2018 FIAT 500 Getting 9% Price Increase

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - May 8, 2018

The pint-sized FIAT 500 is getting a relatively super-sized price increase for 2018. Tweaks like a more powerful base engine and sportier design will come with up to a $1,500 premium compared to the previous year.

Equipped with an automatic, the car will start at nearly $18,500— more than competitors like the Honda Fit. As a result, the slow-selling hatchback could be a tougher sell in a segment seeing shrinking customer demand.

Here's what you need to know.

Price Hikes

Order guides reveal the 2018 FIAT 500 Pop will have a base MSRP of $16,245, $1,250 more than the previous year's sticker price of $14,995. However, a closer look reveals there's a bit more to the story worth knowing about.

As we reported back in March, destination charges from Fiat Chrysler have also gone up. The 500 now requires $1,245, which is $250 more than last year's destination fee of $995. As a result, a 500 Pop with 5-speed manual will now start at $17,490, a $1,500 increase over the previous year.

That's a year-over-year change of 9.4%, much higher than what we're used to seeing. Opting for a 6-speed automatic adds $995, which means the version you're more likely to find in stock will start at $18,485, $600 more than a Honda Fit LX with CVT.

Next up, the FIAT 500 Lounge will start at $20,990, $1,500 more than last year. At the top of the range, the 500 Abarth has been priced from $21,740, an increase of $750. Prices for the soft-top 500c are going up by the exact same amounts.

For 2018, the 500 Pop and Lounge get a more powerful turbo engine making 135 hp, 33% more than last year's 101 hp. A sport-tuned exhaust and twin intercoolers are also standard. Other updates include larger wheels, a sportier suspension, a standard rear camera, color-keyed bodywork, a rear spoiler and more.

The model's journey here in the U.S. has certainly had its share of twists and turns. For 2017, the brand cut base prices by $2,000, a move that allowed it to advertise low prices without having to offer rebates worth as much as $4,500.

Now, FIAT seems poised to compete in a shrinking market by appealing more to buyers looking for a fun-to-drive little car. But will the automaker be able to do so without having to resort to offering huge discounts? That remains to be seen.

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website