Sunday, May 8, 2011

Get to Know: 2012 Fiat 500

I have been following the Fiat's return to the United States for about two years now. There is the Fiat USA website and also an independent website that have been keeping myself and everyone else up to date on the introduction of the 500 in the USA. My new local Fiat dealer will be Armory Fiat on Central Ave. in Albany, NY.
Fiat has a tough hill to climb to break into the US market and succeed. They need to break some old Fiat reliability issues and also pull people away from the auto makers they are familiar with. Maybe this current time of high gas prices is just the right time to get people to look for a car like the 500.
This past Saturday morning I was able to stop over and test drive the 500. I was surprised upon arrival the number of new 500s that were on the lot. There were about 40 cars total in all available configurations. I was only expecting 2 or 3 demo models. The sales woman said their first delivery in the last 2 weeks.
I took out a white sport model with 5 speed manual transmission. The car is very different than other cars in both style and layout. I was still able to quickly acclimate myself to the controls. I found the differences easier to adjust to than say the Smart Fortwo or the Mini Cooper. The car has a 101 hp 1.4L engine. It is by no means a performance car, but it doesn't claim to be. The handling and ride were very good for a short wheel base car. A unique single gauge holds the speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, and odometer, this was easy to read. The radio/climate controls easy to reach and use without any learning curve. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that a car in this class and price range comes standard with four wheel disk brakes. Overall the 500 was a pleasure to drive and did everything a car needs to get you from point A to point B, and it does so with a hint of style
The 500 is a subcompact car that is using style and economy as the main selling points. There are many cars in this price range. The 500 has a little more style and personality than them. The range of exterior and interior colors is very impressive.
This car is certainly not for everyone. If you are in the market for a small car to get around town on a budget. Then this car will do it and add a little style to your day.


  1. We are expecting to rent a car in Sardinia in the fall. Perhaps we can try to do a comparison test between the EU version and the US version of the 500. Have you heard of any plans to bring the turbo


  2. The Abarth turbo version has not been officially anounced yet. The Euro version is 135hp 1.4L turbo. I have read as high as 170hp 1.4L turbo for the US. 135hp sounds more realistic though.

  3. That's what today is missing, a little style. I should add some.