The Fiat 500 presents character instead of spaciousness, Italian appeal instead of efficiency. Beneath the hood, although, the brand new turbocharged base engine delivers 33 % extra horsepower than its non-turbo predecessor. Primarily, it’s the identical 1.four-liter 4-cylinder engine put in in 2015-sixteen Turbo fashions.
Apart from a brand new spoiler, aspect-sill floor results extensions, and physique-coloured entrance/rear fascias, the 500 hatchback and Cabrio haven’t modified sharply in look for the 2018 mannequin yr. Actually, they nonetheless look fairly just like the unique 2012 model, a contemporary rendition of the Fiat 500, or cinquecento, that debuted within the Nineteen Fifties.
New sixteen-inch aluminum wheels are mounted. A rearview digital camera is now standard, as are foglamps and a sports activities suspension.
As earlier than, the Fiat 500 is available in Pop, Lounge, and Abarth trim ranges. Every has entrance-wheel drive and is obtainable both as a hatchback or a Cabrio, the latter that includes an influence-folding material roof.
Normal in Pop and Lounge fashions, the brand new base engine develops one hundred thirty five horsepower and one hundred fifty pound-ft of torque. Though the facility improve is most welcome when merging or passing, the decrease-powered 500 doesn’t fairly qualify as sporty.
That’s the aim of the Abarth version, packing a free-respiration, one hundred sixty-horsepower model of the 1.four-liter turbo 4, creating one hundred seventy pound-ft of torque. (With automated, output drops to 157 horsepower, however torque reaches 183 pound-ft.) Each engines mate with both a 5-velocity guide gearbox or a 6-velocity automated transmission.
Crash-test results are troubling. Final yr, the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration gave the 500 a 4-star score general and for frontal influence, with 5 stars for aspect-impression. For 2018, the company gave the hatchback a 4-star frontal rating, however no ratings general or for aspect-influence.
The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security gave the 2017 mannequin’s driver’s aspect a Poor score for small-overlap frontal crash safety. No score was issued for the passenger aspect. In aspect-influence and average-overlap testing, the 500 earned Good scores.
The newly standard rearview digital camera is most welcome on Cabrios, which endure dismal rearward imaginative and prescient when the roof is down. Superior safety features, reminiscent of automated emergency braking and lively lane management, are unavailable.
Pop hatchback ($sixteen,245) comes with the one hundred thirty five-horsepower turbo engine, 5-velocity guide gearbox,sixteen-inch wheels, rearview digital camera, sport spoiler, 5.zero-inch infotainment touchscreen, 7.zero-inch digital instrument cluster, material seat upholstery, leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, and Bluetooth. A 6-velocity automated transmission and navigation are optionally available. (Costs don’t embrace $1,245 vacation spot cost.)
Lounge hatchback ($19,745) provides heated leather-based-trimmed entrance seats, automated local weather management, satellite tv for pc radio, rear parking sensors, fastened glass roof, and chromed shift knob.
Abarth hatchback ($20,495) upgrades to the one hundred sixty-horsepower turbo 4, together with pink brake calipers, a efficiency-tuned suspension, cast sixteen-inch wheels, and excessive-again material seats. Guide air con is standard.
Pop Cabrio ($17,740) is provided like Pop hatchback, however substitutes a black energy-folding roof and provides rear parking sensors.
Lounge Cabrio ($21,240) is provided like Lounge hatchback, however with energy-folding roof.
Abarth Cabrio ($21,990) is provided like Abarth hatchback, however with energy-folding roof.
Not many automobiles can declare to appear to be nothing else on the street, however Fiat’s indisputably charming, trendy 500 is one among them. Along with presenting a delightfully cute profile, absolutely capturing the essence of the previous “cinquecento” mannequin, it’s one of many smallest automobiles out there.
What is perhaps dubbed “button” fashion spherical headlights flank a small grille opening, suggestive of European minicars of the distant previous. Up entrance, some added bulkiness brings the 500 according to immediately’s crash-safety necessities. The brand new standard spoiler appears sharp, however not overly obtrusive.
Abarth fashions show some uniquely sporty particulars, together with purple brake calipers, in accord with their rambunctious nature.
On Cabrio fashions, the material roof energy-folds into the rear. Sadly, it virtually blocks rearward views.
Reflecting their heritage, physique-coloured Fiat 500 dashboards flaunt a jumble of buttons and number of textures, shunning the acquainted black trim. Unconventional design helps conceal some low-price range supplies.
4 adults merely gained’t match into the hatchback, particularly, with out agreeing to some consolation compromises. Rear legroom totals a modest 31.7 inches, making them extra helpful as a cargo shelf than a seating place, particularly for longer treks.
Entrance seats are bigger and extra interesting than these in again, however they’re thinly padded and considerably upright. For that purpose, a taller driver is perhaps brief on head clearance. Lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility won’t please youthful consumers.
Cargo area is oddly formed in addition to skimpy, at a mere 9.5 cubic ft (5.four cubic ft in Cabrios). Apart from the battery-powered 500e variant, these Fiats could be noisy, particularly the Abarth, whose ample sounds amplify its rowdier character.
Elevated base-engine energy is a welcome change, even when it doesn’t make the Pop or Lounge version significantly sporty. Turbo energy provides the much less-potent fashions a level of confidence that was beforehand absent. Even so, the bottom engine nonetheless calls for a somewhat heavy foot on the fuel pedal to maintain it at optimum power.
Solely the Abarth version feels really energetic, although its horsepower score isn’t dramatically larger than the bottom engine delivers. Particularly when chilly, beginning up within the morning, the crackling Abarth exhaust may be as engaging as a siren’s music to an fanatic’s ear.
In guide-shift fashions, the shift lever has to maneuver fairly a great distance when altering gears. Clutch conduct doesn’t really feel proper, both, partaking at a pedal-journey place that appears too excessive. For day by day driving and commuter obligation, the automated transmission is perhaps a wiser selection.
Anticipate a comparatively bouncy experience, which is a typical attribute with small automobiles. On lengthy hauls, particularly, the Fiat 500 can begin to really feel a bit jittery, due no less than partially to the game-tuned suspension (efficiency-tuned on Abarth variations).
Gasoline financial system isn’t as interesting as anticipated, in comparison with different small automobiles. With automated, all three trim ranges are EPA-rated on the similar 24/32 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 27 mpg Mixed. Guide shift raises the estimates to twenty-eight/33 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 30 mpg Mixed. Premium gasoline is really helpful.
Since its inception as a 2012 mannequin, the nonetheless-charming Fiat 500 has targeted on fashion and panache over efficiency. For loads of consumers, character and character take priority over any cabin flaws or roadgoing imperfections. A stronger Abarth guarantees boisterous enjoyable, however it’s not appropriate for everyone. Fiat presents Abarth consumers a free day of instruction at a monitor in Arizona.
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