The mini hatchback with Italian blood, Fiat's 500 offers exotic looks and an abundance of equipment choices, two things not usually found in this class. Configuring the 500 to meet your desires is a breeze so long as a roomy backseat isn't one of them.
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2015 FIAT 500 Overview
What's New for 2015
All models get an info display screen in the gauge cluster, and the sporty Abarth is now available with an automatic transmission.
Choosing Your Fiat 500
The 500 starts out with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 101 horsepower, matched to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged version makes 130 or 160 horsepower depending on the model.
The 500 is available in no less than five trim levels:
- Pop: Carries all the expected equipment in this class, plus a few surprises like heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth phone. The six-speaker sound system comes with a CD player and iPod interface.
- Sport: Retains the base engine, but adds a sport-tuned suspension, more aggressive interior and exterior trim, 16-inch wheels and an upgraded Alpine sound system.
- Turbo: Adds the 135-horsepower turbocharged engine along with upgraded brakes, a spoiler and specific interior trim.
- Lounge: Equipped like the Pop in terms of performance, but carries a raft of luxury upgrades like premium cloth upholstery, a fixed glass roof, automatic climate control, satellite radio and chrome exterior trim. The optional Luxury Leather Package adds leather seating with front heat, rear parking sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. There's also the 1957 Edition of the Lounge, which commemorates the 500's first year of production with period color schemes, badging and wheel designs.
- Abarth: Packs the 160-horsepower turbocharged engine, plus aggressive styling touches throughout the firmest suspension turning in the lineup. You can even get summer performance tires on 17-inch wheels.
All models can get a TomTom navigation system and a Beats Audio Package with upgraded speakers and a subwoofer. There's also a handful of appearance packages that add subtle character to the 500.
Our main concern with the 500 is the standard 101-horsepower engine. That's simply not enough power for many buyers, especially when funneled throughout the automatic transmission. A brief test drive in the real world should tell you whether to upgrade to a turbocharged model.