The 2014 FIAT 500 is a small but useful vehicle that comes with phenomenal fuel economy, unique exterior design and a multitude of special features. The 111-horsepower electric motor is particularly impressive, carrying the EPA ratings of 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. This car is perfect for environmentally conscious urbanites.
The 2014 FIAT 500 is a small yet practical city car that offers excellent fuel economy and distinctive exterior design. It’s the kind of car FIAT needed for a re-launch down here in North America. You may certainly look at its small size and “odd” appearance as negative traits, but we would wholeheartedly disagree with you on that. If you want to know why, read on.
In terms of design, this car is indeed “odd” – but that’s only because there’s nothing quite like it on the marker. So, definitely wouldn’t compare it to the unappealing yet admittedly unique Nissan JUKE. Instead, we prefer to think of it as Volkswagen Beetle’s distant cousin.
In essence, the 2014 FIAT 500 is a modern reimagining of the 1957 original – though it’s considerably larger than that model yet shorter than the MINI Cooper. Some of the features to look out for include the iconic sloping backside, button-like headlights, upward-sloping sides and a mustache bar at the front. It’s available either as a two-door or four-door model. The hatchback variant offers four trim levels: Pop, Sport, Lounge and Turbo. The 500c coupe comes with only two of them: Pop and Lounge. As for the Turbo, Abarth and 500e electric, they are their own packages, differentiated mainly by fascias, body trims and wheels.
On the inside, the car is actually more spacious than it seems. The front seats are especially roomy, offering quite a bit of headroom and legroom even for slightly taller individuals. That said, it’s not spacious in a typical way – like in the case of Ford Fiesta. The back seats, for instance, are ridiculously tight, while the trunk is only 9.5 cubic feet in size, which means that it’s fairly useless.
The style of the interior is quirky but fashionable, offering plenty of quality materials and comfort. What’s especially attractive is the layout of controls and displays, which are much more intuitive than what you might find something like a MINI Cooper. For instance, its concentric gauges are undeniably simple, but thanks to attractive colours that draw the eye, they force you to pay attention to them – as they should.
The 2014 FIAT 500 is powered by one out of three variation of the 1.4-litre inline four-cylinder engine. The base models come with the basic four-cylinder, which can produce only 101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. Then there’s the Turbo engine, which generates 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The Abarth gets a turbocharged engine as well, but this one can pump out 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Finally, there’s the 500c model, which comes with a 111-horsepower permanent magnet electric motor. Most of the 500’s engines can be combined either with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, except the turbocharged ones, which can only be paired with the five-speed manual gearbox. Since this car extremely small, its fuel efficiency is through the rough, with the EPA ratings being as low as 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway, with the electric motor equipped.
The size also makes the car incredibly nimble and easy to handle. The Abarth models are particularly maneuverable – thanks to more tire contact patch and stiffer suspension. The electric steering adds a bit of nimbleness too, which often feels almost like unassisted steering – though it’s not quite as precise.
Overall, the 2014 FIAT 500 is a great car – as long as you know what you’re getting into. It’s a vehicle for environmentally conscious urbanites, so if you count yourself among them, get this car now.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|Abarth||$24,495||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Lounge||$20,595||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Pop||$15,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Sport||$18,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|T Sport||$20,995||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||3|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The front-wheel-drive 2014 Fiat 500e has an 83-kilowatt electric motor capable of 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. It's powered by a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
During Edmunds testing, the 2014 500e went from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds -- a quick time for an EV in this price range.
The 500e should make it 87 miles on a charge, according to the EPA, so it compares favorably with the Chevrolet Spark (82 miles), electric Ford Focus (76 miles) and Nissan Leaf (75 miles). Our best range during testing was over 109 miles. The EPA gives the Fiat 500e an energy consumption estimate of 29 kWh per 100 miles rating (the lower the kWh number, the better here), which is on par with the Chevy and Nissan.
Equally important, the EPA says the 500e can fully recharge in four hours on a 240-volt outlet, and we confirmed this in our testing. That's as quick as a Leaf (with a 6.6kW charger), but a bit longer than the Focus Electric. If you have to plug into a 120-volt circuit, though, estimated charging time goes up considerably.
Originally appeared on Edmunds.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The Fiat 500 is roomier up front than you might expect, and just as tight in back as it looks. The interior style lives up to the promise of the quirky but fashionable exterior, and we found the materials, build quality and seat comfort impressive for a car with a starting price around $17,000. As the athlete of the group, the 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth offers aggressively bolstered front seats, exclusive red stitching and a thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
Of course, the size and weight of the 2014 Fiat 500 are safety considerations. In a land of heavy-duty pickups and plus-sized crossovers that look down on the 500, they have to be. Yet you should also consider that the 500 is especially responsive and maneuverable--and that Fiat has gone out of its way to fit in safety technology.
So far, the Fiat 500 has earned respectable (although not top-tier) results in U.S. crash-test programs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rated it four stars overall, as well as four stars for frontal crash and rollover resistance, although it earned five stars for side impact. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), on the other hand, has given the 500 top 'good' scores in most areas of testing, but it received a worrisome 'poor' rating in the new small overlap frontal test.
The 500c Convertible and Abarth performance model have not yet been crash tested by either agency.
Like any modern car, the Fiat 500 offers standard dual front, side and curtain airbags; it also includes a driver knee airbag. And in addition to the anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, there's a hill-hold feature that's nifty in the city.
As for top-tier active-safety systems (things like lane-departure warning or adaptive cruise control), you won't find those in the Fiat 500.
Originally appeared on The Car Connection.