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2018 Fiat 500

Starting at $17,540

2018 fiat 500
Michael Simari|Car and Driver

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  • Highs Fun retro styling, quick steering, tons of character.
  • Lows Slow base engine, cramped rear seat, small touchscreen.
  • Verdict The Fiat 500 will appeal to buyers looking for a quirky, fun, retro hatchback.


Fiat offers a big dose of Italian brio in its entry-level subcompact hatchback, the 500, which has been on sale in the U.S. for seven model years. The Fiat 500 is a true city car, better for zipping its way through rush-hour traffic and sneaking into tight parking spaces than for passing semi-trucks on cross-country freeway drives. It is nearly half a foot shorter than a Mini Cooper and is available as a fixed-roof two-door hatchback or a convertible, with a power fabric top that can open partway, like a sunroof, or all the way to the back window, like the original Fiat 500c models of the late 1950s and ‘60s. The 500 Abarth, from Fiat's in-house tuner, adds power, sharper handling, and oversized attitude.

What's New for 2018?

The base, non-Abarth Fiat 500 models, Pop and Lounge, get a power and torque boost from a turbocharger that's been added to its 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The Abarth turbo four is unchanged.


Original MSRP:

  • Pop: $17,540
  • Lounge: $20,990
  • Abarth: $21,740

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The new turbocharged version of the 1.4-liter four in the standard 500 Pop and Lounge produces 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, up from previous models but still on the slow side. However, the Abarth model bumps these numbers up to a more interesting 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet. Either engine is available with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With a very short 90.6-inch wheelbase, the 500 Pop and Lounge are quick at taking corners, with good, linear steering feel; the tighter, stiffer Abarth is even more so, though either version can feel stiff with suspension crashing over bumpy roads. Fiat’s 500 Abarth is most fun for its brappy exhaust note, which can be played like a virtuoso when ordered with the manual gearbox.

2018 fiat 500View Photos

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Like its retro small-car competitors, the Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 is just as stylish and quirky inside as it is out, with a large body-colored plastic panel in the middle of the dash, and a retro ’57 500-style speedometer. The gearshift, whether connected to the manual or the automatic, extends out of the bottom of the dash rather than from the floor. The Abarth model adds leather trim, and the front seats are nicely bolstered to keep you in place while you push the car’s cornering abilities, but material quality is no better than what you might expect for the price. Rear-seat space is not for adults, though there is up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatback folded.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Fiat updated the 500’s UConnect touchscreen two model years ago. It’s a small 5.0-inch screen with app-style icons for connecting to the infotainment system. A six-speaker audio system and Bluetooth connectivity are standard, with navigation and BeatsAudio hi-fi available in all trim levels as standalone options.

Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings

For more information about the Fiat 500’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.


Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.

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