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2015 FIAT 500 Review

The 2015 Fiat 500 stands out in a crowded field with its playful styling and lively Abarth models. However, its safety and reliability ratings are lower than most rivals, which is partly why it lands in the bottom half of our subcompact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Abarth models are sporty and fun to drive
  • Good fuel economy
  • Small back-seat and cargo areas
  • Low reliability rating
  • Mixed crash test ratings
  • No advanced safety features available beyond rear parking sensors

New for 2015

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




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 5.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 FIAT 500 Overview

Is the 2015 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

The Fiat 500 is OK. It is overflowing with style and comfort (up front at least), but it falls short alongside other subcompact cars when it comes to safety and reliability ratings, tech features, and cargo space.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Fiat 500 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 80 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2015 Fiat 500?

Based on listings for the 2015 Fiat 500 on our site, the average list price is $10,400. Prices range from $7,900 to $14,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Fiat 500 Cost to Own?

The 2015 Fiat 500's five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $22,890, or $4,577 per year.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 500?

The 2019 Fiat 500 carries over from the previous model years with no significant changes, so there are no advantages to buying a new 500.

Read about the new Fiat 500 »

No new car has a price tag on par with the average list price of a 2015 Fiat 500, but you can come close with a 2019 Chevrolet Spark, which has a base MSRP of $13,220. This small hatchback also places higher than the 500 in our new subcompact cars rankings.

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Which Model Year of the Fiat 500 Is Best?

Fiat launched this iteration of the 500 for the 2012 model year. Since then, changes for this Fiat have mostly consisted of adding interior features and reshuffling the trim levels.

Listening to your favorite tunes became even easier with the 2015 model, thanks to the addition of standard Bluetooth audio streaming and a second USB port. A 5-inch touch screen became standard for 2016, and a rearview camera and a turbocharged engine became standard for 2018. For the best combination of value and amenities, we recommend shopping for the oldest model that has the features you desire.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 500 »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Fiat 500?

The 500 has the lowest-possible reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about 500 reliability »

2015 Fiat 500 Recalls

The 2015 500 has two recalls as of the date of this review. The recalls address a clutch diaphragm spring that may rupture in models with a manual transmission, and an issue that may cause the vehicle to shift unexpectedly into neutral in all-electric 500e models. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Fiat 500 safety recalls »

Which Used Fiat 500 Is Right for Me?

The 500 is available as a hatchback, a convertible, an electric vehicle, and the performance-oriented Abarth. To decide between the models, pick the body style and powertrain that you prefer. Hatchback models come in four trims: Pop, Sport, Lounge, and Turbo. The Fiat 500C Cabrio is a soft-top convertible that's available in Pop and Lounge trim levels.

Under the hood of most trims is a 101-horsepower engine, while Turbo trims come with a 135-horsepower turbocharged engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available in select trims. Standard interior features include cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Within this lineup, Lounge models present an appealing mix of features. Upgrades such as a fixed glass roof, premium cloth upholstery, an Alpine sound system, and automatic climate control are standard. Optional equipment includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, and rear parking sensors.

The Fiat 500e is a battery-electric vehicle with a 111-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack capable of powering the car for about 87 miles on a single charge. It comes in only one trim level and is only available in a hardtop body style. Standard features include seat upholstery that combines synthetic leather and cloth, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a premium six-speaker audio system, and a navigation system with a 4.3-inch touch screen.

The sporty Fiat 500 Abarth has a turbocharged engine that produces 157 horsepower with the six-speed automatic transmission, or 160 horsepower with the five-speed manual. Abarth models come with a liftgate-mounted rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, cloth seats, and a six-speaker Alpine sound system. These are available as either a hardtop hatchback or as a convertible.

See 2015 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.

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How Safe Is the 500?

In five crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the hardtop 500 earned the highest rating of Good in four tests, and the lowest rating of Poor in one evaluation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall rating of four out of five stars. The 500 received five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Some 500 models have rear parking sensors. No other advanced safety features are available – not even a rearview camera.

See 500 safety scores »

2015 Fiat 500 Versus the Competition

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

If you like the sprightly handling and playful styling of the Fiat 500, chances are you'll also enjoy the 2015 Mini Cooper. Its steering is especially responsive, and peppy uplevel models crank out as much as 228 horsepower. The Mini Cooper also comes with a better set of entertainment options and a larger cargo area. The downside is price, as the Mini costs more to buy than the 500, and the Cooper has higher ownership costs. Those that can afford the Mini Cooper are likely to prefer it over the 500. 

Which Is Better: 2015 Fiat 500 or 2015 Volkswagen Beetle?

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle has a lot in common with the Fiat 500, including instantly recognizable styling and a lengthy history overseas. While the Beetle isn't as lively as the 500, many professional reviewers said its handling feels more composed. The VW's interior earns lots of praise for its quality materials, handsome styling, roomy cabin, and appealing tech options. The Beetle tends to be pricier than the 500, but it's a good middle ground between the 500 and the Mini Cooper.

Compare the 500, Cooper, and Beetle »

2015 500 Performance

How Does the 2015 Fiat 500 Drive?

The 500 has sprightly handling and a comfortable ride, though its high center of gravity does result in some body roll around corners. The base 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine isn't very energetic. Stepping up to the 500 Turbo or sport-tuned 500 Abarth noticeably improves acceleration. These produce as much as 135 and 160 horsepower, respectively.

Does the 2015 Fiat 500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 500 gets above-average gas mileage for the class, earning around 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway when outfitted with a manual transmission. Models with an automatic transmission get about 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

The all-electric 500e has a 122 city/108 highway MPG equivalent rating. It can drive about 87 miles on a single charge, and takes about four hours to recharge with a 240-volt power source.  

Read more about 500 performance »

2015 500 Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 500 Seat?

The 500 has four seats. The front seats are spacious enough to accommodate tall travelers, but rear-seat legroom is limited. Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable seats are standard. Upgrades include front sport seats, synthetic or genuine leather upholstery, and heated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Fiat 500?

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the 500. 

2015 Fiat 500 Features

Most 500 models come with a basic sound system with no touch screen, though a few editions are outfitted with a navigation system and 4.3-inch touch screen. Some professional reviewers found the quirky buttons and knobs to be challenging to use, noting frustrations such as the lack of a volume dial and the small buttons for the radio.

Standard features include a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, and Bluetooth. Optional features include satellite radio, Alpine and Beats premium sound systems, automatic climate control, a sunroof, and a TomTom navigation system.

See 2015 Fiat 500 specs »

Read more about 500 interior »

2015 Fiat 500 Dimensions

Fiat 500 Cargo Space

Subcompact cars are not known for having lots of luggage space, but even so, the 500 has less cargo space than most in the class. The hardtop 500 and 500 Abarth have 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and the 500c Cabrio and convertible Abarth have 5.4 cubic feet. The all-electric 500e has 7 cubic feet of storage space. Every 500 comes with a 50/50 split-folding rear seat, giving you as much as 26.8 cubic feet of carrying room when the seats are down.

2015 500 Length and Weight

From end to end, the 500 is about 11.6 to 12 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,366 to 2,980 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Fiat 500 Built?

Fiat built all 500 models in Mexico.


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