2012 Fiat 500: MINI Competitor Or Spaghetti Western?


2012 Fiat 500

2012 Fiat 500

Italian car aficionados have been looking forward to the return of Fiat for some time; in fact, it has been a rumor that the Fiat brand would come back to the U.S. pretty much since it left. Now is the time for the Red, White and Green to shine with the introduction of the 2012 Fiat 500 to the American market. Even better is that journalists are starting to get their hands on these little works of art—not this journalist yet, but maybe someone over at Chrysler of Fiat will send one our way for a little AllSmallCars.com review. Until then, lets see what our partner site over at TheCarConnection.com had to say about their first drive in the 2012 Fiat 500.
2012 Fiat 500

2012 Fiat 500

2012 Fiat 500

2012 Fiat 500

To set the baseline, the Fiat 500 will come in three basic flavors: Pop, Sport and Lounge. The range of the price tag will accordingly be: $15,500, $17,500 and $19,500, respectively. If you have looked at a MINI Cooper lately, you might think that is a bargain and who wouldn’t with the base MINI Cooper being some $4,000 more than the base Fiat 500. If you are saying, “You get what you pay for,” then you might be in for a surprise. The 2012 Fiat 500 comes backed with a 4-year/60,000 mile warranty and 3 years of paid maintenance. You will also be able to customize your Fiat 500—in fact the combinations create some 500,000 combinations.Okay, enough stalling, you want to know how the 2012 Fiat 500 drives. According to Marty Padgett over at TheCarConnection.com, the 2012 Fiat 500 is a mixed bag. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder rewards drivers with 101-hp at 6000 RPM, which means the engine has no issues with being run up to the redline in every gear. The best performance, both in fuel economy and 0-60, will come from the 5-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, the 6-speed automatic seems to have a severe drop off in the MPG department. Marty says, “There's a lively rasp as it rushes over 3000 rpm, and it doesn't get too harsh as it rises higher through the rev range.”Other high points of the Fiat 500 include the electric power steering that “has a meaty bite, and can feel like unassisted steering at times.” The suspension also performs will for a car riding on a 90.6-inch wheelbase (read SHORT)—however, large potholes can still swallow this diminutive little car. Overall, Padgett feels the Fiat 500 is stable with good road manners, but does note that the rear end will get light if you have all the weight on the front-end. If you aren’t careful you could elicit chips out of your passengers. Speaking of noise, the Fiat 500 isn’t silent in the cabin and does exhibit a fair amount of tire and road noise. That said, Padgett says it won’t keep you from having a conversation with those in the backseat (no bullhorn required).Bottom line—The 2012 Fiat 500 is a design marvel from the inside out and best of all it is Italian. Need I say more? Oh yes, MINI, you have competition coming to your small car block.[Source: TheCarConnection.com]
 
Follow Us

Commenting is closed for this article


 
© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Stock photography by izmostock. Read our Cookie Policy.