Fiat 500 review

Category: City car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Star rating
Fiat 500
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  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500 2018 front urban static shot
  • Fiat 500 2018 rear left urban static shot
  • Fiat 500 2018 front seats
  • Fiat 500 2018 centre console
  • Fiat 500 2018 dashboard detail
  • Fiat 500 2018 dashboard badge detail
  • Fiat 500 2018 exterior front end detail shot
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500 2018 front urban static shot
  • Fiat 500 2018 rear left urban static shot
  • Fiat 500 2018 front seats
  • Fiat 500 2018 centre console
  • Fiat 500 2018 dashboard detail
  • Fiat 500 2018 dashboard badge detail
  • Fiat 500 2018 exterior front end detail shot
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500
RRP from£12,705

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The 500 isn’t as cheap to buy as many of its rivals, many of which have more doors and more standard equipment. And if you’re hoping that the desirability of the 500’s image would result in it holding onto its value better than rivals, you’ll be disappointed. Over three years it will lose more of its value than an equivalent Hyundai i10 or Volkswagen Up.

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions, meanwhile, don’t stand out against the 500’s rivals, despite the “hybrid” moniker in the model name.

Equipment, options and extras

You can spend an awful lot of money on a Fiat 500, but it’s the cheaper trim levels that make the most sense. The cheapest is Pop, but it’s so sparsely equipped we’d definitely recommend upping to Lounge trim. This brings better the infotainment we described earlier, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, climate control and some extra chrome detailing.

Of course, whichever trim you settle on, there's also a myriad of personalisation options to make your 500 stand out from the crowd, with a huge palette of paint colours and a big selection of alloy wheel designs.

Reliability

Fiat as a brand finished a credible 19th place out of 31 manufacturers in the 2019 What Car?’s Reliability Survey, ahead of the likes of Renault and Citroen. However, the 500 specifically finished bottom of the city car class.

Like all Fiats, the 500 comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty and plus a further one-year dealer warranty. Mileage is limited to 100,000 during that three-year period.

Safety and security

The 500C is significantly let down by its lack of safety systems, with no sign of automatic emergency braking (AEB), even as an option. In fact, Euro NCAP only gave the regular 500 three stars out of five for its overall safety, with a disappointing 27% score in the safety assist category. In fact, it scored below 70% in all the test categories, including how well it protects adults and children in the event of a crash. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is 

Security experts Thatcham also rated the 500 poorly for its ability to resist theft and break-ins. It only has an alarm if you specify it as a dealer-fit option, although an immobiliser is standard.

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Fiat 500
Fiat 500
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Overview

The Fiat 500 certainly has style and image on its side, but plenty of rivals are better to drive and more practical, for the same price or less.

  • Distinctive looks
  • Easy to drive around town
  • Plenty of customisation options
  • Poor driving position
  • Unsettled ride
  • Coarse-sounding engine