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View all Fiat 500 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 3.6 out of 5 3.6
  • Running costs manageable
  • Diesel is the economy winner
  • TwinAir not as frugal as expected

Running a Fiat 500 won’t cost you an awful lot, no matter the model you end up buying. While prices are reasonable to start with, it holds its value well and the engines are largely frugal – at least on paper.

The 69hp 1.2-litre petrol claims to return up to 60.1mpg, with the Dualogic transmission boosting this slightly to 62.8mpg. Go for the Eco version of this engine with a manual gearbox and you could see up to 65.7mpg, according to Fiat.

The two-cylinder TwinAir engines claim impressively high fuel economy – almost diesel-like. The 85hp version is capable of up to 74.3mpg, with the Dualogic version achieving the same, while the 105hp model returns slightly less at 67.3mpg.

While these figures are very impressive on paper, we’d suggest taking them with a bucket-load of salt. If you’re pootling around town and not fussed about making moderately quick progress anywhere, you might get north of 60mpg. But as soon as you need to keep up with traffic on a slightly faster road, it’s easy to see the average fuel economy figure slip below 40mpg.

It’s also easily done simply by having a bit of fun – the growly engine note is quite infectious so you could find yourself driving everywhere in second gear just for the raspy sound of it. Just don’t expect to get anywhere near those on-paper figures.

If you are precious about fuel economy, you’ll want to look at the 1.3-litre diesel. However, only do this if you cover higher mileage and spend a lot of time on dual carriageways and motorways, as that’s where it’ll pay dividends.

Fiat claims it’ll return up to 83.1mpg, and while this might be tricky to achieve, you’ll get closer to this claimed figure than the claimed figures of the TwinAir.

You can also expect low insurance costs for the 500, no matter the model you go for. This has helped it become a very popular car with first-time drivers.

Carbon dioxide emissions are impressively low across the whole 500 range – at its worst the little Fiat emits no more than 110g/km, which is for the manual 1.2-litre petrol.

Going for the Dualogic transmission with this engine and emissions fall to 105g/km, while the 1.2-litre Eco produces 99g/km. That’s the same amount as the more powerful 105hp version of the TwinAir two-cylinder.

The 85hp TwinAir, however, emits as little as 88g/km with the Dualogic transmission, with the manual version emitting barely more at 90g/km.

Finally, the diesel produces 89g/km of CO2, putting it at around the same level as the 85hp TwinAir petrol.

  • Several recalls for the 500
  • Nothing too major to worry about
  • Any issues should be ironed out by Fiat

Fiat doesn’t possess the greatest reliability record for many of its cars, and unfortunately the 500 has been the subject of ten recalls in its life so far – many of which are shared with the Panda.

Many relate to the issues with brakes, steering and seat belts, and all should have been sorted out under Fiat warranty when the recall was originally issued.

Ensure that any recall work has been carried out if you’re looking at buying a used 500, and if you’re buying a new one, we hope that any big issues will have been ironed out. If you do encounter anything, Fiat’s three-year warranty will cover you.

Estimated fuel cost per year

Fuel type Pence per litre Estimated cost per year *
Unleaded 128p £786 - £1,322 *
Diesel 131p £718 - £889 *

* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.

Highest and lowest CO2 emissions

Engine CO2 emissions Road tax (12 months)
0.9 (85hp) Petrol,
0.9 Petrol
88 g/km (Min) £0 - £145
1.4 Petrol 149 g/km (Max) £160

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £160
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 5 - 15
How much is it to insure?

Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.