- Four-seat micro-car comes in five trim levels
- High-performance Abarth trim
- New standard technology for 2015
The 2015 Fiat 500 is most at home in urban environments, where its small footprint and good city fuel economy make it easier to park on crowded streets and means less trips to the gas station as well. For 2015, the cabin gets a few technology upgrades that include standard Bluetooth audio streaming and an extra USB port for charging in the center console. The instrument panel has also been updated; instead of traditional gauges with bouncing needles, a seven-inch screen digitizes the view for the driver.
The 500 is offered in five trim levels: Pop, Sport, Lounge, Turbo, and the high-performance Abarth. Pop, Sport, and Lounge models are the tamest of the five, while the Turbo and the legitimately bonkers Abarth offer more performance for your dollar.
Though it turned heads when it debuted, the 500’s styling is now a natural part of the automotive landscape. Its four wheels sit pushed out far to the corners of the car, giving it tiny front and rear overhangs. The 500 is most often referred to as cute thanks to its small, upright stature. Circular headlamps flank a slim grille highlighted by the prominent FIAT logo in the center. Fog lights, a power sunroof, and a large glass roof which lets in extra sunshine are all optional.
Under the hood, there are three engine options. Pop, Sport, and Lounge models feature a 101-hp, 1.4-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. Turbo models get a more powerful 135-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a five-speed manual or a new for 2015 six-speed automatic, which is also available on the Abarth. The Abarth gets the most powerful engine of the bunch, a 160-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 170 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a heavy-duty five-speed manual or the aforementioned six-speed automatic. Fuel economy ratings are 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway for models with the the base engine, while Turbo models get 28/34 mpg/highway.
Interior styling matches what you see on the outside, with a dashboard that is visually dominated by a large, body-colored plastic trim piece that surrounds the instrument panel and covers much of the passenger side of the dash. Standard features include remote keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, and Bluetooth connectivity (now with audio streaming). Automatic temperature control and a Beats By Dre audio system are optional.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, antilock brakes, electronic stability system, and active front head restraints.