In-depth reviews

Fiat 500 hatchback - Reliability & safety

Fiat 500 owners don’t seem too impressed by the city car’s reliability and its safety rating is below par

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Although the Fiat 500 has huge showroom appeal, long-term ownership experiences aren’t always positive, according to our customer satisfaction data.

Fiat 500 reliability

Fiat has suffered a reputation for poor reliability for years and it seems to be struggling to shake it off. The 500 does feel like a quality product, though – well put together and made from higher-grade materials than Fiats of old.

The 500 was rated above average for reliability in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, finishing in 45th place out of 75 cars. Of the Fiat 500 owners who responded, 5% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once.

In our brand survey, Fiat finished in 23rd place out of 30 mainstream manufacturers, finishing ahead of the likes of MINI and Ford, with 13.8% of owners reporting an issue with their cars in the first year of ownership.

Unsurprisingly, practicality and interior space was rated very low by owners, though its infotainment and connectivity – and those iconic looks – are very well regarded.

Safety

The original Fiat 500 scored a maximum five-star safety rating in Euro NCAP crash tests back in 2007. But when the updated model was tested in 2017, it could only manage three out of five stars, with worryingly low 66% and 49% scores for adult and child occupant protection respectively.

There is at least a reasonable amount of safety equipment fitted as standard. All models come with skid-reducing anti-lock brakes, seven airbags and electronic stability management, as well as hill-hold assistance and hydraulic brake assistance to help with emergency stop.

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