There have been some threads on the Fiat 500's on here and from what I have read, they are favorable. We are considering the purchase this year of a Fiat 500 Sport. The Abarth is more than our budget can afford, so we have thought about the 500 Sport because it has a turbo (?), so we get a good boost in performance without sacrificing gas mileage. My question is what to look for when considering a used 500 and comments about reliability. I thought I could purchase after market parts to pump up appearance and performance at some point down the proverbial road. I appreciate your comments.
My wife has a 500 Sport (non-c) that we bought in 2011 from the first regular shipment to the dealer. It is set to turn 98k today. At least in the first few years, the sport model did not have the turbo. It just had larger (huge!) wheels and stiffer suspension with the same drivetrain as the basic pop. We got it because it also had much better seats. I understand they have recently made some changes and reduced the number of trim levels, so maybe the later sports do have turbos.
Watch out for head clearance in the convertible or sunroof models. The basic sedan has lots of headroom.
As for reliability, it hasn't been back to the dealer since its first free oil change in which the dealer filled the poor car with enough oil for a v8 hemi. The only failures it has had were a rear wheel bearing that was probably self inflicted when we ended up driving through a flood, a broken shift cable end and one loose radiator hose. Not bad for almost 100k. In spite of its Mexican assembly, its been just as solid as all my other Fiats.
Oh, and the early ones had optional Bose audio which to my ears sucked. Just like the dealer radios in old Fiats. I actually think the basic stereos sounded better and you gain trunk space from the amp and a nice little tray under the passenger seat in lieu of the subwoofer.
As long as it hasn't been crashed and the oil has been changed when the reminder light came on, I don't really know of any unique issues to look for.
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