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Too many repairs - clutch failure not warrantied

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/8/2015 pandacar

I want to love this car, but one of the main reasons I bought it was for its affordability and I haven't even had it 2 years and I'm already paying 10% of the original cost in repairs! I bought it one year used with 11,000 miles on it. It's now 28,000 at miles and it's had problems with everything from cosmetic issues like peeling paint, to an air bag sensor failure, to a very serious no-warning clutch failure (which was not covered under warranty after 15,000 miles). The clutch replacement at a FIAT dealer has taken 10 days so far and is costing a small fortune. It's a fun car but just not holding up! I always drove a Subaru or Toyota before and I think it may be time to go back.

Favorite Feature : Affordable (assuming you don't need repairs that aren't covered by the warranty), cute, good gas mileage, handles well given the small engine (struggles a little on hills), makes parking easy, back seat folds down easily to carry a decent amount of cargo.

Suggested Improvement : Some parts of the interior seem cheap - plastic bolt under glove box has popped out leaving the upholstery flapping, gear shift ring broke, etc. Outside, the paint is peeling on the strip between the sunroof and front windshield. The worst issue is the clutch dying suddenly at 28,000 miles (no slipping, no burning clutch smell to warn you, it just worked and then it didn't, in my case, in the middle of an intersection.) I've driven stick all my life and never run through a clutch that quickly. Peruse the forums and reviews for the 2012 FIAT 500 Manual Transmission and you'll see I'm not alone. No help from the dealership either.

Average Rating : 3.25

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