What's New for 2015:
- Bluetooth audio streaming standard on all versions
- Extra USB port on center console
- Revised center console and instrument cluster
- Seven trim levels for hatchback, three for 500c
- Automatic transmission now available on Abarth as well as on lower trim levels
The Fiat 500 is arguably one of the most recognizable cars in the world. The 2015 Fiat 500 is a front-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door hatchback available in seven trim levels. A convertible version, the Fiat 500c, is offered in three trim levels. Both the hatchback and convertible are available as the sporty, turbocharged Abarth variant, which is more of a sports car than an economy subcompact. Competitors include the Mini Cooper, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Hyundai Accent hatchback, Mazda2, Scion iQ, and the Toyota Yaris.
Models and Features
The base version of the 2015 Fiat 500 is the Pop. Its standard features include heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, 6-speaker audio system with iPod compatibility, air conditioning, Bluetooth streaming audio, power windows and locks, cruise control, 50/50 split-folding rear seats, and 15-in. steel wheels. It's offered in 11 exterior colors, some at a slight surcharge. The Ribelle trim level, the next step up, adds some eye-catching styling cues, including special black headlight housings, painted wheels and a red roof, mirrors, and spoiler, and a slightly upgraded interior. The Ribelle is available in four exterior colors. The 500 Sport includes a specially tuned exhaust, honeycomb grille, unique front and rear bumpers, fog lights, more aggressively bolstered front seats, special interior trim details, 16-in. alloy wheels, and red brake calipers, plus a performance-tuned suspension and standard 276-watt premium sound system.
The 500 Lounge features a fixed glass roof, automatic climate control, satellite radio, upgraded cloth upholstery, and additional chrome accents. The 1957 Edition is much like the Lounge, in that it offers retro styling and an upgraded interior. It includes a white roof and mirror caps, rather than red. The 500 Turbo upgrades to a more powerful engine and upscale styling that includes silver stitching on the seats, sport steering wheel, and upgraded brakes.
At the top of the line is the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth hatchback. It's outfitted similarly to the Turbo but has an even more powerful engine, upgraded exhaust with a distinctive tone, upgraded body styling, two-tone interior, aluminum foot pedals, and an Abarth-specific steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather.
The convertible version, the 2015 Fiat 500c, is available in the Pop, Lounge, and Abarth trim levels. All 2015 500c models also feature a power-operated soft top with three settings, allowing drivers to open the roof just a bit to create a sunroof effect, halfway, or fully retracted with the canvas roof folded over the trunk.
Options and Packages
Depending on trim level, the 2015 Fiat 500 and 500c can add high-grade leather upholstery, in-car Wi-Fi connectivity, and Mopar-branded rear spoilers, mirrors caps, and door sills. The Luxury Leather package is available for the 500 Lounge and includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, and rear park-assist sensors. A Beats Premium Audio package, which includes a 368-watt amplifier and 8-in. subwoofer, can be added to some versions of the 500. Some individual upgrades on various trim levels are available as options on lower versions. A navigation system is available; a sunroof is optional for the hatchback and a wind deflector is offered on the 500c. On the 500 Abarth, 17-in. wheels with performance tires are optional.
Under the Hood
The 2015 Fiat 500's base 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 101 horsepower and 98 lb.-ft. of torque, managed by a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
A turbocharged version of that same 4-cylinder engine powers the 500 Turbo and Abarth. The Turbo version generates 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque, while the Abarth cranks out 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. With the turbocharged engine, the 5-speed manual transmission is standard; an automatic transmission is newly available to the Abarth trim level. With it, the engine makes 157 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2015 Fiat 500 are:
- 500 with 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission: 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined)
- 500 with 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission: 27/34/30 mpg
- 500 with turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission: 28/34/30 mpg
- 500 Abarth with turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission: 28/34/30 mpg
- 500 Abarth with turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission: 24/32/27 mpg
Safety Ratings and Technology
Standard safety equipment found on all 2015 Fiat 500s includes 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, 7 air bags, and front active head restraints.
In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2015 Fiat 500 received an overall rating of 4 stars out of a possible 5. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2014 Fiat 500 received a \"Good\" rating--the Institute's highest--in moderate overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof-strength tests. In the small overlap frontal-offset test, the Fiat 500 received the Institute's lowest score of \"Poor.\"