STATUS: New base engine for 2019 - One of the smallest new cars you can buy, other than the all-electric Smart, soldiers on in a world that's dominated by much larger vehicles. The lineup of hatchbacks and semi-convertibles (where only the roof retracts) carries on, but with a powertrain change. The previous 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine has been replaced with a 135-horsepower turbocharged four in both Pop and Lounge models. It comes with a five-speed manual transmission, or available six-speed automatic. If you're in the market for a subcompact, the 500's output now stacks up well against the Mini Cooper's 134-horse turbocharged three-cylinder. Selecting the sportier 500 Abarth gets you the 160-horspower four-cylinder that delivers 183 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. The battery-powered 500e, available in California and Oregon only, has a torque-rich 111-horsepower electric motor that can be charged in less than four hours with a 220-volt outlet and has a maximum range of 87 miles. All trim levels can be upgraded with a BeatsAudio-brand sound system, navigation system and a sunroof.
Base prices (plus destination): $17,500
Type: Two-door hatchback/convertible
Engine (h.p.): 1.4-liter I-4, turbocharged (135-160)
Transmissions: Five-speed manual; six-speed automatic
Base mpg (city/highway/combined): 28/33/30 (MT)
Base weight (lb.): 2,505