How reliable is the Fiat 500 and what are the expected maintenance costs? (2023)

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Nicholas Hinriksen- Release date: August 15, 2023

It's not just the sticker price or MSRP that affects the cost of car ownership. When buying a car, most people have an easy way to find MPG or fuel economy, fuel costs, registration and insurance as part of their average annual car cost - how do you know where to find maintenance costs?

Most people know that some brands have reliably good cars (Honda) and others are very unreliable (Land Rover). While these correlations are generally based on facts, we can use more data to determine which Honda vehicles (eg Honda Civic vs Ridgeline) are reliable and which Land Rover vehicles (eg Evoque vs Range Rover Sport) are not.

How reliable is the Fiat 500 and what are the expected maintenance costs?

To understand the maintenance costs for your specific vehicle, we developed some aggregated data from RepairPal, warranty companies and long-term quality studies to determine the maintenance costs and overall reliability of the Fiat 500 and compare the results with other makes and models. In this article we will look at:

  • How about overall reliabilityFiat 500?

  • What is the total maintenance cost for a Fiat 500?

  • How often does your Fiat 500 need maintenance?

  • How likely is a Fiat 500 to have a serious repair problem?

  • What are the different factors that affect maintenance costs?

  • How reliable is the Fiat 500 in the real world over the long term?

Some vehicles may seem like smart buys because of the low down payment and purchase price, but you should do some research on exactly how much the car will cost you each year. This article details the true cost of maintaining a Fiat 500 in order to answer the above questions and save you time and money.

Overall reliability rating: Is the Fiat 500 reliable?

Overall, the reliability of the Fiat 500 is not well documented, making it less reliable. The chart below shows exactly how this car ranks compared to some other cars, but for comparison, the average overall score is 57.

This data is based on looking at maintenance costs and frequency, warranty coverage and long-term reliability by looking at how long these vehicles are typically on the road. Remember, this comparison is for all cars, not just compact or subcompact cars in the same class as the Fiat 500.

You may notice that these numbers are very different from those in the J.D. Reports. Power or Consumer. Most posts focus on problems reported by dealerships (like J.D. Power) during the first few months of ownership or ask owners for a biased review of their new car's long-term cycle. The study looked at actual repair costs and frequency, drawing on data from a repair shop and wholesale auctions.

(Video) Fiat 500 Quality Issues. (Reliability Issues, Maintenance and Repair Cost)

Annual maintenance cost for a Fiat 500

In total, annual car maintenance costs for a Fiat 500 total $522. The table below shows the full ranking of the various cars across the system, as some comparisons. Considering that the average Fiat 500 sells for $522 and the average annual vehicle cost is $651, the 500 is much less expensive to maintain.

How often does your Fiat 500 need maintenance?

To examine the frequency of major maintenance, we looked at how many times a vehicle required major unscheduled maintenance over a 3-year period. This "major" maintenance item is an expensive system failure (usually a component or assembly costing more than $1,000) that must be repaired.

It should be noted that while we are looking at these figures based on a brand model, driving habits, conditions and mileage will obviously affect the results. Every vehicle needs maintenance at a different frequency. Older vehicles may require more frequent maintenance, while newer vehicles can last longer without much attention.

You can use the frequency rating to determine how long the vehicle can be used without maintenance service. The frequency rating tells us how often a particular vehicle needs major maintenance every 3 years. The rating is shown in units of 3 years - for example, if a car has a maintenance frequency rating of 3, the car needs major repairs every year. The closer the frequency score is to 0, the more likely no major maintenance services will be needed.

Fiat 500 has a frequency score of 0.69000000000000001. This compares to an industry average of 1.3, meaning the Fiat 500 is significantly better than average. The table below lists details for all makes/models.

It is worth noting that there are many reliable vehicles that may also require frequent but affordable maintenance. For example, many domestic brands require higher maintenance times, but overall costs are lower (since domestic brands are generally cheaper in labor and parts). That doesn't mean cars break down less often, but it does show that when things go wrong with a vehicle it's easy to fix -- which is arguably more important.

The severity of the repair and how it affects the overall reliability of the Fiat 500

Some repairs can be extreme because they cost much more than the average repair cost. To identify "big parts" repairs that require engine, transmission or major component replacement, RepairPal uses Consumer Reports' Severity Score and Reliability Rating.

You can use a vehicle's severity rating to determine the likelihood of a major problem with a particular make and model. Severity ratings are given as a percentage, with scores close to 100% indicating the vehicle is likely to require major repairs.

These scores are especially important to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency responsible for enforcing safety standards to reduce vehicle-related accidents; vehicles in need of repair are dangerous to drivers and others.

For the Fiat 500 in particular, the vehicle has a severity rating of 17%% compared to an average rating of 12% for all models.

Keep in mind - severity is a good indicator of whether you want to purchase an extended warranty. An extended warranty doesn't make economic sense in most cases, but it helps prevent costly catastrophic events.

Fiat 500 long-term reliability and 'On the Road' rating.

While reliability covers many dimensions, Dashlight's ratings are designed to give owners a good overall impression of their ability to "keep moving." The study looked at commercial vehicles in terms of total mileage and the number of "red light" issues reported for both trade-in and auction vehicles.

A red light problem is when there is a serious engine, transmission, or other powertrain problem that requires extensive repair.This indicator is good for several reasons, as shown in the 2 x 2 chart below:

Cost/Frequency of repair




(Video) FIAT 500 Problems to Expect

Problems are rare and when they do occur they are likely to be fixed, so very few cars will have problems

Many trade-in cars can have these significant problems due to the very high cost, despite less frequent repairs


Despite frequent repairs, low repair costs mean that few cars have problems

The car is likely to experience major problems frequently

So, in essence, it's a good estimate of the cost to get a car reliably on the road compared to buying a new one. It's also a good measure to balance the superior reliability of some brands (like Lexus) with the lower repair costs of some domestic brands (like Ford).

Overall, the Fiat 500's long-term quality rating is Uncertain, compared to an average rating of 43 across the makes and models we reviewed. Note that this is not a comparison between cars of the same body style (eg hatchback) or class (eg subcompact) or size (eg small car), but between all cars.

Factors affecting maintenance costs

There are many factors that can affect the exact maintenance cost of your Fiat 500. Generally, these factors fall into a few main categories:

  1. The area and driving conditions where the car is used

  2. They receive preventive maintenance cars

  3. The vehicle's exact equipment level, configuration, transmission and options and packages

Area and driving conditions

Would you rather buy a delivery truck from Boston or a church-only one-car truck from grandma in rural Southern California? Usage has a lot to do with the expected maintenance cost of the vehicle, as a general rule, the harsher the driving conditions, the more maintenance will be required.



warm temperate climate

Freeway cruising

unsalted road

(Video) Fiat 500 - Yes it's cute but is it as BAD as they say? | ReDriven used car review

smooth road

extremely hot or cold

Stop-and-go traffic, excursions

Salted roads (deicing)

uneven mountain

Preventive and Routine Maintenance

Regular maintenance costs and requirements depend on the make and model of your vehicle. These routine maintenance costs can help you avoid higher costs due to unscheduled maintenance. Most of the time - you can browse your vehicle's maintenance schedule in the owner's manual in the glove box to find out what maintenance services your car needs and how often they need to be performed.

Thanks to modern computerization and mechanical improvements in engine design, new cars require less maintenance than ever before. However, as a general rule of thumb, here are some general maintenance costs:

Key maintenance factors include:

  • Oil change:The standard is to change your vehicle's engine oil every three months or every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

  • Tire rotation:Since the car's two front tires carry most of the vehicle's weight, tire rotation is required to distribute the pressure evenly across all tires. It is recommended to rotate the vehicle's tires every time you change the oil.

  • Multiple checks:

    • It is recommended that the following checks be carried out each time you change the oil

    • AAA car insurance offers a free multi-point check

    • liquid level

    • hose

    • Inflationary pressure

    • tire tread depth

    • Battery

    • zone

    • air filter

(Video) 5 year ownership review for FIAT 500 | Are these vehicles reliable? | 150k miles!!

In addition to these basic maintenance requirements, vehicles often require the replacement of certain wearable auto parts, which ultimately affects ride quality. As your car model ages or if it is used, you may notice that replacement costs start to rise. For example, your Fiat 500 may also need replacing. As you get older, the average annual cost of ownership also increases. Also, more expensive cars are made from more expensive parts, which can be more expensive to replace. Vehicle replacement and repair costs include, but are not limited to:

  • rubber:

    • Check your tires for cracks or tears once a month

    • You can also use a pen test to check the tread depth of your tires

  • Wiper Blade:

    • The rubber on the blade can be upgraded over time

    • Replacement every 6 to 12 months is recommended

  • Engine filter:

    • Prevents dust and debris from covering your engine

    • It should be replaced every 20,000 to 60,000 miles

  • BRAKE PADS:Recommended replacement every 30,000 to 50,000 miles

  • car battery

  • Engine Transmission:doFind out if your reliable car has an automatic or manual transmission (such as a six-speed manual) or a CVT (continuously variable transmission)

The exact equipment level, configuration and options and packages of the vehicle

Although we treated all [make][models] the same in this article - sometimes maintenance costs vary significantly depending on the specific trim level (eg LX, EX-L, EX on most Honda models), the engine configuration (such as fuel efficiency) four-cylinder engines (BMW is more reliable than six-cylinder turbos), standard features (such as airbags, sunroof, etc.), as well as additional options (such as leather seats, heated steering wheel) and packages (eg Technology Package, Utility Package) Vehicles have (2002-2004 Toyota touchscreen infotainment not reliable).

However, it's not a hard and fast rule - the more moving parts, options and kits your vehicle has, the more likely these items will need repair. For example. Vehicles with Bluetooth, Climate Control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Touchscreen Infotainment and NHTSA/IIHS Approved Active Safety Features (Blind Spot Monitors, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning) and more Best places to break from a base-level Nissan Sentra with only a steering wheel and an AM/FM radio. It can also cause additional complications if you choose four-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (AWD) instead of front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive models.

Also, in terms of styling, higher-horsepower Sport trim levels are more likely to push the limits of their mechanical components than lower-priced models. Take the 2006-2010 BMW M5, for example, whose highly advanced, highly complex V10 powertrain was notorious for engine and transmission problems. The base model 5 Series (more tuned for good EPA gas mileage) is more reliable.

Does having a rear seat increase maintenance costs?

When deciding on the best car for you, it's important to pay attention to legroom and overall cargo space that fits your lifestyle. Due to the technology and construction of large vehicles today,Maintenance costs remain the sameFrom SUVs to sedans, this is it. Sedans generally have a lower CPM than most SUVs, mainly due to higher tire and brake repair costs.

However, the difference between these prices is not so great that it affects the roomy vehicle you can have with a folding rear seat. If you are a big family, a three-row car is definitely worth the maintenance cost, but if you are on a tight budget and don't use your car much, then only the first row (smart car) might be right for you.

Refinancing Fiat 500:

If maintenance costs are a concern - there are other ways to save money on your vehicle. WithClutch can also help you save time and money with auto loan refinancing.

(Video) Fiat 500 full service in 2 minutes * READ DESCRIPTION*

You may have significantly overpaid your car loan. use for freeAuto Refinance Loan CalculatorFind out how much you can save. Not only can WithClutch help you lower your monthly payments, you can use their free service to find window stickers for your vehiclewindow sticker tool.

This feature works with all makes and models including but not limited to Toyota, BMW, Acura, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai and Subaru.start saving here!


What is the reliability rating of a Fiat? ›

Fiat Reliability Rating Breakdown. The Fiat Reliability Rating is 3.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 18th out of 32 for all car brands. This rating is based on an average across 345 unique models. The average annual repair cost for a Fiat is $538, which means it has above average ownership costs.

How much does it cost to maintain a Fiat 500? ›

Fiat 500 Repair: Service and Maintenance Cost. The annual maintenance cost of a Fiat 500 is $522. Repair and maintenance costs vary depending on age, mileage, location and shop.

What is the reliability rating of the Fiat 500? ›

Fiat cars have an average reliability rating of 3.5/5 according to RepairPal. Fiat 500 cars fall into the same rating. They are easy enough city cars or quick trips, though they are not the greatest for long distance traveling, or anything off road.

Are Fiat 500s expensive to maintain? ›

The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Fiat 500 is $522, compared to an average of $456 for subcompact cars and $652 for all vehicle models. The average total annual cost for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years of a vehicle.


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