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2018 FIAT 500 Review

Available as a coupe and a convertible, the 2018 Fiat 500 finishes near the bottom of our subcompact car rankings. This small car delivers a lot of style but not enough substance, as many rivals have nicer interiors and deliver better performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Lively city driving
  • Powerful engine in Abarth models
  • Cramped back seat
  • Subpar interior materials

New for 2018

  • Turbocharged engine, rearview camera became standard
  • Refreshed styling

7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 6.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 FIAT 500 Overview

Is the 2018 Fiat 500 a Good Used Car?

No, the Fiat 500 isn't a good used subcompact car. No matter what you like about it, you can likely find rivals that offer the same things and more.

Here are the 2018 500's best traits:

  • Great maneuverability makes for enjoyable city driving
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Energetic engine in Abarth models
  • Stylish cabin

And here are its worst ones:

  • Undersized rear seat that can't fit adults
  • Low-rent interior materials
  • Short features list
  • Underpowered base engine
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Fiat 500 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 87 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Fiat 500?

Based on listings for the 2018 Fiat 500 on our site, the average list price is $15,200, which is slightly below average for the class. Prices range from $14,400 to $16,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Fiat 500 Cost to Own?

At the time of writing, we do not have enough data to project the 2018 Fiat 500’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 500?

The 2019 Fiat 500 starts at $16,245 and belongs to a generation that began with the 2012 model year. There are no notable changes for 2019, so you can potentially save thousands of dollars with an older model, and you won't miss out on any updates.

Read about the new Fiat 500 »

For 2018, a rearview camera became standard and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 34 more horsepower debuted as the new base engine. Fiat also gave the car’s styling a sportier look. Unless you want a bit more power and style, consider an older Fiat 500, which could save you a lot of money. There have been some notable changes over the years, and we recommend 2015, 2016, and 2017 models over other 500s.

The 2015 Fiat 500 gained standard features like Bluetooth, a second USB port, and a digital instrument cluster display. Fiat added a standard 5-inch touch screen and the Easy trim level for 2016. For 2017, the Easy, Sport, and Turbo trims were discontinued, the 1957 Retro Edition took a year off, and many of the Fiat 500’s features became available in all trim levels.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 500 » 

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Fiat 500?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 500 a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about 500 reliability »

2018 Fiat 500 Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Fiat 500.

See more information on Fiat 500 safety recalls »

Which Used Fiat 500 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Fiat 500 comes in three trims: Pop, Lounge, and Abarth. All trims are available in coupe and Cabrio (convertible) body styles, so look for the one that best suits you.

All 500s have a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine paired to a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional. Though the engines in each trim are the same, the one in the Abarth produces the most power. When new, the all-electric Fiat 500e was available in select California and Oregon markets.

Unless you want the increased horsepower in the Abarth, the base-model Pop is probably the best fit. When it was new, the 2018 Fiat 500 was available with many optional features, so you may find models equipped with navigation, satellite radio, a six-speaker Beats premium audio system, and a sunroof.

  • Fiat 500 Pop: The base Pop comes standard with alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, heated mirrors, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, two USB ports, a six-speaker Alpine stereo, and Bluetooth.
  • Fiat 500 Lounge: The Lounge model adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, and rear parking sensors.
  • Fiat 500 Abarth: In addition to a more powerful engine that makes 160 horsepower, the performance-oriented Abarth trim gains a retuned suspension, upgraded brakes, and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

See 2018 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Fiat 500 the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front test.

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

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors

See 500 safety scores »

2018 Fiat 500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Fiat 500 or 2018 Mini Cooper?

The 2018 Mini Cooper costs more than the 500, but it has a nicer interior and is available in a four-door sedan variant with seating for five and enough room for adults in the back. It has more cargo space than the Fiat as well. The Cooper also beats the 500 (and nearly all other rivals) when it comes to performance. It comes with three turbocharged engine options and sporty, engaging handling. If you can afford it, go for the Mini Cooper instead of the Fiat 500.

Which Is Better: 2018 Fiat 500 or 2018 Honda Fit?

The 2018 Honda Fit is one of the most practical subcompact cars you can buy. It’s a bit larger than the 500, but it's just as maneuverable. The Fit boasts a quality interior, more cargo space than the 500, and comfortable seating for four adults. The Abarth model, with its higher horsepower rating and greater passing power, is the only reason to consider the 500 over the Fit.

Compare the 500, Cooper, and Fit »

2018 500 Performance

How Does the 2018 Fiat 500 Drive?

The 500 Pop and Lounge trims come equipped with a 135-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Although this is a small car, that's not enough juice to move the 500 with enough oomph. The 500 Abarth feels much quicker, with a 160-horsepower engine with the manual transmission, or a 157-horsepower variant with the automatic. The Abarth has a performance-oriented suspension, making it the trim of choice for drivers who want a little more athleticism.

In any iteration, the 500’s top-heavy feeling and limited grip make it less fun to drive than many of its competitors. It does well in city driving though, and it's highly maneuverable.

  • Base engine: 135-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engine: 157- to 160-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder (Abarth)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard five-speed manual; available six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Fiat 500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

This Fiat gets typical fuel economy ratings for a subcompact car, but it lags well behind the class leaders. The 2018 Fiat 500e is an electric vehicle that was only offered in select markets when new.

  • With manual: 28/33 mpg city/highway
  • With automatic: 24/32 mpg
  • 500e: 121/103 MPGe combined city/highway

For more information on what these ratings mean, read What is MPGe?

2018 Fiat 500e Alternative Fuels and Charging

The Fiat 500e has a range of 84 miles.

The charging time depends on the method used:

  • Level 2 charging station: about 4 hours
  • 120-volt household-style power outlet: 24 hours

Read more about 500 performance »

2018 500 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 500 Seat?

The 2018 500 seats four people in two rows. The cabin looks stylish, but low-rent materials make the 500 feel cheaper than some of its classmates. The front seats provide plenty of room for most people, though the available sunroof cuts into headroom. The rear seats are pretty cramped, and most adults won't be able to sit back there comfortably.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Fiat 500?

The 2018 500 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats.

2018 Fiat 500 Features

The Uconnect infotainment system is generally user-friendly. The controls are easy to find and reach, and the only real hang-up is that the speed of the climate control fan is operated with a push button rather than a knob.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker Alpine stereo, two USB ports, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, a Beats premium sound system with a trunk-mounted subwoofer, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Other available features: a sunroof

See 2018 Fiat 500 specs »

Read more about 500 interior »

2018 Fiat 500 Dimensions

Fiat 500 Cargo Space

This Fiat gives you 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up and 30.2 cubic feet with it folded down. Many subcompact cars offer more cargo space. You'll have even less space in the convertible – 5.4 cubic feet – and folding down the top limits rear visibility.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Fiat 500 Length and Weight
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Curb weight: 2,505 to 2,576 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Fiat 500 Built?

Fiat built the 2018 500 in Mexico.

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