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7.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 6.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 8.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 FIAT 500 Review

The 2015 Fiat 500 suffers from a low ranking mainly because of its abysmal predicted reliability rating. In addition to an anemic base engine, the 500 offers a mostly cramped interior with subpar materials. It also lacks modern features, like a rearview camera and an infotainment system. 

Pros & Cons

  • Bargain pricing
  • Great performance from Abarth model
  • Abysmal predicted reliability
  • Meek base engine
  • Miniscule rear seat

New for 2015

  • Bluetooth audio streaming, second USB port, and digital cluster display made standard
  • Automatic transmission available for Fiat 500 Abarth

2015 FIAT 500 Overview

Is the 2015 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

The Fiat 500's small size and low average price make it a decent option if you live in a city or don't do a lot of driving – just don't expect a ton of modern amenities or the nicest interior. However, the performance-oriented Fiat 500 Abarth boasts a turbocharged engine and delivers some of the best overall driving dynamics you can find in a subcompact car.

Used 2015 Fiat 500 Performance and Interior

The standard 2015 Fiat 500 is powered by a diminutive four-cylinder MultiAir engine that only makes 101 horsepower. It's good for scooting around town, but not much else. For more oomph, the 500 is available with two turbocharged engines. One makes 135 horsepower, while the other – the Abarth engine – puts out 160 horsepower. The midrange engine can suffer from some turbo lag or feel slow off the line, but the Abarth moves briskly under heavy acceleration and at highway speeds. All models can be found with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy estimates range from 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the base engine and a manual transmission, to 24 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway for an Abarth with an automatic. The all-electric Fiat 500e gets a combined 116 mpg-e and can go 87 miles on a full charge. 

The 500 is easily maneuverable and feels most at home fitting into tight parking spaces or zipping through city traffic. It has tight steering and a comfortable ride over rough pavement, but you might experience some body roll when going through swooping turns. 

Read more about 500 performance »

The Fiat 500 seats four on standard cloth seats, though some models may have leather upholstery or heated front seats. While two taller adults can comfortably occupy the front row, the back seat is practically unusable for anyone but children. There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the 500. 

The 500’s interior appearance and styling match its quirky exterior, but the quality of materials is generally below what many rivals offer. Standard features include Bluetooth with streaming audio, as well as two USB ports. Optional equipment includes automatic climate control, satellite radio, an Alpine or Beats Audio premium stereo, navigation, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Newly available for 2015, a digital instrument cluster display features sharp and bright graphics, but other physical dashboard controls are unintuitive.

Read more about 500 interior »

Used 2015 Fiat 500 Prices

Average prices for a used 2015 500 range from about $9,700 for a base Pop model to around $13,500 for an Abarth model. Prices fluctuate not only with demand, but with the car’s mileage, features, condition, and location as well.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 82 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if a used 2015 Fiat 500 is right for you, we analyzed the consensus opinions of the automotive press alongside data like crash test ratings, reliability scores, and cost of ownership estimates. We've done the hard work so you can make a buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars for 10 years, and our editorial staff has decades of experience in the automotive industry. To ensure we stay impartial, we don't accept expensive incentives or gifts from car companies, and another team handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Fiat 500?

The 2015 Fiat 500 has a predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is the lowest score possible.

Read more about 500 reliability »

How Safe Is the 500?

Subcompact cars usually aren’t known for their stellar crash test ratings, and this is mostly true of the 2015 500 as well. It gets about average scores for its class, earning four out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. The 500 also scored the highest rating of Good in four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, but it earned the lowest rating of Poor in the small overlap front test. Rear parking sensors are the only driver assistance feature available in the 500. 

See 500 safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used 500?

The 2015 Fiat 500 is part of the hatchback's first generation in the United States. This generation began with the 2012 model year. While there were few mechanical changes over the model years, the 2015 500 is more tech-friendly, adding Bluetooth audio streaming, an additional USB port, and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display. This model year was also the first time that the Abarth model offered an available automatic transmission.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 500 » 

Which Used Fiat 500 Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Fiat 500 is available in hatchback and soft-top Fiat 500C Cabrio (convertible) body styles. There are five trims to choose from: Pop, Sport, Lounge, Turbo, and Abarth. The Fiat 500e is an electric version. If performance is a concern, go with the zippy Abarth. Its turbocharged engine is more potent than the midrange Turbo model, and it blows the base variant out of the water. However, if you're looking for the best value and don't need loads of turbo power, the 500 Lounge strikes a nice balance between price and features. It includes amenities like satellite radio, an Alpine premium stereo, and automatic climate control. Some Lounge models may also have leather and heated seats, as well as rear parking sensors.

Because of the 500’s poor predicted reliability, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. 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 Fiat warranty page carefully. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Fiat certified pre-owned program » 

2015 Fiat 500 and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Fiat 500 or 2015 Mini Cooper?

The 2015 Fiat 500 and 2015 Mini Cooper are both subcompact cars that stand out from the crowd with their retro European styling. The Cooper is the overall better buy thanks to its higher predicted reliability score, though its average purchase and ownership costs dwarf those of the 500. The Mini has some of the best overall performance in the class, with strong turbocharged engines and lithe handling. If you are considering a 500 Abarth, a Cooper S or John Cooper Works edition will thrill even more. The Mini Cooper's interior also offers a lot of advantages over the 500. It boasts high-quality materials like standard leatherette seating, as well as a back seat in the four-door sedan model that is comfortable enough for adults. You can find Coopers with a whole host of technological amenities, like an infotainment system, a rearview camera, and advanced safety features like automatic braking.

Which Is Better: 2015 Fiat 500 or 2015 Honda Fit?

The 2015 Honda Fit is practically everything you could ask for in a small hatchback. It has great safety scores for its class and a solidly above-average reliability rating. Its utility is hard to beat, as the Fit offers ample rear-passenger legroom and a huge amount of cargo space for a subcompact car. A rearview camera comes standard, and you can find other cool features like a touch-screen infotainment system, a blind spot camera, and smartphone integration. Because of its value, quality, and features, we named the Fit our 2015 Best Subcompact Car for the Money and 2015 Best Hatchback for the Money.

Compare the 500, Cooper, and Fit »

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