Fiat 500 Reviews - Page 5 of 6

2011 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4 from North America

Model year2011
Year of manufacture2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.4 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired1300 miles
Most recent distance1350 miles
Previous carHonda Civic


Great fun to drive, comfortable, and economical


Nothing - but I've only had it a week.

General Comments:

I don't actually own one. I rented one for a week, and since the car is so new in the US, I wanted to share my reactions to the car.

The 3 trim levels start with the basic 'Pop'; middle level is the Sport, with Lounge at the top, with leather interior, upgraded sound, etc. I'm not sure which I had, but it had the alloy wheels and the Bose sound system, but without leather seats.

The interior is quite comfortable for a small car. Even though it's small, I'm 5'11" and was able to sit comfortably in the back seat, even with the front seat adjusted near the back setting. The car is quiet even at 70 on the freeway, thanks to a 6-speed transmission. The transmission I tested was the automatic, with the driver's option to decide when to shift. While I've always driven stick shifts, the automatic with speed control seemed to work well with this car. It allows you to downshift easily, so you can slow the car that way rather than use the brakes.

The model I tested came with an optional Bose sound system. It sounded very good in the small interior, but I couldn't tell a lot of difference between this and the basic sound system I listened to in the showroom.

The front seats are comfortable, and there was plenty of room. When you sit in it, you feel everything at your fingertips. The car is very nicely designed this way.

The car seems very solidly built, such as when you close the door, there is no hollow sound, but instead the solid sound that speaks of a well-built car.

The Fiat 500 has outstanding cornering ability. There is a 'sport' button that you can push that tightens up the suspension. You can really tell a difference when you activate the sport mode. I made a few sharp U-turns (in safe areas) and the car can really maneuver - and it's a lot of fun to drive.

In my opinion, the power (about 100hp) is sufficient, but a bit more torque would be welcome. To get it to go, you have to wind it up quite a bit - I believe the redline on the tach was around 6500 rpm. Even so, it is relatively quiet for all that - I recall in the literature that Fiat used an advanced damping system to reduce engine vibration and noise, and in my opinion they succeeded.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd June, 2011

27th Jun 2011, 13:46

Just curious, but where did you rent one in the US? I'm considering buying one, but wouldn't mind renting one for a few days to see how it fares with my commute.

29th Jan 2013, 20:24

Just a note: You mentioned renting one to see if you want to buy one. I'm not sure if all dealers do this, but the one I went to will allow you to take it home overnight and bring it back the next day to see if you really like it. I kept mine overnight prior to purchase, drove about 100 miles on it, showed it to my family, etc., then took it back the following day and told them that they couldn't have it back... I liked it that much!

8th Sep 2013, 17:25

The same thing happened to me. I took my Pop home for an "extended" test drive. The next day, there was NO WAY they were getting it back. If you're considering buying one, do the extended overnight test drive. I have NO doubts that you will want it. I have NO complaints with my 2012 Pop!!

2009 Fiat 500 Lounge 1.2 from UK and Ireland

Model year2009
Year of manufacture2009
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.2 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 miles
Most recent distance7500 miles
Previous carLexus GS450h


Chic, cheap, fun motoring!


Minor rattles from the interior... that's it.

General Comments:

A great little car - economical (I average 45 MPG per tank with a mix of driving), fairly nippy, fairly well built, very stylish, perfect for the city, cheap to run.

The engine & transmission are perfectly matched, gear ratios are spot on, and you can cruise at 80 on the motor way - it's rock solid there. It's quite noisy on the motorway; you need to stop every couple of hours for a break.

The radio reception is really poor, as is the sound from the speakers. Blue & Me works well with Bluetooth to my iPhone 4, but sometimes you need to repeat your instruction several times. (I updated it to the latest software). However, Blue and Me refuses to play nicely with our 2 iPod Classics; the Mac-formatted one doesn't work at all, and the PC-formatted one doesn't work properly (tracks are missing). It's also incredibly fiddly (I would say dangerous) to control through the steering wheel.

There is a surprising amount of room in the boot, but fitting adults into the back seats is a real challenge.

I really like this car, it s small, agile, chic and goes well. However, the rattles from the interior annoy me, and although it's built well by Italian standards, it's no Audi in terms of build quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th May, 2011

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 14 reviews