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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
Reliability & safety Rating

2.5 out of 5

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. While the 500 seems to be made from higher-grade materials than Fiats of old, owners seem unimpressed by its build quality, too.

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The 500 has been around for quite some time now, and it didn’t appear in our latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. It last featured in 2021, when it finished in an unremarkable 67th place. Fiat as a brand placed last out of 29 manufacturers in the 2022 survey, but had just 13% of respondents reporting a fault with their Fiat in the first year, which suggests reliability isn’t terrible.

Unsurprisingly, practicality and interior space have been rated very low by owners, though the 500’s 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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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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