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2016 FIAT 500 Review

The 2016 Fiat 500 ranks toward the back of the subcompact car class. It has a good reliability rating and nimble handling, but these perks are offset by its cramped seating and cargo space, cheap interior materials, and lower-than-average safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy with manual transmission
  • Above-average reliability rating
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Cheap cabin materials
  • Tiny cargo area




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 5.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 FIAT 500 Overview

Is the 2016 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Fiat 500 is a decent used subcompact car for city dwellers. The 500’s engine provides sufficient power for zipping around town, and its nimble handling is a blessing on tight urban streets. The 500 also rates well for reliability. Still, you could do a lot better. The Fiat 500 earns an unimpressive safety score, and it has a cramped interior made with cheap materials. Before you buy a 500, consider higher-rated rivals like the 2016 Honda Fit and 2016 Scion iA.

Why You Can Trust Us

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 85 professional evaluations for this 2016 Fiat 500 review to help you make an informed buying decision.

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 expensive gifts and trips from auto manufacturers, and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Fiat 500?

The 2016 Fiat 500 has prices ranging from about $6,700 to roughly $15,200. The average price is about $11,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Fiat 500 Cost to Own?

The 2016 Fiat 500’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are estimated to be $23,187. That’s average for a subcompact car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 500?

The 2018 Fiat 500 has an MSRP of $16,245, which is about $5,300 more than the average price of a 2016 Fiat 500. The new 500 has a stronger standard engine that produces 34 additional horsepower. However, most shoppers won’t find that to be enough to justify spending more for a new model, especially since the standard features are the same between the two models.

Read about the new Fiat 500 »

There are no new subcompact cars that are comparable in price to the 2016 Fiat 500.

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Which Model Year of the Fiat 500 Is Best?

The 2016 500 model is part of the model’s first generation, which began with the 2012 model year and includes the 2018 Fiat 500. Later models added more standard technology, including Bluetooth and an extra USB port for 2015, and a 5-inch touch screen for 2016. If these updates are not important to you, consider saving money with a 2013 or 2014 model instead.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 500 »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Fiat 500?

The 2016 Fiat 500 has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about 500 reliability »

2016 Fiat 500 Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Fiat 500 has two open recalls. One deals with a clutch diaphragm spring, which could fracture and make it impossible to shift or cause the car to lose power. The second is for incorrect information about spare tire inflation. Make sure any safety recalls have been taken care of before buying a used car.

See more information on Fiat 500 safety recalls »

Which Used Fiat 500 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Fiat 500 is available as a two-door hatchback or a convertible, called the 500c. There are five trims: Pop, Easy, Sport, Lounge, Turbo, and Abarth. The base Pop trim is one of the best values, and it includes the user-friendly Uconnect infotainment system, a 5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, and Bluetooth. The Easy trim adds a 7-inch instrument panel, and the Sport trim has unique sport bucket seats. The Lounge trim adds automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and satellite radio. The Turbo and Abarth models have the most powerful engines in the lineup, producing 135 horsepower in the Turbo and 165 horsepower in the Abarth.

See 2016 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?

The 2016 Fiat 500 received four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the front and rollover crash tests, as well as five stars in the side crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 500 the top rating of Good for the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear crash tests. However, the IIHS also gave the lowest rating of poor to the 500 for the small overlap front driver’s side crash test.

Aside from rear park assist, the 2016 Fiat 500 is not available with any active safety equipment.

See 500 safety scores »

2016 Fiat 500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Fiat 500 or 2016 Mini Cooper?

The 2016 Mini Cooper and the 2016 Fiat 500 are both distinctively styled subcompact cars, but the similarity ends there. The Mini delivers better performance with a much stronger four-cylinder engine and superior handling. It also has a quality interior, while the Fiat is known for having a low-rent cabin. On the other hand, the Cooper has much higher operating costs. The 500 is a good choice for those on a budget, but its weak base engine makes it suitable for city driving only.

Which Is Better: 2016 Fiat 500 or 2016 Ford Fiesta?

The 2016 Ford Fiesta has better handling, a stronger base engine, more user-friendly standard features like smartphone integration, and a richer interior with more front-seat legroom than the 500. However, all those advantages are negated by the Fiesta’s reliability rating, which is the lowest possible. The 500 is not as fun to drive, but with much stronger reliability, it should give you less trouble than a Fiesta.

Compare the 500, Cooper, and Fiesta »

2016 500 Performance

How Does the 2016 Fiat 500 Drive?

The Fiat 500 delivers decent acceleration around town, along with nimble handling. However, the base engine's has lackluster power on the highway, and its high center of gravity produces lots of body roll on winding roads.

The 500 comes standard with a 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the Turbo and Abarth models have turbocharged four-cylinder engines that produce 135 and 160 horsepower, respectively. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a six-speed automatic is available in all models.

The 2016 Fiat 500e is the electric version, and it comes with a 111-horsepower electric motor. Fiat says the 500e can reach a full charge in less than 24 hours with a standard 120-volt household outlet and less than four hours with a 240-volt outlet.

Does the 2016 Fiat 500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

According to the EPA, the base Fiat 500 gets up to 31 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which puts it in the top half of the class. The Fiat 500 with the turbo engine and the six-speed automatic has the lowest fuel economy ratings in the lineup, at 24/32 mpg city/highway.

The EPA estimates that the 500e has an 84-mile range and gets 121/103 mpg-equivalent city/highway. Both the range and MPGe ratings are good for the class. For more information, check out our What Is MPGe? article.

Read more about 500 performance »

2016 500 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 500 Seat?

The Fiat 500 seats four on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. The Fiat 500's front row provides adequate space for taller occupants to sit comfortably, but the snug back seats are best reserved for smaller kids.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Fiat 500?

Both rears seats have upper and lower LATCH hardware for child safety seats.

2016 Fiat 500 Features

The 2016 Fiat 500 comes standard with a six-speaker audio system and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. Available features include a 7-inch instrument display, satellite radio, Alpine or Beats audio systems, navigation, and a sunroof.

Although the 500 is creatively styled, its materials are low in quality. The standard touch screen is responsive, but the climate controls can be tricky to use.

See 2016 Fiat 500 specs »

Read more about 500 interior »

2016 Fiat 500 Dimensions

Fiat 500 Cargo Space

The base Fiat 500 has 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 30.2 cubic feet with the back seats folded. That's well below average for the class. The convertible version has an even smaller cargo area, at 5.4 cubic feet. Electric 500e models have 7 cubic feet.

2016 500 Length and Weight

The base 2016 Fiat 500 is 11.6 feet long, and the 500 Turbo is 12 feet long. The Fiat 500’s curb weight ranges from 2,366 to 2,576 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Fiat 500 Built?

Fiat manufactured the 2016 500 in Mexico.


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