The 2017 Fiat 500 Pop is not for everyone. But it certainly has plenty of aficionados, selling more than a million in more than 110 countries around the world since it first launched in 2007.
Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, which is Italian at heart, the Fiat 500 showcases the brand’s ingenuity to build world-class small cars that ignite a spirit of the times through simple design, beautiful craftsmanship and timeless value.
My tester was the “Pop” trim level, one of three offered by Fiat. The mid-level trim level is called “Louge” and the “Abarth” comes track ready. My tester, a two-door that seats up to four adults, came with an attention-getting Spitfire Orange coat of paint.
The 500 Pop, designed for the individual who wants Italian style, efficiency and personalization options, features 15-inch aluminum painted wheels and is available with a Sport Appearance package (which includes sport fascias, side ground effects, sport spoiler, 16-inch wheels and black-trimmed lights).
Powered by a 1.4-liter, 16-valve, I-4 MultiAir engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Fiat 500 receives a 33-mile-per-gallon rating from the EPA, with a combined city/highway rating of 29.
The first thing people notice about the Fiat 500 is its size. It’s small. And people seem to prejudge, kinda like Randy Newman’s old hit titled: Short People. But looks can be deceiving. Once inside, the 500 reveals a high roof line and two front bucket seats that are surprisingly comfortable.
The same cannot be said for passengers in the rear seats. With the front seats pulled a little more forward than what I deemed comfy, backseat passengers gain a modicum of legroom coupled with less headroom than front-seat occupants.
Trunk space is also at a premium. When both rear seats are folded flat, two full-size golf bags fit with room to spare.
The 500 includes numerous safety features including four-wheel anti-lock power disc brakes, electronic stability control, speed control, hill-start assist, remote keyless entry, power door locks and an engine immobilizer.
My tester included five “options” that added almost $3,000 to the Fiat’s $14,995 base price. A popular equipment package ($495) added an auto-dimming rearview mirror and air conditioning with a micron filter. A navigation and GPS package ($695) added the obvious. And Avorio seats ($295), six-speed automatic ($995) and Beats premium audio system ($695) complete the upgrades.
I wasn’t fortunate enough, but the 500 comes with a Cabriolet design that provides the option of top-down driving. With the push of a button, the 500C’s cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to a best-in-class 60 miles per hour.
For those who keep track, the 500 is assembled at Fiat’s Toluca plant in Mexico.
Base Price: $14,995
Price As Driven: $19,120
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.