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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fiat 500 Pricing: How much will it cost?

This post is from 2009; exactly 1 year before the official pricing of the 2012 Fiat 500 was announced. Read the article and then go HERE to see how close I got!

Much speculation exists on the Internet on what price the Fiat 500 will be. It seems that people who aren't thrilled with the Chrysler/Fiat merger put a negative spin out there that the 500 will be in the $20,000 to $25,000 range. Those who are more objective feel it would start in the mid teens.

While we don't know what the final pricing will be, we do know that the 500 is priced lower than the Mini in all the markets it competes with. With that in mind, let's have some fun and speculate what a new Fiat 500 would cost now if it were being sold today. To do that, we'll take a look at a comparison between Mini prices and the 500 in various countries. In a semi-scientific way, we can interpolate what the price difference in America would be .

A couple of notes before we start, these prices were taken from the official website of each respective car company, equipment levels vary from country to country, and most important, currency values can vary by the hour (!).

Within the course of a few weeks, the Euro to dollar conversion went from 1.38770 to a current value of 1.49726. That's a pretty big deal, adding $1,659 to the price of the 500 1.4L Sport in Germany. Because of the currency fluctuations, we'll use the Euro, Pound Sterling and Polish złoty to make our predictions. The Dollar conversions are provided for convenience.

Another point is there are various taxes possibly built into the prices of the cars, but because we are comparing them within the same country, it should even out.

For our comparison, below I've picked 6 countries and have listed the base prices of the 500 and Mini. The order being the least expensive, then the next version up followed by the Mini Cooper.

United States:

Mini Cooper 118hp = $19,500


500 1.2 Pop = €11,250 = $16,849
500 1.4L Sport = €15,000 = $22,460

Mini Ray 75hp = €14,400 = $21,561
Mini One 95hp = €17,350 = $25,979
Mini Cooper 120hp = €19,900 =$29,797


500 1.2 Pop = €11,150 = $16,698
500 1.4L Sport = €15,150 = $ 22,687

Mini One 75hp = €14,900 = $21,564
Mini One 95hp = €16,330 = $24,451
Mini Cooper 120hp = €19480 = $29,167


500 1.2L Pop = €11,000 = $16,471
500 1.4L Sport = €15,000 = $22,460

Mini One 75hp = €15,200 = $22,762
Mini One 95hp = €16,500 = $24,709
Mini Cooper 120hp = €19,200 = $27,756


500 1.2L Pop = 42,500 PLN = $15,246
500 1.4L Sport 58,500 PLN = $ 20,986

Mini One = 64,700PLN = $23,211
Mini One = 68,800PLN = $24,682
Mini Cooper 120hp = 77,300PLN = $27,735


500 1.4L Classic - 234,900 MXN = $17,803
500 1.4L Sport 249,900 MXN = $18,940
500 1.4L Vintage - 279,900 MXN = $21,213

Mini Cooper $19,900
Mini Cooper Pepper $25,800

United Kingdom:

500 1.2L Pop= £8,700 = $14,563
500 1.4L Sport = £11,500 = $19,250

Mini First = £10,950 = $18,331
Mini One = £12,385 = $20,734
Mini Cooper = £13,715 = $22,960

From all the above a few observations. First, the Mini in the US is considerably less than it is in the other countries. Second, the Dollar isn't very valuable at the moment (hence, Fiat needs to build cars here in the USA or Mexico), and it's impossible to import a low cost car from Europe and price it competitively given these exchange rates.

You can also see that the 500 costs less in Poland (where it's made and has lower manufacturing costs than Italy), in fact, you can buy a 500 1.2L Pop for €10,198 compared to €11,000 in Germany and €11,250 in Italy.

OK, let's get to the point! To make our prediction, we have to be aware that the only model Fiat 500 to be sold here (at least in the beginning) is the 1.4L and not the 1.2L, and the Mini Cooper is the only comparable Mini version sold in the USA. With that, we'll take the percentage less the 500 1.4L is compared to the Mini Cooper in each country, average it out and subtract it from the US Mini Cooper's price. In my theory, that will give us an indication of what we could anticipate the Fiat 500 will cost.

The results are, for a 500 1.4L Sport, a range of between $14,699 and $16,350 or let's just say:


Very simplistic, I know, but it points out the pricing would most likely be less than Europe (just like the US Mini is cheaper than the European version). It gives us a general range at which the 500 could reasonably be assumed to be priced. Also, having the car produced in Mexico (which offers low cost manufacturing comparable to Poland) will help Fiat keep the price competitive and still make a fair profit.

And, for any of you who think that's too much, a similarly equipped Toyota Yaris is $15,169! And that's with steel wheels and not the aluminum alloy wheels the 500 Sport comes with.

In any case, Marchionne and the new crew at Chrysler are sharp, and won't price the car out of the market.

We'll have to wait a year or so to find out how close (or far) we are!


Mr. Slipstream said...

Good post! Is it fair to say an 500 in Abarth trim is coming too? said...

Hi, thanks for checking out my blog!

The 500 Abarth is scheduled to be here during the fourth quarter of 2011, so we have a little wait.

I'm doing research on the pricing, of course it's all speculation, but I have heard it **might** be under $20,000 (which would be unbelievably good).

I have a lot of confidence in Marchionne and the new Chrysler. I'm just hoping they don't price it too dear, after all, they know it's not "distressed merchandise";)

Best regards, Chris

Unknown said...

$20,000ish for the Abarth sounds reasonable. said...

Luis said...
$20,000ish for the Abarth sounds reasonable....

Hi, Luis

I am hoping the Abarth will be around $18,000. However, that seem to be a long shot.

The 2010 US MINI Cooper S is $22,300. In Europe, the 170hp Cooper S is 24,300 Euro, a regular 120 hp Cooper is 20,000 Euro. The 135hp Italian 500 Abarth is 18,800 Euro.

The US 500 Abarth sounds OK at about $19,300 or about $3,000 less than the Cooper S. Personally, I think that's the maximum it should be.

I still prefer it to be under that, and closer to my $18,000 estimate.

Alas, it's all speculation...

Best regards, Chris

Unknown said...

in mexico it is $18.000

Anonymous said...

I just want to add that all product in EU have a 17-20% VAT (tax) added.

As you noticed the Mini in US costs considerebly less than Europe, that is the reason.

So to guess the real cost of a 500 in US, just take the average cost in the EU minus 17%

Anonymous said...

Question is if the Fiat 500 is going to be standart sound with the EU`s strict industry norms, if it would be build in Mexico for the American consumer?

Anonymous said...

Great blog with tons of good info..

Any speculation on Canadian pricing? This car will compete with the Mini and smart fortwo. Mini Cooper Classic $22,800
Mini Cooper $24,900
Mini Cooper S $29,900

smart fortwo pure $14,990
smart fortwo passion $18,250
smart fortwo passion cabrio $21,250
smart BRABUS coupe $21,900
smart BRABUS cabrio $24,900

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris, Thanks ever so much, am biting at the bit to get the Abarth, I had a Fiat when I lived in Spain and still love it although I don't still have it. Right now am in a BMw Roadster, but want to get back to a Fiat. They are wonderful cars, and I think once the public gets a taste of them it will become a VERY big winner here in the USA. It's about time Toyota, Nissan & BMW had some serious competition. When will you know Dealership info, and about placing an order for one?

Please keep the info coming, your are my only hope. Thanks, Sandy Vavosa

Anonymous said...

How do you put your name on the ORDER LIST, I want one now or at least ASAP

Unknown said...

My guess would bet that it will be around the same price points as the VW Golf: Starts at $17,620, TDI/Abarth at 22,500. However, it's a much smaller car so perhaps pricing it a grand or so less might make more sense.

TK said...

Building in Mexico avoids tariffs for USA, Canada, and Brazil. This will help to keep the cost low. About half of the cars to be built in Mexico will likely be sold in Brazil.
Also, for those people who want to get on the waiting Go sign up!

European Toys said...

We know this Fiat from Germany and we have already accessories and performance parts for it. See

John Montgomery-FLU Prez said...

Hi Chris! Wow, great research even though it is by nature speculative. I agree that the prices will start at around $15K US. We know that the first 500 cars built will be called the "Prima Edizione". These cars will have a serialized badge and will be sold in only white, red or silver. The cars will all have a 1.4 liter Multi Air engine and 6 speed manual. The only options are an electric sunroof and an engine block heater at this point. Yet I would figure that there will be a number of "dealer" options like floor mats, radio upgrades and perhaps fog lights, spoiler and striping kits. I think these cars will have a lot of standard features too like leather seats, 7 airbags, A/C, power windows, sport/parking mode, antilocks, traction control, cruise, Blue & me interactive link and trip computer. There's no question that the price will be a real value because it MUST make a splash and carve out a market position. For the short term I think the cars will sell out until production gets up to speed and the dealer pipeline is filled. For those who buy the first ones, prepare to be treated like a celebrity everywhere you go. When we drove the 2007 Fiat 500 (Jim Magill's & Lane Museum) car to FFO in 2009, we could not go anywhere without drawing a crowd. The car draws people, plain and simple. You wonder how it gets such great mileage since it's a better chick magnet than a Ferrari. :)
Just kidding, sort of. But seriously, the car is really great, and it will lead the way for the other versions like the cabriolet and Abarth to follow. said...

Hi John,

By the way, great job on the 2010 FFO!

Definitely can't wait to see the cars on the road. How cool is it going to be to go down to a local Fiat/Abarth/Alfa dealer and look at the cars in person, rather than staring at them on a monitor!

The Prima Edizione is going to be big. Everyone should sign up on for updates and to find out when they can get on the list to be one of the first to own a 500.

Best regards, Chris

Bob Yetter - Fiat NW member said...


I am a member of a very active Fiat club here in the Seattle ( There was much discussion at our meeting last night about the anticipated list price for the new 500. I told everyone about your excellent analysis. Would you grant us permission to include it in our newsletter? I know that many memebers who were not at the meeting would love to read what you had to say.


Bob Yetter
(1978 124 Spider)

Anonymous said...

I will definitely wait for the Cabrio version and hope they offer a diesel option.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is dealer greed - plain and simple. Dealers gouged on the first RX7s, Miatas, Minis, PT Cruisers and other "gotta-have" cool little cars. It's sad as MSRP has plenty of profit built in but dealers here in the States are a sleazy bunch of candy snatchers.

I want a 500 Abarth but if I can't get one at or reasonably near MSRP then the dealers can kiss my wallet bye-bye and find a sucker whose willing to be raped (no doubt they'll be lined-up by the thousands). My hope is that I can use a buying service as I doubt I'll find a dealer who isn't out to gouge as deeply as possible.

Yes. You are correct. I loathe car dealers. I have more respect for tattooed, meth-snorting, ex-felon carnies.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the mini? Its just an over priced little car My fully loaded Yaris with absolutely everything cost mid 17s so unlike the poor mileage mini I have good performance and fuel economy at a fair price. This is cute I hope they don't overprice it..

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the car companies are only concerned about the cost of each unit... and not delivering to the masses that would probably purchase such a vehicle if they wernt over priced. Whether a VW or Fiat... this vehicle is certainly not worth the 20k+ price tag... and now... I'm no longer interested in ownership of one. Its a shame... I just drove one in Italy while on vacation... nice little car to get back and forth to work in... and lets face it... its about all these little vehicles are good for.

Anonymous said...

Don't bad mouth the MIMI, it will out perform Yaris on evryhing except price.
And the MINI did trai blaze the small car movement the last 9 years.
With that said I am looking forward to the Fiat/Alfa return to our shores giving us
an option to all the Japanese and Euro cars....:-)

Anonymous said...

For that price, very expensive for one small car
I prefer oteher car litle bigger

Datsun2Duetto said...

Expensive for a small car? You get what you pay for, to a point at least. Kinda like comparing a moped to a goldwing, they're both just bikes, right?

My daughter has put 110K miles on a Toyota since new, not so gently. Dependable yes, utilitarian of course, but has it aged as well as a friend's Mini of similar age? Absolutely not. It's basic transportation inside and out. Elsewhere on this blog, the stamped steel on the Yaris vs. ductile steel and alloy suspension is very illustrative. If things like this make no difference to you, then you should buy the cheapist thing you can find and live with plastic hubcaps on rust-prone steel wheels and all the rest. That said, I am looking forward to seeing what this car looks like in person.

The negative: of the car dealers we have dealt with over the years, the Chrysler dealers have been on the slimier side. Uneducated on their products. Add on stickers and trumped up fees, sales staff turnover every week, low class hard-sell tactics from "sales managers". The last time my wife looked at new cars by herself at one of the two sleazeball dealers near us (Alabama gulf coast, eastern shore if you're curious, 2 years ago) one of them took her existing keys when she test drove a car and when she returned said they couldn't find them - they only gave them back when she started to call the police. The other one had "new" leftover cars almost two model years old that they were trying to represent as worth the same as cars built almost 1 and 1/2 later. I'd hate for either of these predators to be the place I had to go to even look at Fiats. Only our experience with Nissan has been worse - didn't buy either Chrysler or Nissan products because of it. I shudder to think about the "expert" salespeople they'll put on the sales floor. Here's hoping the people selling Fiats and Alfas actually know about their cars and care about long term reputation and repeat business - like they're not already looking for a better job even before their sending me to the closer.

Unknown said...

If they really want to sell these like hot bread, they need to price them at $15000.00, they you will see how fast they sell.

Anonymous said...

If the Fiat 500 costs more than the Yari, I will not consider buying one. And I have been looking forward to the opportunity to own this charming little car.

Unknown said...

I just saw one of these today on the road. it had a Manufacturers plate. it was red and really sleek profile. I would love to own one of these.

Anonymous said...

Note to Chrysler:
Price these cars competitively and reasonably, and you will sell every one you can manufacture. Price them too high ($15,000 and above), and you will lose the most valuable new-thing-on-the-block momentum, which you will never be able to recover.

Anonymous said...

When the Mini came out, my wife really pushed me to buy one. I chose not to due to the fact that I didn't want 20 people touching and gawking at it everywhere I parked.....Which was happening at the time. This was back in 2001. Instead, I opted to buy a brand new Focus SVT due to the fact that nobody knew what it really was except for the tuner crowd. Big mistake. While I loved driving the car and tossing it around, the dealer hit it two different times while it was in service. Plus, it jumped a crank at 90,000.
I won't make that mistake again.

As for the guy that will buy a Yaris over a 500,
that's a very lame reason. You deserve to drive a Yaris and suffer having to look at it every time you open the door. If it boils down to a price point for a similar vehicle. Please, go make yourself unhappy for the next five years.
No one will run down to look at it and see what a great car you have. NPR needs you.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is talking about dealer greed. While I'm not a dealer, have you ever taken the time to consider what it takes to run a dealership?
To start, your car doesn't have near the markup you'd think. I take it a person isn't allowed to hang their name above a door and keep the lights on only so you can see it in person then decide to buy it online from somewhere half across the country. You complain about Walmart and how they monopolize everything. Well, why not patronize your local dealership before it comes to a point where you can only buy direct from the factory. And there's been talk of that for the last 10 years. Don't they deserve to employ people in your town that also contribute to the economy? As for complaints at service, not only do they have to sell the car but they have to learn how to repair it as well. They have to send people to school to learn in intricacies of repairing and maintaining your vehicle because you either won't or can't. And this is ongoing with every new model that's released. But they're the bad guys.
Chrysler....Please price these at a point where it will help you get back on your feet. Why, because your future is as stake.....They people that will complain about paying 20k for a 500 will never buy a 500. They're not your target market. The WOW factor will go a long way to brining Fiat back into this country. Welcome back....You've been missed!

Anonymous said...

No way, gotta be well under 20 g's to compete. Seriously. Price will sell more cars than wow. I would seriously consider one for $16,000 USD.

Anonymous said...

If Fiat is smart they will price their cars like Scion does, the company sets the price not the dealer. No hassle no haggle, one price no matter what state or what dealership. Period

Anonymous said...

Any idea what the electric model will cost? And when it will be out?
Until then, I'm hanging on to my 10 year-old car!

Jim said...

It already seems that Fiat is waiting to arrive at the highest price they can get away with. Instead they should price the car as a good value. The approach that Fiat is taking the car will be doomed in the present value concious market. Is it to late?

Anonymous said...

Looks like we are getting less car, less space, more hype for A LOT MORE MONEY!
We need a FIAT to be sold for less money so that lots of people can buy it. Just look around you: the market is flooded with KIAS!

ammortizzatori rigenerati said...

the fiat 500 it's the italian pride!!!