Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Associate Editor
3/22/12 9:08 a.m.

We also took a spin recently in the less-powerful 500. We've waited and waited for them to send us a Sport model with the 5-speed stick. An interesting car, but we didn't all agree on very much about it.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/new-cars/2012-fiat-500-sport/

carguy123
carguy123 PowerDork
3/22/12 9:17 a.m.

Since the comments over there don't post over here I'll mirror mine here.

I never expected the new Fiat to match the verve of the Italian cars of old as we are saddled with WAY too many newer regulations and safety add-ons, but from what I've seen from a quick test drive it has more soul than the Mini or the 2.

I too think that most of the 500's faults can be cured with MOAR POWAAAA! and it appears to be the perfect canvas for making the car what you want.

The S2000 came from the factory tuned to the point that there was very little more to be had by the customer input which turned out to be a mistake. People like to tinker and make a car their very own, the 500 could very well be the next big thing.

mndsm
mndsm UberDork
3/22/12 9:26 a.m.

I'm not sold on it. The interior seemed REALLY subpar, even for ChryCo. I guess I need to actually drive an Abarth and test the waters there.

Klayfish
Klayfish Dork
3/22/12 9:30 a.m.

I'd have to wait until driving one to pass final judgment, but it doesn't appeal to me at all. Styling is "cute", but didn't like the interior (sat in one for a while at the auto show) and the car just doesn't strike a chord with me. I'd rather shop the 2 or Fit.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
3/22/12 10:07 a.m.

I would probably buy a Fiat 500 Sport over any other small car. But I would also try a 2. I am really thinking about buying an Abarth in a couple years.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
3/22/12 10:09 a.m.

the abarth is high on my list.. just need my personal economy to stabilise some

carguy123
carguy123 PowerDork
3/22/12 10:17 a.m.

Subpar interiors? Compared to what? Very nice and very room for the price point.

My son has the lowest base model he rented and is in the process of putting 600 or so miles on as he explores the Atlanta - Nashville area this week. So far, except for power up hills, he's been impressed. He says it communicates what it's doing very well and is engaging to drive. Not as nice as his Miata, but very nice for what it is.

His biggest complaint is that instead of 2 suitcases he and his girl packed one BIG one. It's too big to go behind the seats and takes up enough of the back seat that you couldn't fit another person in it.

He hasn't really liked the exterior of the car but has decided that an Abarth might be next on his car list as the interior is very roomy and you feel like you are in a bigger car but with the manueverability of a smaller car.

carguy123
carguy123 PowerDork
3/22/12 10:18 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: the abarth is high on my list.. just need my personal economy to stabilise some

AMEN BROTHER!

MG Bryan
MG Bryan Dork
3/22/12 10:20 a.m.

I wish they'd bring us something that doesn't look like a fashion accessory.

bravenrace
bravenrace UberDork
3/22/12 10:24 a.m.

I have no interest in this car. It just does nothing for me. Kind of like the new Beetle.

Schmidlap
Schmidlap HalfDork
3/22/12 10:25 a.m.

About the Abarth - I was reading a review on another site today and it mentioned that Fiat replaced the stock stamped steel control arms in the front suspension with cast iron ones. I figured they made a mistake in the article and meant to say cast aluminum, but googling shows similar quotes on other sites. Did they really use cast iron for a control arm, on a lightweight high performance car? Are the arms so short that the weight savings of using aluminum would be negligible? I assume that's why they stuck with a cast iron engine block instead of going with aluminum there too - it probably would have only save 20-30lbs on such a small engine (weight number just pulled out of my butt and has no basis in reality). Regardless of the material, it seems to work, so I guess I shouldn't question it. Or they're setting up an easy 'weight savings improvement' for a future model year. :)

Bob

nderwater
nderwater UltraDork
3/22/12 10:32 a.m.

My only real complaint with the 500 is that the back seat and hatch area seem to be nearly useless. I'm a small dude, and I wouldn't want to be stuck for more than 60 seconds in back. I do prefer the 500's interior design to the MINI's it competes against, but MINI's make for a much more usable hatchback.

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