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AN: Fiat 500 official rating: 30/38 mpg


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49 replies to this topic

#21 rvk5150

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Posted January 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I will post pics at a later date....we received a dumping of snow overnight here in Michigan so seeing the car is not so good.

#22 Stratuscaster

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Posted January 29, 2011 at 02:11 pm

Note that the US-spec 500 is 40lbs heavier than a 1G Neon, which offered 30 more HP and more interior space, yet got similar MPG. It's up for debate whether a 500, with the current mandated safety stuff, is any safer than a 1995 Neon.

Plenty of things can affect MPG - mass is one of them.

#23 vipergg

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Posted January 29, 2011 at 08:21 pm

Wow that's certainly nothing to write home about. I would take a Chevy Cruze any day over this ugly thing. The ECO six speed manual model gets 42 mpg highway , so a 6 speed auto ought to get at least 40 mpg .

#24 Stratuscaster

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Posted January 29, 2011 at 09:06 pm

Wow that's certainly nothing to write home about. I would take a Chevy Cruze any day over this ugly thing. The ECO six speed manual model gets 42 mpg highway , so a 6 speed auto ought to get at least 40 mpg .

Perhaps not.

It's not only the 6-speed in the Cruze ECO that contributes to it's 42MPG highway rating.

To achieve this, the Eco uses GM's latest 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, rated at 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. On its own, the engine is efficient enough to deliver 24/36 mpg, but a host of aerodynamic changes and weight reductions on the Eco account for the extra bump in fuel economy. In addition to a lower front air dam extension, rear spoiler, lowered ride height and revised underbody panels, the Cruze Eco rides on lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling-resistance tires. What's more, a front grille shutter has been developed to improve airflow at higher speeds, thus accounting for a 10 percent coefficient of drag over standard Cruze models.


Note that the Cruze ECO is rated at 28MPG city, while the 500 is rated at 30 with a 5-speed manual - and without any of the additional changes and aids needed by the Cruze ECO.

As another point of reference, the Fiat 500 TwinAir sold in Europe - which uses a turbocharged 2-cylinder 875cc engine (about 3/4 the size of the ECO's engine) making 84HP with stop/start tech - is rated at 69.9MPG on the Euro scale - which works out to about 58MPG US. And that's just from the change in engine - no aero tricks, no low-rolling resistance tires.

#25 alfisto

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 12:33 am

It doesn't help that all three factory tires are junk. They should have used Yokohama. The Pirelli oxidizes too fast. The Continental and Firestone both get noisy and wear too fast as previous models in the series have demonstrated.

Edited by alfisto, January 30, 2011 at 01:05 am.


#26 73PlymouthDuster

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 08:35 am

Wow that's certainly nothing to write home about. I would take a Chevy Cruze any day over this ugly thing. The ECO six speed manual model gets 42 mpg highway , so a 6 speed auto ought to get at least 40 mpg .


I'd rather walk than drive a Chevy Cruze.
It's one of the worst new cars currently on sale -- no doubt since Daewoo (now called GMDAT) did much of its engineering.

Sure it's got a nice dashboard. But it's also got the worst powertrains in a small car currently available -- the crude
1.8 Ecotec and the not-much-better 1.4 Turbo. The car has a power-to-weight ratio of a rock, thanks to its porky
3100 lbs curb weight -- all the other cars in its class weigh between 2500 to 2900 lbs.....

You got to love GM -- they invented the term "unnecessary and redundant." The base Cruze motor makes 136
horsepower.... The optional motor makes 138. Yep, 2 horsepower is a $1500 option. The automatic transmission
is a hunting, erratic beast that still hasn't been fixed despite all the software patches.

The Cruze has numb steering and dull handling. It makes a Camry look like sports car. If you want to buy a
Korean car, might as well buy a Hyundai. Instead, the Daewoo-designed Chevy (like the Aveo/Sonic) pretender
is a lame piece of crap. I know their are some Opel pieces that made it in the Cruze -- sadly not the good parts.

Edited by 73PlymouthDuster, January 30, 2011 at 08:37 am.


#27 dakotaquadsport

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 09:03 pm

I'd rather walk than drive a Chevy Cruze.
It's one of the worst new cars currently on sale -- no doubt since Daewoo (now called GMDAT) did much of its engineering.

Sure it's got a nice dashboard. But it's also got the worst powertrains in a small car currently available -- the crude
1.8 Ecotec and the not-much-better 1.4 Turbo. The car has a power-to-weight ratio of a rock, thanks to its porky
3100 lbs curb weight -- all the other cars in its class weigh between 2500 to 2900 lbs.....

You got to love GM -- they invented the term "unnecessary and redundant." The base Cruze motor makes 136
horsepower.... The optional motor makes 138. Yep, 2 horsepower is a $1500 option. The automatic transmission
is a hunting, erratic beast that still hasn't been fixed despite all the software patches.

The Cruze has numb steering and dull handling. It makes a Camry look like sports car. If you want to buy a
Korean car, might as well buy a Hyundai. Instead, the Daewoo-designed Chevy (like the Aveo/Sonic) pretender
is a lame piece of crap. I know their are some Opel pieces that made it in the Cruze -- sadly not the good parts.


136 hp @ 6300 rpm and 123 lb-ft of torque @ 3800 rpm
1.4L Turbo DOHC delivers 138 hp @ 4900 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque @ 1850 rpm

The difference between the two motors is power and torque delivery. As you can see max torque is at a very low 1850 RPM on the 1.4, so no it's not about 2 more HP.

Chevy has issued a TSB to fix the trans hunting issue, I haven't heard about multiple software "patches".

So the Sonic is a lame piece of crap as well? Didn't know anyone had driven the car yet.

You want a crap powertrain? Try the Jetta's 2.0L.

The Elantra is the one to beat. The interior is huge, it comes with a bucketload of features, class leading warranty, and you don't have to pay extra for some sort of "eco/xfe" model.

#28 Jaime

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 09:44 pm

I was hoping for better numbers, however it may do better in real world driving. I can average 31mpg on my 2008 Sebring and the rating is 26 highway....it really depends on the persons driving style.

I can get an average of 25mpg with Valiant! Not bad for a motor with nearly 300k miles.

#29 stoich

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm

As another point of reference, the Fiat 500 TwinAir sold in Europe - which uses a turbocharged 2-cylinder 875cc engine (about 3/4 the size of the ECO's engine) making 84HP with stop/start tech - is rated at 69.9MPG on the Euro scale - which works out to about 58MPG US. And that's just from the change in engine - no aero tricks, no low-rolling resistance tires.


Impressive numbers, but it seems like a pricey option...
"The prices for the new Fiat 500 TwinAir have been released for the Italian market, and each model will cost about 1,600 euros more than its 1.2, 69 hp counterpart."

That's about $2100.

Edited by stoich, January 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm.


#30 brycmtthw

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Impressive numbers, but it seems like a pricey option...
"The prices for the new Fiat 500 TwinAir have been released for the Italian market, and each model will cost about 1,600 euros more than its 1.2, 69 hp counterpart."

That's about $2100.

Euro vs. Dollar means nothing. Because I'd bet all engine options for the NA 500 are to be built at Dundee...

#31 srt4evah

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Posted January 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Surprising that the auto is so much worse than the 5-speed. The trend in compacts lately was that the autos actually managed slightly better fuel economy than the manuals. I believe that's the case with the Civic, Fit, and a few others. Must be funky gearing in the 500 or something, that's significantly worse than the manual.

#32 FThorn

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Posted February 4, 2011 at 01:31 pm

Cruze Eco
http://www.bing.com/...co 42&FORM=BNFD

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by FThorn, February 4, 2011 at 01:33 pm.


#33 Seagondollar

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Posted February 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Saw my first Cinquecento (run that one through your spell checker and see what it suggests!) at the Raleigh NC car show today. I'm 6'2" 220 lbs and I had absolutely no trouble fitting in or getting in or out of the car. My wife said I looked like a big kid on a small trike, though.

I will have to drive one of those eventually. Hmmm, is it the next (smaller) Neon?

#34 tr4petty

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 01:53 am

I've not seen the Fiat 500 in person but from the pictures I've seen, I would have thought that it would get better fuel mileage than that. There's some considerably larger cars out there right now that get 34 - 35 mpg highway. The little bitty Fiat should do more like 42 - 44 mpg in my opinion, just from looking at it.

#35 Marauder_Pilot

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 03:52 am

I think it has a lot to do with the tuning. If you tuned it to drive like a Prius, it'd probably do 45-50 MPG. However, since they wanted it to be, you know, fun, they had to sacrifice economy.

And since sacrifice is 38 MPG, that's still pretty good.

#36 Stratuscaster

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 01:18 pm

Small does not always equate "high MPG." And "big" doesn't always equate "low MPG."

Sure that Geo Metro 3-cylinder got 50MPG on the highway - but would you even want to get on the highway in one to begin with? :lol:

1997 Metro vs 2012 500
Engine: 1.0L 3cyl 55HP / 1.4L 4cyl 101hp
Curb Weight - Automatic (lb.) 1832 / 2430
Wheelbase (in.) 93.10 / 90.5
Length (in.) 149.40 / 139.6
Width (in.) 62.60 / 64.1
Height (in.) 54.70 / 59.8
Track Front (in.) 54.50 / 55.4
Track Rear (in.) 53.50 / 55.0
Ground Clearance (in.) 6.30 / 4.1

Of course, now that I've shown this, the inevitable questions of "why does the 500 weigh 600 more lbs than the Metro?" will appear.

How can we get a modern car like the 500 achieve similar MPG as one from 14 years ago that offered 1 less cylinder and just over half the horsepower? Simple enough - take away 2 cylinders and add TwinAir. But now you are right back down to having to compromise a bit - you are going to have to accept slower off-the-line acceleration and top speed - just as those that bought the Metro 14 years ago did. But now you have a modern car, that meets current safety standards, and weighs more - but bests the Metro's 49MPG highway rating.

#37 tomtex

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 02:09 pm

Small does not always equate "high MPG." And "big" doesn't always equate "low MPG."

Sure that Geo Metro 3-cylinder got 50MPG on the highway - but would you even want to get on the highway in one to begin with? :lol:

1997 Metro vs 2012 500
Engine: 1.0L 3cyl 55HP / 1.4L 4cyl 101hp
Curb Weight - Automatic (lb.) 1832 / 2430
Wheelbase (in.) 93.10 / 90.5
Length (in.) 149.40 / 139.6
Width (in.) 62.60 / 64.1
Height (in.) 54.70 / 59.8
Track Front (in.) 54.50 / 55.4
Track Rear (in.) 53.50 / 55.0
Ground Clearance (in.) 6.30 / 4.1

Of course, now that I've shown this, the inevitable questions of "why does the 500 weigh 600 more lbs than the Metro?" will appear.

How can we get a modern car like the 500 achieve similar MPG as one from 14 years ago that offered 1 less cylinder and just over half the horsepower? Simple enough - take away 2 cylinders and add TwinAir. But now you are right back down to having to compromise a bit - you are going to have to accept slower off-the-line acceleration and top speed - just as those that bought the Metro 14 years ago did. But now you have a modern car, that meets current safety standards, and weighs more - but bests the Metro's 49MPG highway rating.

Any rumors on a diesel engine for the Fait 500?

#38 Marauder_Pilot

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 03:27 pm

Of course, now that I've shown this, the inevitable questions of "why does the 500 weigh 600 more lbs than the Metro?" will appear.


Because the 500 has a hidden cage that would give a Wrangler envy and more airbags in the door than the Metro had in the everywhere.

#39 Stratuscaster

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 06:33 pm

Any rumors on a diesel engine for the Fiat 500?

For the North American market? Of course there are.

The MultiJet diesel model sold in the UK is rated at 72.4 miles per Imperial gallon - that works out loosely to about 60MPG US.

I'm not holding my breath for it to be available here. Apart from a few select choice offerings, diesel passenger cars just don't seem to be a priority for the automakers - or the government.

Because the 500 has a hidden cage that would give a Wrangler envy and more airbags in the door than the Metro had in the everywhere.

The point being, of course, that "size" isn't always the issue. "Mass" is.

#40 Seagondollar

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Posted February 12, 2011 at 07:14 pm

Mass being in the neighborhood of 2300 lbs. (?)


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