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2012 Fiat 500 Review and Roadtest
I stopped in at Fields Fiat in Highland Park to get a brief snapshot of dealer activity. Customer inquiries are coming from all walks of life. Demographic boundaries are being crossed and the youthful and the more senior of our citizenry are checking out the 500. Its not how big your car is. Its how big your life is. is written on a wall in the Fiat Design Studio in Turin, Italy and this seems to be playing out here in the U.S. Fiat 500 buyers even include Ferrari owners, former Alfa Romeo owners as well as car enthusiasts and collectors.
In Rome my wife and I were visiting with long time friends who are residents and I was able to speak with one of their neighbors, Carlo, who works in automotive advertising. Mixed opinions are apparent as to how successful the 500 will be and how well Americans will accept this car. Since the 500 is state-of-the-art and has been on sale in Europe for a
Have a look at my previously published story on the Fiat 500 on The Auto Channel; but heres a brief recap of some of the 500s highlights.
Three 500 models, are offered– Pop, Sport and Lounge. The 500 Pop is priced at $15,500, the 500 Sport is $17,500 and the 500 Lounge is $19,500. Very favorable pricing within the competitive landscape.
The 500 is powered by a 4-cylinder, 1.4-liter, 101 HP engine using Fiat’s patented Multi-air technology which significantly reduces emissions and improves fuel economy. The 1.4L Multi-air engine is rated at 30 city mpg and 38 highway with the manual 5-speed transmission and 27 city mpg and 34 highway mpg with the 6-speed automatic.
My test drive 500 was a 5-speed manual and I wasnt disappointed at all with its performance or fuel economy. It is very fun to drive. The manual trans had me tipping into the throttle continuously for exhilarating stop-sign to stop-sign fun. On my highway trek to Fields Fiat from downtown Chicago I decided to see what I could do with fuel consumption.
To my pleasure I far exceeded the EPA highway rating of 38 mpg and got 41.6 mpg for my round trip. I tried a steady 55 to 60 mph cruise and was getting 45-46 mpg. Not too shabby and well above the EPA mpg.
The 500 is completely equipped with an array of 35 safety features including seven standard air bags and reactive head restraints that help minimize head injury in a rear crash among them. Also, Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Contro...