3 Star Reviews for Fiat

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

3.94/5 Average
263 Total Reviews
Make Overview:

Fiat is one of the earliest and grandest names in automobiles, dating from the establishment of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino ("FIAT") in 1899. During the early years, its racing cars were the envy of every nation. Later on, the Fiat Topolino ("Little Mouse") was as famous as the Volkswagen KDF (subsequently known as the "Beetle") in the 1930s and '40s. The 1950s saw Fiat put much of Italy on wheels with the hugely popular 500, sparking the "Italian Miracle," a renaissance of European consumer products.

Sadly, the company's fortunes in the United States were mixed. Here, the Fiat 1500 won over a fair share of enthusiasts in the mid-'60s, and the early-'70s saw the Fiat 850 (Spider and Coupe) become popular among college students. Yet the Pininfarina-designed Fiat 124 sports car did the most to keep the Fiat image alive in America, as cars like the front-wheel-drive 128 and midengine X1/9 ultimately failed. Even Lancia, Fiat's premium brand, withered quickly after an introduction in the mid-'70s. Ultimately, Fiat's poor reputation for quality and its inability to cope with ever more stringent emissions regulations led the Italian company to pull out of the U.S. market altogether in 1984.

In 2000, General Motors acquired a stake in Fiat as part of a joint venture to create a new generation of small, affordable cars for Europe. GM's financial troubles led to the unraveling of this agreement in 2005, but Fiat had invested the GM money wisely in new air emissions technology. When the bankruptcy of Chrysler took place in 2008, Fiat saw an opportunity to return to the U.S. In 2009, Fiat acquired a controlling interest in Chrysler.

The Fiat 500, debuting for 2012, was the first of Fiat's new generation of cars to come stateside. Staying true to its lineage, the new 500 is very small, nimble and stylish. In addition to the 500 coupe, there are also the 500 convertible and hot-rod 500 Abarth to further tempt those looking for a small car with plenty of personality. More recently, Fiat has expanded its lineup with the fully electric 500e and the family-friendly, four-door 500L.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 263.00
  • 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 cant be held accountable for this "Lemon". It drives GREAT, when its working but I live in the U.P. of Michigan. Hard winters are common and the car doesnt have much clearance (which I knew purchasing the car and wasnt 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 wouldnt 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 couldnt find the problem, but it seemed to be working fine (my theory was that since it is warmer in Traverse City they didnt 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 dont 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 cant believe there isnt a recall on my 2012 Fiat after having the same problem YEARLY.

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

    As much as I love it, its got to go. Bought used with about 40K miles on it. Its 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 shouldnt 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 drivers 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 doesnt even have 50,000 miles on it yet. Im now wondering "what next" every time I get in the car to drive it. It makes me sad, because Ive really loved this car. Too bad Fiat cant make something more reliable...

  • Im 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. Its 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 - Ive 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 its doors on Monday!!! This left me having my car towed 15 miles south to a huge dealership that Ive 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 Ive 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, Im 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 Ill be trading in my car as soon as its 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 wont 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.

  • Too Much Too Soon - 2014 Fiat 500L
    By -

    Service has been terrible. Had it in 6 times for the check engine light. Bluetooth is terrible. I can hear who Ive called, but when the car is moving, they can barely understand what I am saying.

  • Great in the city but awful on highway - 2015 Fiat 500e
    By -

    PROS: This car is really nimble in the city. We live in San Francisco so parking is rarely a problem for this car. This car is great at stop and go. Often you can drive more than 100 miles in the city. It has good handling and is fairly comfortable in the front seat. CONS: My worst complaint is the highway mileage. If driving around 65 mph continuously dont expect the range to go beyond 60-70 miles. Also, when you turn on AC you lose about 10 (estimated) miles in range so be careful. Back seat is horrible in terms of space. Trunk space is small but for a family of three its big enough to hold our weekend groceries. I like the interior design but the quality of material is really cheap so I dont think its worth the price tag. Everyone was laughing at the bright orange but this bright color is necessary because sometimes on the road people just dont see this compact car. Reliability and safety are unknown at this point since I am not a pro. Overall Id recommend this car for short distance commuters.

  • Should have known better than to buy a Fiat - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    I bought my 2012 Fiat 500 Pop used. This was 2 years ago and it had 36,000 miles on it. (Found out it had been a former rental car...in Las Vegas). The only reason I chose this one was it was the only used automatic they had (I can drive a manual but in L.A. I choose not to). Electrical problems from the start. Warning lights always coming on (Check engine). Half the time they couldnt say what was wrong. For a couple months the car went to service every other week. Finally got that to stop then one day I turn on the car and the mileage was blinking. Again to the shop for resetting. I took my car in for an oil change a couple weeks ago and was told it had a leak (somewhere where they needed to drop out the engine). $89 for parts. Over $1k for labor. (Not had it done). This past Friday I pushed the button to lower my drivers window and heard a thunk. Window dropped an inch and has stayed there. Getting it fixed today. Thankfully (without being consulted when I bought the car) I somehow ended up with the extended warranty - Maximum Care. So the window will be just $100 (deductible). Going to find out if the oil leak is covered as well. I wanted to trade in the car for a new 500L since they contacted me looking for 2012 Pops. Too much negative equity. Well no kidding. This thing had negative equity when I bought it. Kicking myself for not buying the brand new Toyota Prius C that I test drove at another dealership. As soon as I can this car is gone!

  • Dont waste your time and money on a Fiat - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    I love driving this car and it does turn heads, but its in the shop a lot. I was willing to tolerate that since its still under warranty, until the clutch "wore out". Ive been driving a stick for 30+ years and have never worn out a clutch, so, in spite of what Fiat customer "care" said, it was not caused by my lousy driving. Although the rest of the car is still under warranty, the clutch is a wear item and is not covered. My car suddenly was undriveable (a potential safety issue), it was stranded 200 miles from my home, it cost $1200 out of my pocket to repair and over $300 in rental car fees to get home and then get back to pick up the car. This at less then 40K miles.

  • Never trust a Chrysler dealer - 2014 Fiat 500L
    By -

    We like our Fiat, what we dont like is the customer service. We have 8832 kilometers on our car and a rattle/knock has started in the front end when going over small or large bumps. When we bought the car Chrysler said we could use any Chrysler dealer to service/warranty work on our car and when we called City Chrysler Corner Brook NL they said no we do not service Fiat. Called Fiat Canada and they told us we have to drive to the nearest Fiat dealer, 10 hours away in St. Johns NL. Do your homework if you are planning on buying a Fiat, ensure you have a dealer close by and get everything in writing. We will be selling our Fiat and will make sure no one in Western NL buys a Fiat.

  • Too many repairs - clutch failure not warrantied - 2012 Fiat 500
    By -

    I want to love this car, but one of the main reasons I bought it was for its affordability and I havent even had it 2 years and Im already paying 10% of the original cost in repairs! I bought it one year used with 11,000 miles on it. Its now 28,000 at miles and its had problems with everything from cosmetic issues like peeling paint, to an air bag sensor failure, to a very serious no-warning clutch failure (which was not covered under warranty after 15,000 miles). The clutch replacement at a FIAT dealer has taken 10 days so far and is costing a small fortune. Its a fun car but just not holding up! I always drove a Subaru or Toyota before and I think it may be time to go back.

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