Fiat Research & Reviews

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
  • Clutch Recall - 2013 Fiat 500
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    I purchased my fiat in 2013 and it had no problems for a while. At 50,000 miles everything changed. My clutch was faulty and despite the recall, fiat found loopholes in the warranty and I was out $1,500. Now every 50,000 miles my clutch breaks and I owe about $1,600 just to fix the clutch. Do NOT buy this car. Do NOT trust fiat. Please take it from me when I honestly write how terrible my experience has been. Be warned.

  • Fiat usa is not customer friendly! - 2015 Fiat 500
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    I bought my 2015 fiat 500 pop five months ago, thats when my troubles started... at the first rain I found out that my car has a leak, car did not have even 500 miles when I took it to get serviced, in staid of giving me a new car they repaired it, I thought I was buying a new car, in staid I have a new repaired car, and this is only the beginning.... stereo problem, done the software update no changes, had the engine check light that went on, the heater takes 20 MIN to defog at full power, driver seat latch sticks and now another leak. They are great little cars and fun to drive when they work. Till this moment Fiat USA and the dealership is still giving me the turn around.

  • Quirky but Cute EV - 2015 Fiat 500e
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    Lease terms are great when combined with rebates from California State and Central Valley. Car is a hoot to drive: fast and responsive with great handling. It also is cute and sophisticated looking. Range is about 100 miles in the relatively flat Central Valley. This car works great as a city commuter and carries our shopping purchases easily in the "trunk" and the extra space made by folding down the rear seats. We are family of two "empty nesters" so although this car is an addition to our gas engine vehicles (bought to complement our newly installed solar array on the rooftop), it has become the favorite car to use. Front seats are fine but rear seats are a bit cramped. Controls are "interesting," reflecting Italian design!! The integrated info system in 2016 is a bit improvement over previous models. In addition, the interior white/black color scheme is practical but classy. We have had no problem in the city or on the highway. Beware that this car does not allow Level 3 charging so expect to wait a bit longer for it to charge with Level 2 at public charing stations or a lot longer with the Level 1 charger that comes with the car.

  • Originally Excited, Now Regretting Purchase - 2012 Fiat 500
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    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.

  • Shes a keeper! - 2014 Fiat 500L
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    Weve had our 500L for 2 years now, though have only put on 14K miles so far, and its my wifes daily driver. Ours is the Trekking trim with the 6 speed Dual-Dry-Clutch Transmission. In response to an earlier recent review where the reviewer gave the car just 1 star, my experience couldnt be more different. To start off, I love the transmission, but Ive adapted my driving habits to ensure its longevity. It is, after all, an automatically shifted manual- not a slush box. What Im talking about is, for example, to select the gear you want using the manual mode when in stop and go traffic, in particular when youre creeping along, and I always put it in neutral if Im going to be stopped for any length of time. The reasons for driving the DDCT in this way are a bit technical, and maybe thats why dual clutch transmissions havent caught on so well stateside. In any case, for 2015 all but the Pop trim come with the Aisin slush box if you opt for an auto transmission. Ive had no problem with the car rolling backwards on a slight incline when pulling away from a stop, and hill hold assist works well when on any incline greater than "slight". The engine has proven to be plenty quick enough for merging with traffic etc. and frugal if youre easy on the gas. Ive gotten upwards of 39 mpg when on back roads with no traffic, 34 or so on interstates, 25 to 27 in town (lots of cold starts routinely, so the economy suffers a bit for that). Some criticize the 500L for having too firm of a ride, but to me it is sublime, giving a very nice balance between ride and handling. The steering weights up nicely as you turn in, though I wish the turn-in response were a little sharper. It is very stable once into a corner, and its fun to hustle it if youre in the mood, though the car is really excellent at just cruising on a sunny day, esp. if youve opted for the panoramic roof. The 500L is reasonably quiet at highway speeds, and for our small family its a great road trip car. The upright seating position gives us long term comfort, and the expansive window area provides for an excellent view in all directions. Weve found the front seats to be very comfortable with excellent adjustable lumbar support, though folks of longer inseam are more likely to have an issue with proper thigh support. For 2015 the front seat bottom cushions have been lengthened to address this issue. How I have the drivers seat adjusted allows me full view of the instrument binnacle, though I can see where some might have issues with that- perhaps running a lower seat height and a bit more recline would do the trick for them. The parking brake handle works OK, though ergonomically it could be better. Infotainment is intuitive, simple, and has been trouble free for us. It synchs up with my 160gb ipod classic pretty quickly too. Ive had Hondas, Acuras, VWs etc. and this has become my favorite. We decided to buy a MOPAR extended warranty just for peace of mind. Ours has been stone reliable save for the recalls for an airbag and a transmission re-flash.

  • Excited to Frustrated/Alarmed - 2014 Fiat 500L
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    Excited to buy, loved having a fiat but should have done more homework but when we bought last year there was not this much about the cars. Purchased it as a commuter/local use. Love the room inside, lots of head room, wide so you are not rubbing you elbows and the back seat is very roomy as mentioned in other reviews. Cons:1. on a slight incline when you take your foot off of the brake the clutch takes about 2 seconds to engage, so you roll back and there is a slight pause before power goes to the wheels. Nearly got T Boned the first time, 2. going uphill the power steering looses power so you have to exert more muscle to turn the wheel, then in the middle of the curve the power returns and if you are not ready you end up in the oncoming lane, 3. As mentioned in earlier reviews the brake are not consistent, one time quick and grabby the next there is pedal drop before a smooth application, 4. The low beam headlights do not illuminate nearly far enough, I asked the dealer to dial them higher and he told me they were as high as they would mechanically go. I jus keep them on high beam all of the time and almost nobody notices, If you live in the city you would never notice but if you are driving around back roads or not spending all of your time on interstates then you will feel blind, 5. As mentioned earlier there are few dealers in the Dodge/Chrysler organization that have a trained Fiat mechanics so you have to go to the Fist dealer for anything beyond oil change despite the dealers claim that you can get service at any Dodge/Chrysler service shop, 6. The front seats are not comfortable for a drive longer than 20 minutes, there do not go back far enough for me to have my legs (510"), 7. The steering wheel tilts but only slightly so that if you tilt it up it stops and blocks part of the display, They give you plenty of head room but the car does not accommodate persons over 5 5" or so, we tested with friends, 9. we have had the car for just over a year and I was thinking about trading it in for another Dodge/Chrysler product and the dealer appraised the car at $8,000 and the salesman informed me that it was one of the worst depreciating cars in the USA and he had about 15 used Fiats. I am not 18 and understand car depreciate. I am also old enough over 45 to have driven many cars and know the difference between not liking the feel of handling of a car and not feeling safe driving a car. At first I thought I just needed to get used to it but over time it just gets worst and having to adjust my driving to keep from getting into a dangerous situation is not healthy. I made a big mistake purchasing this car for a number of reasons. I plan to trade it in as soon as I can research and purchase a replacement.

  • Fiat USA is NOT customer friendly! - 2015 Fiat 500
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    I bought my Fiat 1 year ago. I love the little car! But Fiat is not customer friendly. On 8/27/2015, my engine blew with 28,000 on the car. It took over a month to get it repaired and back to me. Three days later, I gave it back to the dealer, as it was not fixed. The 2nd engine blew. 3 months later, they gave me my car back. The upper management will not contact me. They continue to tell a CSR my options. 1/3 of my ownership has been in the shop, and they dont care. Buyers look elsewhere if you want support. My case number is 28015096.

  • Fiat USA is NOT customer friendly! - 2015 Fiat 500
    By -

    I bought my Fiat 1 year ago. I love the little car! But Fiat is not customer friendly. On 8/27/2015, my engine blew with 28,000 on the car. It took over a month to get it repaired and back to me. Three days later, I gave it back to the dealer, as it was not fixed. The 2nd engine blew. 3 months later, they gave me my car back. The upper management will not contact me. They continue to tell a CSR my options. 1/3 of my ownership has been in the shop, and they dont care. Buyers look elsewhere if you want support. My case number is 28015096.

  • 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.

  • Undervalued, poorly reviewed car = great deal1 - 2014 Fiat 500L
    By -

    CAR--2014 FIAT TREKKING MANUAL trans BEATS Audio fully LOADED (no sunroof, heated seats or visor-built-in garage door opener) PAID: $14,595 + tax/fees. (Last 2014 left on lot June2015, $9k discount.) NOTE: CAPS are used for easy reference of points in article. REPLACED--2003 VW PASSAT wagon 1.8lT ABOUT US—This is our SO CA family car. We’ve owned mostly German cars (BMW & MB), my European husband was reluctant to buy it. This car cost half of the Subaru Outback wagon we intended on purchasing. We both have lived in Europe, so the look, size, & power of the car are not strange to us. We installed a THULE roof rack, a FIAT garage installed trailer-hitch for our Thule hitch-mounted bike rack. We are 58" & 63". SHORT REVIEW—We are impressed & got a great deal. I can’t stress enough: FIND A GOOD FIAT STUDIO/DEALER/GARAGE, as this will directly affect your satisfaction. INITIAL REVIEW-- The GOOD--Great bang for the buck. Fun to drive. A comfortable ride with DECENT SUSPENSION. PASSENGER SPACE comparable to our Passat with better headroom (friends 6’5” sat in the back, & another 6’6” in the front comfortably). Both front & rear seats are adjustable to customize needs and comfort. Intuitive layout & usage of COCKPIT & CONTROLS. We are enjoying the technology: SAT NAV, tech ports, 110v plug, dash trip computer, etc. Good use of SPACE (for a car this size). THE WEIRD-- Strange PARKING BRAKE. Stalled 1-2xs daily for first few weeks getting out of FIRST GEAR (different than other cars weve owned). Optical illusion of SIZE & SHAPE--Car is much roomier inside than appears. 6 MO REVIEW-- OVERALL—Still enjoying the ride & options. Car is now broken-in (& so are we), so we aren’t stalling out of first gear beyond normal occurrences. We’ve gotten used to the PARKING BRAKE. The GAS MILEAGE is decent (22-23/city & +26/hwy, with nearly 30mpg on long hwy trips. Seems to be improving.) The Trekking’s FABRIC SEATS (leather not available on this model) are more self-regulating than I would have assumed. After our hot SO CA summer and now our ‘cold’ weather, all is well. (I don’t miss having heated seats.) A 500L’s sunroof’s screen is perforated, so it will not fully shut out the sun even when closed, and roof racks are not compatible, so I am doubly glad we don’t have one. CRITICAL—NO DEAL-BREAKERS. But…The DOORS lack a ‘stop’ mechanism, they don’t ‘fly’ open, but don’t open in a controlled manner when exiting your vehicle. The BLUETOOTH: good as an mp3 player, bad for talking on the phone. The MIC picks up too much sound from the dash vent & such. We had the ‘DEAD BATTERY issue’ (as noted by other owners) because of a SOFTWARE UPDATE that didn’t take (our FIAT studio’s garage checked-off as ‘done’), which was remedied by another FIAT garage. This other garage is a combo FIAT/JEEP, so they had the knowledge & know-how to install our TRAILER HITCH. So,—FIND A GOOD FIAT STUDIO/DEALER. Many negative reviews stem from issues with a dealership rather than the brand. Hopefully FIAT can remedy this somehow, as they put out a decent product. We have heard about some transmission problems, but we since we have manual, we are hoping to avoid that.

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