save you some money, but the peppier Turbo model and the convertible Cabrio Abarth model were not available. There are few significant differences between the 2013 and 2014 Fiat 500 models.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Fiat 500 »

Which Used Fiat 500 Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Fiat 500 hatchback has five trim levels: Pop, Sport, Lounge, Turbo, and Abarth. The Pop, Lounge, and Abarth trims are available as a convertible (Cabrio). The hatchback’s Pop level includes air conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 12-volt power outlet, keyless entry, a six-speaker stereo system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. The Sport trim adds a premium stereo system. The Lounge trim adds a satellite radio. The Turbo trim adds the 135-horsepower turbo engine. The Abarth includes a distinctive spoiler and other performance enhancements. The Pop and Lounge convertible trims come with similar features as their hatchback counterparts but add rear park assist. If performance is your priority, go for the Abarth. Otherwise, the Lounge trim offers a nice balance between features and price.

With the Fiat 500’s below-average reliability rating, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned 500 for added peace of mind. For certified pre-owned Fiat vehicles, the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to seven years or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. There are restrictions related to mileage and models, so read the Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram warranty page carefully.

The 500’s original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Fiat certified pre-owned program »

2013 Fiat 500 and Other Cars to Consider

There is an all-electric 2013 Fiat 500e. When new, it was only sold in California. It has an estimated 80-mile range and a chassis and suspension designed for the EV powertrain. It offers better handling and braking than gas-engine 500s.

Which Is Better: 2013 Fiat 500 or 2013 Mini Cooper?

The 2013 Mini Cooper is a much better car than the Fiat 500, and it will cost you a lot more. The Mini Cooper has a more powerful base engine, an engaging manual transmission, and more engaged handling, especially at highway speeds, where the 500 struggles. The Mini Cooper also has better crash test ratings and slightly better reliability ratings. If you can afford it, pick the Cooper.

Which Is Better: 2013 Fiat 500 or 2013 Volkswagen Beetle?

Neither the Fiat 500 nor the Volkswagen Beetle is a particularly good vehicle. The VW has a nicer interior than the Fiat, but the 500 is more fun to drive and likely costs much less. Before buying either, shop around. There are much better options in this class.

Compare the 500, Cooper, and Beetle »


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