Friday, May 13, 2011

Fiat 500 quick drive

Just went to drive the new Fiat 500 for a little bit a few days ago.
This was not one of the fleet cars that I get to try for a week. But rather a quick trip to the Los Angeles Fiat dealer with a friend of mine.
We were both very curious about the new 500. I had seen so many on the road in Europe. It was weird and fun to see it in L.A.

The one I drove was the Sport model with a 6 speed manual.

The interior is roomy and fun. You seat higher than in the Mini. And it doesn't feel as big as the New Beetle (just because it isn't..)
Everything feels pretty solid, except the super cheap turn signal lever.

When you start the car, the engine feels smooth and pretty quiet.
And it stays very smooth when you drive and push it a bit. Much, much smoother than the Mini's engine.
But with only about 100hp, it does feel a bit slower.

The stick shift was very smooth and easy. Maybe a bit too much. The clutch was very soft, which might be great for most people.
But I was expecting maybe a bit more feel to it. Especially in the Sport model.
The steering is also pretty light, nothing like the super sporty feel of the Mini. But it is accurate, and actually very pleasant.

The ride is firm. Sportier than the rest of the car.

I would really recomend test driving the new 500 for anyone looking for a really cool small car.
It looks great, is easy and fun to drive, and starts at a lower price than the Mini or Beetle.

I just wish they offered the 6 speed manual on the more luxurious "Lounge" model.
The Lounge offers some amazing equipment and color combinations not available in the other models.

The Fiat 500 is a refreshing and welcome addition to our American roads.

13 comments: said...

If you want small, fast and sporty make it a Sake burner

SalvatoreBellomo said...

I think it's like you said Vince, it's interesting to see them around here. Though I might not buy one you appreciate seeing them around. I believe they will be taken a bit more serious when the arabrath (probably spelled wrong) and the Zagato edition become avail.

Anonymous said...

lol. your typo (arabrath) sounds like ARAB WRATH . . .

its actually abarth.

Anonymous said...

Website shows only 5 speed manuals. Are they starting to import 6 speed manuals in the Sport edition now, or was that a typo?

Vince Burlapp said...

My mistake. You are 100% right. It was a 5 speed on the manual.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the 'sake burner' makers have given up on the small and sporty segment. The best you can hope for is a Honda Fit Sport - which isnt really sporty despite its name. Shame too.... they made GREAT sporty sake burners at one time.

SalvatoreBellomo said...

Haha I knew I spelled it wrong. No matter what I would still like to drive one

Anonymous said...

Here in Australia they cost about the same as a Toyota Camry.
Only a moron would pay that much for cute appeal.

Anonymous said...

"Here in Australia they cost about the same as a Toyota Camry.
Only a moron would pay that much for cute appeal."

Many people pay even more for a Mini ;) So I would say anyone who can afford it and doesn't need a Camry (I mean, I don't have a family or something like this, why should I buy a big car???) I want a fun small car, because they drive much cooler. But I have a small roadster :) but I love the Fiat 500

Anonymous said...

Oh but Camry's are SO FUN! Yeah I could see why someone would pay same price for this 500 vs a Camry. Only old ladies and car rental fleets "want" Camry's.

Education Project said...

was the suspension tuned (raised) for american roads? or left to be like the european model?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Camry's are boring but you can have fun with a Fiesta, Micra, or Suzuki at half the price.

Hey Ed Project, the softer suspension is for American drivers not the roads.

Imp of the Perverse said...

Hi Vince, It's your friend Imp of the Perverse. I've just been approved for a Fiat 500 Sport with quite a bit of the fixings offered. I really like this car but have a few questions for you. I picked out a white because it was what i thought I wanted. Then upon closer scrutiny I changed my mind on color and asked if they had either a light green or mocha in stock. they said no they did'nt. I was expecting to hear, let me see if I can find you the color you want. Much to my surprise they said they don't do that. I would think in this economic climate they would jump through hoops to find me this car.What are my options, since Ive been approved at this dealership should I try a different place with the car I want? Or settle for the White?