Yonkers, New York – The Fiat 500 is a “likable urban car,” according to Consumer Reports magazine, which included it in a recent test of fuel-efficient vehicles.
However, the Fiat couldn’t “avoid enough shortcomings” such as a tight rear seat and cargo area to score high enough for a “recommended” listing by the magazine.
“The tiny Fiat 500 has agile, go-kart-like handling, a rev-happy engine and a crisp-shifting manual transmission that makes it fun to drive,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “But slow acceleration, a choppy ride and a noisy cabin are demerits.”
The Fiat will be featured in the October issue, which also includes an Auto Test Extra road test of the Chevrolet Volt after seven months and three seasons. Fuel economy ranged from the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon on electricity alone to a less-impressive 29 mpg overall when running only on gasoline. The testers found the Volt “amazingly inexpensive” to run on short trips, but when the gasoline engine kicks in and trips reach 70 miles, traditional hybrids catch up in running costs.
The test of fuel-efficient cars also included the Lexus CT200h hybrid, diesel-powered Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and the Honda Civic Hybrid. The CT200h received the highest overall test score in the group, reaching 40 mpg overall in fuel economy tests but with the highest price. The magazine said that none were on par with the Toyota Prius, the most economical car it has tested that doesn’t have to be plugged in, achieving an average 44 mpg overall.