Like an Italian grandmother's gnocchi recipe, the retro-styled Fiat 500 has required lots of tweaking over the years. For 2018, Fiat made more underhood muscle standard equipment and the automaker has correspondingly upped the subcompact hatchback's base price by a hefty $1,250 to $16,245.
A new turbocharged engine helps account for some of the price boost. The engine delivers 135 horsepower, a 33-percent boost over last year's model. Fiat also upped the 500's mandatory destination charge to $1,245, a $250 increase over last year. The 500's destination charge—ostensibly to cover transport of the vehicle from factory to showroom—is among the highest on any new car.
The mid-level 500 Lounge hardtop now costs $20,990, while the range-topping 500 Abarth price climbs $750 over last year to $21,740. The price increases were first pointed out by CarsDirect. In addition to a newly standard turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the 500 lineup features some mild exterior styling revisions, and a new Urbana trim package is available.
The base price for the 2018 500 has climbed just $250 over what Fiat charged first for its small car back in the 2012 model year, its debut year in the U.S. market after arriving in Europe in 2007.
Last year, Fiat sliced the 500's price by about $2,000 in response to sluggish sales. Deliveries of the 500 lineup slid 18 percent to about 12,700 sales in the U.S. in 2017.