As of the 2018 model year, Fiat Chrysler’s plucky little Italian subcompact – the Fiat 500 – is now propelled exclusively by turbo power, as the basic Pop and Lounge models inherit FCA’s 135-horsepower, 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine. The compact four-cylinder is 34-horsepower up on the old base engine – a normally-aspirated 1.4L MultiAir unit – and offers twin intercoolers supporting a single turbocharger.
That’s not all that’s new for 2018, however. At the Chicago Auto Show back in February, FCA revealed that the tweaked, 2018 Fiat 500 Pop and Lounge models had also been bestowed with new 16-inch wheels, body-color front and rear fascias, rocker ground effects, a new spoiler, fog lamps, and nifty “Turbo” tailgate badging. Nice. What the automaker didn’t reveal is that the 2018 Fiat 500 would see its price increase by as much as 9.4 percent compared to 2017. CarsDirect crunched the numbers and discovered that, equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission ($995), the 2018 Fiat 500 starts at about $600 more than the Honda Fit LX with a CVT, destination included.
Destination is an important dollar amount, in this case; as with much of its North American lineup, FCA has quietly raised the destination charge on the 2018 Fiat 500, elevating the hidden cost to $1,245 – $250 more than last year’s car. Combined with a $1,250 greater sticker price of $16,245, customers can expect to spend at least $17,490 for the 500 this year – $1,500 more than last year, in all. The next-higher Lounge model is also $1,500 more expensive than last year, now costing $20,990 to start. Even the Fiat 500 Abarth, which ships with the same 160-horsepower version of the MultiAir engine that it offered last year, has seen its price rise by $750 to $21,740, $250 of which is from the higher destination fee.
As the subcompact car segment languishes in the US market, it remains to be seen whether a car like the 2018 Fiat 500 can withstand price increases like these and still keep selling – Italian charm and all.