• Jan 31st 2011 at 2:59PM
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2012 Fiat 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

With the 2012 Fiat 500 scheduled to hit U.S. dealerships in February, it's time for those official EPA ratings to roll out. Since the Fiat 500 is powered by the automaker's MultiAir 1.4-liter engine, we expected to see stellar fuel economy numbers. However, the subcompact 500's rating of 30 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg out on the highway aren't all that remarkable.

For comparison's sake, several compact models, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus, can achieve 40 mpg highway or better. Furthermore, only five-speed manual-equipped 500's achieve the 30/38-mpg rating. Opting for the six-speed auto drops the rating down to 27/34 mpg city/highway. While its fuel mileage numbers may be disappointing, the 500's $15,500 price for the entry-level Pop model, will likely lure an ample amount of buyers into Fiat showrooms.


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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      30 / 38 is better than a Mini (29 / 37 for the Cooper, the lowest model available), but compare it with the much *larger* Honda Civic or Insight Hybrid (41 / 43) or Golf or Audi A3 TDIs (30 / 42), let alone the even larger Prius. It's no surprise that it costs money to get better fuel efficiency, but it's weird you get a much bigger car along with the mpgs.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Not weird at all, we are talking highway and the larger cars are mostly *Longer* rather than taller and have better aero (which is cd x frontal surface area).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like I'm ever going to drive a pissy little car like that for a 30/38-mpg rating. How stupid is that? Now if it got 60 mpg like it should and could then I'd consider it for environmental reasons. As it stands my big hatch back gets better gas consumption by a long shot giving me not one dam incentive to put myself in a tin can and for a rather large amount of money. That's pretty disgusting mileage for a vehicle in 2011 and dam environmentally irresponsible. The car makes no sense at all and has nothing to offer any driver other than it would be easy to park. Poor reason to buy a car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't it great to see a car rthat gets marvelous fuel economy, that hasn't been mileage modified to death. One that has NOT made it almost undriveable, by transmission and differntial gearing that only a hypermiler could possibly love?

      There are few cars in America in the Fiast 500 A-segnent category, as yet. The BMW Mini and perhaps the Smart car are two such A-segment vehicles. GM when it introduce the Chevy Spark wil have another such competitor. Ford if it used its A-segment offering the Ford Ka, is really selling a rebodied Fiat 500. Rumors are rife that Ford and Fiat were discussing building Ford Ka's at the Chrysyler Toluca Mexico plant where the Western Hemisphere bound Fiat 500s are all headed. Similar to how the VW Routan Mini-Van is built by Chrysler for VW, at its Windsor Canada plant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A lot of people talk about getting something bigger with the same bang.
      You have to realize that in urban environments, the small size is a selling point and not a detriment.
      Young urban types with no kids do not care too much if you have a ton extra room they never use.
      They care that they can find a parking space faster and easier.
      Hell - many of them paid a quarter million $ for apartments not much bigger than this car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Fiat 500 is not trying to be a hypermiler car. It eschews aerodynamics for cutesy styling. It's a stylish Mini-competitor for an economy-car price. It should boost Chrysler's sales to young buyers, and get more small cars on the road. I think the Fiat 500 meets all it's expectations, even if it doesn't meet ours.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Agreed that this car isn't being sold as a hypermiler, but a fun runabout. I've driven one, and it's exactly that, a really cheery town car with lots of style. That's why you can't toss a Frenchman in Paris without hitting one of these. But I still wish that for those MPG geeks like us autobloggreenies out there, that they would make available the even more fuel efficient euro versions.
          • 7 Months Ago
          Hey, I just got one after waiting all this time for it to be released. I must say that the mpg in the city is not as good as they say and I have the Sport with a manual transmission. NYC driving, lots of talking to people all day that stop me and ask me about the car. I feel like a spokesperson for Fiat!! I absolutely love this thing!!! Very deceiving little car. I had a friend who's 6' 7" drive in it and he was shocked!! Very intelligent, but they should definitley have released the euro version because it won the international engine of the year???? Go figure
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. This is amazing. Does anyone ever do a fact check? The Focus has not been released and is in another size class. The Fiesta which is probably the car they meant has an extra cost model that will achieve 40mp, but the standard model is 36. The only 2011 Elantra listed at fuel economy. org gets 31. Maybe they mean the Accent Blue which gets 36. None of these cars come close to 30mpg in the city which is where most people drive most of the time. My reaction was whoa, VW TDI mileage.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I checked yahoo autos and the 2011 Elantra will get 29/40 for all trims (manual or auto). For a bigger size class, I would say that is more amazing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you look for 2011 at fueleconomy.gov, most cars are probably missing right now.

        The 2011 Yaris gets 29/36 manual and 29/35 4spd-auto.

        The 2011 Fiesta 28/37 manual, 29/38 4spd-auto, 29/40 6spd-auto.

        (I only know because one of my family was cross shopping a Yaris and Fiesta recently).

        30/38 is not really that amazing, but is slightly better than the competition if you are only looking at the stock manual transmission. The 27/34 with the automatic is definitely only average.

        However, the Yaris and Fiesta comes in more practical 5 door and 4 door trims (the yaris also has the same 2 door option).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fiat have built the smallest, lightest vehicle in class, and they've equipped it with the smallest engine of any vehicle on sale in the US (spare the smart). You'd expect it to have the best fuel economy in the segment, but it doesn't. No doubt that it's length hinders the use of low-drag shapes, but the fuel economy is still very disappointing; especially when cyberspace has been hyping the hell out of the TwinAir.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correction:
        For the Fiesta, the 29/38 is also 6spd-auto, not 4spd-auto; 40 mpg highway is with SFE package.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Actually, all models of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra are rated at 29 city and 40 highway, regardless of transmission choice (6 spd man / 6 spd auto).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not horrible, but not great. I wonder what the MPG will be for the Abarth? That's the only model I'd be interested in.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Green-eh is right. Plus it's easier to get a better cd with a longer car, as you can taper the tail longer. Look at Bonneville streamliners.
      • 4 Years Ago
      wow 10 years and I still can't find a replacement for my 01 jetta TDI, average over the last 2 years of 43 mpg, 90% city, that is filling it up to the top of the cap everytime so my mileage is real. I can spin the tires in first and 2nd gear and is fun to drive with leather, sunroof and paid for. I ordered this car back in 2000 and paid full price. Pulls my 13 ft boat at 32mpg and can pull my 10 ft camping trailer, mid 20's mpg. I guess my 7 year old son will have it due to the fact that no one can make a car with better milage and fun and utility factor. too bad and sad.
      As for the Fiat I love the looks but to me if you have a car this small it should get like 70 mpg. The Smart should get like 90 mpg before I would buy that tiny thing.
        • 7 Months Ago
        I have also 2000 VW TDI and get around 40mpg combined regularly. If only quality of VW was better I would not complain at all, but I am interested in getting 500 to replace my TDI, as soon as I am convinced the reliability of 500 is ok.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No diesel, no two cylinder turbo. I hope Fiat doesn't make the same mistakes smart made. It would be more the pity, since this is such an amazing little car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yep, having 10.5 gallon fuel tank is $ 42 for a fillup. I remember around 1990, the Colt DL I had was around $ 11. I really expect something this small to be getting close to 70 mpg as well and even there, cost per mile still isn't a inexpensive. Any of these would have to get 4x the fuel economy. Just me, but the 1980's & 1990's Honda CRX Si is more performance across the board. Why the 6 speed in a 100 hp car ? And why 15" wheels, as I recall 13" were fine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's pretty weak MPG for a car that has a 1.4L and will weigh about ~2200lbs in American trim. Wasn't the multiair mill supposed to be the savior of mankind? apparently not. Not when Hyundai and Ford can pull the same MPG in cars that weigh 100's of lbs more and have more power too...

      This car has been crossed off my list of cars to look at in 2011.
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