Welcome back to America Fiat, and thanks for buying half of Chrysler
Here’s a car that everyone calls cute, adorable playful, loveable. It’s the Fiat 500, so Italian looking, even though it’s manufactured in Mexico. The 500 are a small 3-door car that comes in three trim packages. I tested the sport version. 12 body colors and a bunch of different interior configurations.
The engine makes 101 horsepower. Many say it’s a little anemic, but it never found myself wishing for more juice. If you have the need for a little more speed, you can spend a few additional Euros and pick up the Abarth edition that makes 160 horsepower.
The interior of the Fiat is pretty clever, in fact even though this car is smaller than a mini, there’s more cargo space.
These days, small doesn’t mean cheap materials. The plastics are nice, the switches feel upscale, you can get Bluetooth and you hands free communication with a USB port.
I was surprised at how quiet the little Fiat was around the city and on the highway. The manual gearbox felt great, handling was solid and the 500 felt, substantial, especially for it’s tiny size. The seats are supportive. The only hitch was adjusting them took a little doing.
Will American’s fall in love with this Italian designed automobile? Not sure. Some people call it a chick car; some think it’s too small. If you spend time in Europe, you know how much they love this Fiat. I hope American’s warm up to the 500. It’s great to see Fiat back in America after almost 3 decades.