Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Fiat 500 sports?
If you need to replace the windscreen on a 500C, bear in mind that it isn’t the same as the one in the standard 500. This is because the radio aerial is bonded to it. Check there are no serious stone chips or cracks on the screen because a replacement will cost you more than the one in the standard car.
Interiors of some cars have suffered from items of trim falling off, as well as rattles and squeaks appearing.
Check for any bodywork damage. A car that lives its life in the city might have had one or two bumps in its life, so look for any scrapes to bumpers or poor accident repair to body panels. If the work hasn’t been carried out to Fiat’s workshop standards, this could lead to future rust problems.
What are the most common problems with a used Fiat 500 sports?
The 1.3-litre diesel engine is fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). To ensure this can regenerate to burn off trapped soot, frequent motorway journeys are necessary because this process is only triggered when the exhaust is hot enough. Check how the previous owner has used the car, because lots of urban journeys will clog up the filter, potentially leading to an expensive repair bill.
Another potential problem relating to the DPF occurs when it has been shut off partway through regeneration. The result is contamination of the oil system with fuel, leading to the oil level rising gradually over time. This can cause damage to the engine, so it’s worth checking the oil level or have the car inspected if you're unsure.
Is a used Fiat 500 sports reliable?
Fiat as a brand didn’t do particularly well in our latest reliability survey, coming in 24th out of 32 car manufacturers. Less than 15% of 500 owners reported issues, but these related to more serious problems that required the car to be in the garage for more than a day.
On the plus side, the 500C shares a number of parts with the Fiat Panda and Ford Ka, so parts availability will be better than most if something does go wrong.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for city cars, head to the What Car? reliability survey pages for more information.