2012 Fiat 500 Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

3.81/5 Average
129 Total Reviews
This Year's Model Updates:

The all-new 2012 Fiat 500 ushers in the return of the Fiat brand to North America.

  • Excellent fuel economy with manual transmission
  • Surprisingly spacious for two people.
  • Adorable styling
  • Sport and Abarth models' capable handling
  • Convertible's poor top-down visibility
  • Lackluster acceleration
  • Wait-and-see reliability.
  • Cramped front headroom with sunroof
  • Disappointing fuel economy with automatic

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 129.00
  • Originally Excited, Now Regretting Purchase - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    2012 Fiat: 43,208 miles - Automatic Trans. Purchased July/August 2014 from a seedy local dealership whom can't be held accountable for this "Lemon". It drives GREAT, when it's working but I live in the U.P. of Michigan. Hard winters are common and the car doesn't have much clearance (which I knew purchasing the car and wasn't worried). However, the digital displays do not work after 20 degrees (and in the winter that is normally -20 degrees). 25 minutes is usually how long i had to run the car to warm up the car enough for the digital displays to work properly (which wouldn't be bad except the accurate speedometer is digital). When I first logged on to their online service/maintenance report- I had seen that it was in for electrical work (I believe) twice, and did not think anything of it at the time. However, around Thanksgiving of that same year I had to send my car to the car dealership in Traverse City for work to be done. I did not get my car back until late December 2015 because the parts were out of stock. The customer service department was very nice about the delay, and towing to the customer service department was paid by the Fiat brand because it was under warranty (I paid for bridge tolls $50.00). I had to make arrangements to get a ride to Traverse City to pick up my car because they were going to charge me to bring it back. The dealership in this area that sold me the car, Fernelius Hyundai, would not help me in the slightest besides giving me a lender car for three days around Thanksgiving- they said it was my problem and I should be thankful for their generosity. When I received my car it worked fine, but then in February of 2015 the same thing happened again. I received free towing to Traverse City, and I had to pay bridge tolls again. This time customer service in Traverse City said they couldn't find the problem, but it seemed to be working fine (my theory was that since it is warmer in Traverse City they didn't have the same issue). Now it is January 2016, we had a warmer than normal winter. AGAIN, I have the same problem with my Fiat. I again will have to send it down to Traverse City to get it worked on, however, I don't believe it will fall under the 4 year warranty/50,000 miles. This means I will probably have to pay for the towing and bridge tolls out of pocket. I cannot in good mind sell my car. I believe Fernelius Hyundai knew of these problems. I no longer have access to the previous service records on my car that I can tell. I believe I have no protection in this but want to try. I can't believe there isn't a recall on my 2012 Fiat after having the same problem YEARLY.

  • Got a love it - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    Had it for almost 4 years now with little to no problems. Hand rest broke had it taken care off. Use it mostly for a work commute and driving around the city. So far so good I enjoy it and best of all almost paid off. Thinking can get another 4 years out of it.

  • Great car with a lot of small issues - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    Would be a great car if the interior quality was a little better, if you get the convertible then be aware that the light color headliner suffers from discoloration in the rear and that Fiat and the dealers will not correct the issue, instead blaming it on dust that gets on the interior. You will be going to the shop for small things and they will add up over time.

  • Clutch broke at 53,000km - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    Clutch broke at 53,000km, 4 months after the end of 3 year warranty. Cost of repair was CAD 1,800. Called Fiat Canada customer support, they did not want to reimburse.

  • The City car - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    This car was designed to be in a city. The city mpg was always over 22 and the highway went as high as 40. Highway driving was fine with the acceleration of the manual gearbox allowing me to merge into traffic going 60+ mph. I was comfortable driving at 72 mph.Most of my driving was in the Boston area and traversing the river on a high bridge gave me no difficulty in a cross wind. The back seat was occasional used (sometime by me) by adults with no difficulty as long as the passenger seat was move forward a little. With the back seat folded down and access through the hatchback made this a useful vehicle. I always got a lot of attention in a parking lot. The looks were attractive to lots of people and the would ask me about the issues I described above. Overall, a good, reliable, stylish car.

  • I Hate to Say It, But... - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    As much as I love it, it's got to go. Bought used with about 40K miles on it. It's fun to drive, gets great mileage, and I had no complaints until I went to have the oil changed and the mechanic told me there were metal particles in the oil, and I shouldn't be driving it. I bought it from CarMax, who have been wonderful about dealing with this: ended up having to replace the engine (no cost to me), but when the car came back after being gone for a month, the antennae had been broken off (and not replaced) and one of my hubcaps was missing (again, CarMax is being great about repair/replacement). Came out a week ago to drive to church, and the driver's side door handle came off in my hand. Not a big thing, but a) I live in Wisconsin, where it gets pretty cold, and it was very temperate the night before-not like it was well below freezing and therefore brittle, and b) This car doesn't even have 50,000 miles on it yet. I'm now wondering "what next" every time I get in the car to drive it. It makes me sad, because I've really loved this car. Too bad Fiat can't make something more reliable...

  • I'm not sure if my story will have a happy ending - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    As I write this, my car currently has just over 52,000 miles on it and just recently came off of warranty. It's a 2012 Pop 500, which is now three years old. Last January, I got in it to go to work one morning, and could not get it into gear. This baffled me, as it was perfectly fine the day before. Turns out, I had to have it towed to the dealership and they claimed that a bearing wore out in the clutch kit and an entirely new clutch kit had to be installed. At that time, the car was two - I've NEVER heard of such a thing and was horrified! The service manager was vary vague in answering any questions. Fast forward to this Holiday weekend...my daughter and I were headed out for breakfast in honor of my Birthday, when suddenly, the 'new' clutch blows in the middle of a busy city street, leaving us stranded with people honking and waving their arms madly behind us. This time, the car was stuck in first gear, the clutch would not engage and I was in a panic. We finally managed to push it out of traffic to a safe spot to wait for the tow truck. The kicker this time is that my beloved dealership, where I bought the car and have had it faithfully serviced for three years is closing it's doors on Monday!!! This left me having my car towed 15 miles south to a huge dealership that I've never dealt with before, whose online reviews for service are nothing short of appalling. Let me recap by saying that I thought I selected my car very carefully. I have absolutely loved an adored it, even though I've replaced both headlights (they are not cheap!) and tail lights and more hubcaps than I can count by now. I can live with those petty annoyances, but what really concerns me is that I have 16 months left to pay on this car, and the THIRD clutch is being installed this week. For the record, I baby my car, and most certainly do not beat up on my clutch. In fact, I'm hoping how someone can explain how a bearing gets sheared off, resulting in a brand new kit being installed, then the clutch plate gives way in the brand new kit, 10 months later. Looks like I'll be trading in my car as soon as it's paid off! I lack the words to express how incredibly disappointed I am. The WHOLE reason I bought a brand new car was so that I did not have to deal with maintenance problems like this. VERY, VERY POORLY DONE, FIAT!

  • Turn the ignition, nothing happens! - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    My 2012 Fiat L was purchased new from dealer in late 2012. Very glad it came with a 50,000 4 yr warranty as it spends a lot of time at the dealer getting "fixed." After 3 attempts to correct issue with tire pressure light staying on, gave up on it and just disregard the light. My car shut off while I was on the highway doing 55 so I felt blessed to have been able to get it to the shoulder. I was an hour from home in Feb on a freezing day with an infant in the car, but when I my husband arrived the car started and he drove it home like nothing had happened. Sixteen months later, the car died dead again while driving near the beach, this time I had AAA and had it towed to the dealer. Gone nearly 2 weeks and they just replaced the alternator & battery. After that the car would no longer start on first turn of ignition but roared to life on second try... but six weeks later would not start at all. Almost 2 weeks at dealer as they replaced the starter. Two months later, it still won't start on first turn of ignition and it has randomly refused to start at all 3 times in the past month. If I move the shift, open/close door, step on brake and go thru antics it starts, usually after I have called AAA to come get me and have to call them back to cancel the tow. I have had it. Hope to have enough equity to trade by this coming Fall as the negatives are outdoing the positives at this point. I do love the look, the size and the gas mileage but once my warranty is over, this is NOT a car I want to keep due to scary maintenance costs.

  • Totally Disappointed! Hell on Wheels - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    This is the worse car I've ever had. Since day 1, the dashboard isn't happy unless there is an indicator light on! It's always something wrong with the car, things that should hardly ever go wrong. The headlamps are always needing repair. It's a three year old car and already I've had the engine worked on 3 times, all lights replaced, a new airconditioner put in, the starter went out and that was over $500.00 in repairs, and most recently the gear switch cord broke...another $500.00 repair. I'm afraid to drive it and unfortunately I still have 2-3 years of payments to make on this car. I'm so very sad I trusted the good reviews and the commercials saying how great the car is. As far as fuel consumption..I pay just as much as if I had a larger car. I bought the car to help save money, help support dealers in in America and to have an economical car while I'm going through a low paying job transition and it has made me late with all my bills because of always needing repairs. I need a miracle to get me out of this car. so disappointed. I'm in tears writing this review. Don't buy one and don't listen to all the great ratings...because after your warrentee runs out, it's Hell on wheels.

    By -

    I have owned this vehicle since April of 2012, and since the first week I bought it, I've had nothing but problems with it. From the rear brake lights going out, to damage tires, bad tire/wheel bearings after short time of ownership, convertible top replaced twice, electrical issues, trunk issues (not opening - 4 times since 2012), soft top roof leak, etc.

Fiat 500 Reviews By Year:
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