Fiat 500

Saturday, November 24, 2012 | comments

Fiat 500

Fiat 500 Prices

MSRP: $15,500 - $23,500
Invoice: $14,990 - $22,495

The 2012 Fiat 500 ranks 9 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 58 published reviews and test drives of the Fiat 500, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Many test drivers think the 2012 Fiat 500 is one of the most attractive small cars on the road, but when it comes to performance and functionality, they say there are much better choices.

The automotive press loves the Fiat 500 for its petite exterior and colorful, retro cabin. But when styling is placed on the backburner, there is a lot test drivers dislike about this small car’s powertrain, cabin space and some interior features. The Fiat 500’s engine has one of the lowest horsepower ratings in the class. Many reviewers say it’s powerful enough for the 500 to scoot around town, but taking the underpowered hatchback on the highway is a different story. Traveling at highway speeds, the 2012 Fiat 500 is easily overwhelmed by potholes and cross winds. The Fiat 500 Abarth, which is the performance model, is much faster, but reviewers say you may still find that it doesn’t thrive on the interstate, no matter how fast it goes. Inside, test drivers say the 2012 Fiat 500 has a very cramped second row, little cargo space, its fair share of cheap plastics and confusing voice-activated controls.

The 2012 Fiat 500 does have some perks, though. One is affordability. The 500 costs thousands less than the base Mini Hardtop, which is the 500’s main competitor. The Fiat 500’s cargo area won’t fit more than a few grocery bags, but the available space is commendable for the car’s small size.

Little engine power, a small cabin and modest cargo space can be deal breakers for shoppers looking for a small hatchback, but those who need a small car for driving to work or enough cargo space for a quick run to the grocery store should be satisfied.

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