This week we’re looking at the 2012 Fiat 500 Sport Hatchback. The first things that come to mind are the VW Bug that I owned in college. They were not pretty but they did the job and did it efficiently. Second was my owning a Fiat 124 Spider that was great fun and finally my experience with the older Fiats in Eastern Europe, in particular in Poland. Only 5 years out of Communism at that time, gas prices in Poland, and as was the case in most of Europe, right at $8.00 a gallon. The experiences gave me a healthy respect for Fiat cars.
Some will say I have joked about the acronym F-I-A-T that stands for fix it again Tony, but that is just poking fun. But in my automotive repair facility Fiat repairs would never have sustained us. For 12 years, we at G&I Automotive (for German & Italian), learned the real money to be made was from repairs of BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Ferrari.
Friend Merkel owns several Fiats as a collector and is an automotive engineer as you may recall from his guest columns here. He loves Fiat for a lot of reasons including the engineering. He is more than happy to share his views with anyone who will listen. He’s the most knowledgeable person I know in the world about anything automotive and I’m always happy when he agrees to write a guest column for me.
A couple of cars that are not on the competition list for this 500 include the Smart from Mercedes and the MINI from BMW came to mind as well.
11% of Parts are from the US and Canadian; 59% come from Mexico; The Engine and Transmission come from Italy. It is assembled in Toluca, Mexico. Class is Sub Compact. Cars from Fiat – Freemont, New Doblo, Qubo, Bravo, Linea, New Croma, 500C, Idea, Sedici, Palio, 500, Multipla, Palio Weekend, Doblo, Panda, Punto, Albea, 600, Siena, Stilo, Ulysse, .
Look for more on the Governments retort to my charge that it is Government who is addicted to OIL.
Handling & Performance:
Nimble and faster than I would have thought. This puppy can take care of itself on the highway even though it is nothing like another product from Fiat, Ferrari. Yes, Fiat owns Ferrari which is the spoiled brat of the family, but anything that beautiful generally gets all the attention.
Fiat 500 is powered by a 101-horsepower 1.4-liter engine with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 500 Sport adds sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, the 6-speed automatic and chrome accents.
I know many will take issue with the outward appearance but consider the Nazi product the world embraced and especially in the US – it was Hitler’s pride and joy the Volkswagen.
Fiat didn’t pick up any of the Ferrari genes, but take a look at Scion – only a mother could love that child.
Fiat is offered in Pop, Sport and Lounge trim levels. Standard equipment on the 500 includes seven airbags, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, power windows & door locks, power heated mirrors and an ElectronicVehicleInformationCenter. The 500 Sport adds distinctive fascias, larger honeycomb grilles and aerodynamic updates.
Fit and Finish:
Excellent in class.
More pricey than I thought at $17,000.
Conveniences and comfort:
Another thing you’ll notice with this Fiat 500 is how well appointed it is and features you’d expect of larger more expensive cars. Take a look at the very impressive listing of standard features.
I believe Fiat 500 will be a real winner in a world of rising fuel prices. It is a welcomed addition to the US auto scene. For the rest of the world you already know the legend of Fiat in the Automotive world. Write me and I’ll give you Merkel’s Cell phone to learn more than you wanted to know about Fiat.
Fiat 500 $17,000, Chevrolet Aveo $12,000, Ford Fiesta $13,000, Honda Fit $15,000, Hyundai Accent $12,000, Kia Rio $16,000, Mazda 2 $14,000, Nissan Versa $14,000, Toyota Yaris $13,000.
Efficient, great fuel numbers, roomy small car.
A bit more pricey than competition named here.
1.4 liter 101 hp 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, electronic stability control, cruise control, hill start assist, sport suspension, front, side and side curtain front & rear airbags and knee air bags, power windows & locks, remote keyless entry, tire pressure monitor, sentry key immobilizer, rear window washer/wiper and defogger, air conditioning, driver seat memory, BOSE premium audio with CD / MP3 players, Blue&Me hands free and USB port, leather wrapped wheel with audio controls, tilt steering column, vehicle information, 50/50 split fold down rear seat, LATCH system, 16” aluminum wheels, Halogen lights and fog lights.
$3.85/ Gal avg. June 25, 2011
for more information.
30 City and 38 Highway MPG
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