Consumer Reports withheld its recommend rating for 2012 Fiat 500 but it did describe the 500, the first Fiat sold in the U.S. in more than 30 years, as
After Fiat's being a fun-to-drive car in tests of fuel-efficient vehicles in
the magazine's October issue.
Although it couldn't avoid enough shortcomings to score high enough in the magazine's tests to be Recommended, including a tight rear seat and cargo area, testers found it to be a likable urban car.
An inexpensive way to get a car with better fuel economy is to buy a very small car with a tiny engine, but that often brings with it some shortcomings, the magazine noted “The Fiat 500, a retro-styled sporty car that competes with the Mini Cooper, is one example. The 500's 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine helps it achieve an overall fuel economy of 33 mpg,” it noted.
"The tiny Fiat 500 has agile, go-kart like handling, a rev-happy engine, and a crisp-shifting manual transmission that make it fun-to drive," said David
Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT. "But slow acceleration, a choppy ride, and a noisy cabin are demerits." By Joseph Szczesny