The Chicago-Bound Fiat 500 Is Really Old, Including the "New" Turbo Engine
Get a Mini Cooper instead!by Ciprian Florea, on
The Fiat 500 may have received a turbocharged engine at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, but it’s not something you should get excited about. The force-fed 1.4-liter four-cylinder is actually at least five years old and its introduction is more of a return to the market. The engine was first offered in the 500 Turbo model in North America in 2013 and remained into production until 2016. It was rated at 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, only two pound-feet short of the "new" engine. A similar unit, but with the full 152 pound-feet, was previously offered on Euro-spec Abarth models.
The Fiat 500 is no fewer than 11 years old as of 2018
Sure, the turbo engine is a cool improvement over the previous entry-level unit rated at 101 horses and 98 pound-feet, but I expect any serious automaker to at least upgrade their units after five years. It’s unacceptable to to just rehash an old engine in the 21st century.
Making matters worst, the Fiat 500 is no fewer than 11 years old as of 2018. The tiny hatchback got a facelift for the 2016 model year, but changes are barely noticeable. Come 2018 and Fiat added body-colored fascia, a "sport" spoiler, revised foglamps, and "Turbo" badges. Seriously, how is this an update and where’s the "sportier appearance" that Fiat is talking about?
And how is the Italian firm expecting the 500 to compete with the more successful Mini Cooper? In the 11 years that have passed since Fiat revived the 500, the British company launched a facelift for the second-gen model (introduced in 2006), redesigned the hatchback in 2013. And the changes are pretty significant inside and out, as well as under the hood.
Okay Fiat, we get it, life is tough, but stop procrastinating and give us a brand-new 500 model already!
Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500.
Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth.
Read more Chicago Auto Show news.
Read more Fiat news.