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This is a car to LOVE

A member in Alabama, United States

A 2013 Fiat 500 review that gets to the point: a car buyer's reasons for buying (or not buying) the

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Introduction

Fiat 500 is a car about Passion. If you love it, you will look over its few faults and enjoy one of the true jewels of the modern car market. If it fits your needs, and you are attracted to this car, it will reward you for the purchase.

Reviewed: 2013 Fiat 500

2dr Hatch 101-horsepower 1.4L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Why the 2013 Fiat 500?

Exterior styling

THE reason to buy the Fiat 500 is the styling. You either love it or hate it. I love it and so do most of the people I talk to about it. It has lots of charm and character; not bland at all. Also the vintage green(verde chiarro), just looks perfect on the car. Classic look without being overdone. Also, I got the Ivory/brown interior, which I think it the most unique available on the market.

Front seat support & comfort

I like to drive small cars, but I am a large man. (6'3" and about 290lbs.) I love the seating position of the Fiat, as it sits higher, so I don't have to bend down as far to get in, as on the Mini Cooper or the Miatas I used to drive. The driving position is more upright, which I find more comfortable as well. The base model (Pop) seats are comfortable, though I would like to have the leather seats of the "Lounge" model. Ride quality is very good. There is no harshness and I easily rate it better than the Honda Civic I traded for it (2006) and many other, larger cars I drove. It is also one of the quieter cars I've owned.

Handling

Clearly, with the Fiat being taller, it does not handle as good as the Mini Cooper or a Miata. However, it does handle very well. Obviously no one is racing a stock 500, so for daily use, the little car is perfect for the daily commute, especially if you have a few curves thrown in. It is a lot of fun to fling this thing around and it sticks very well, even in base trim.

Powertrain performance

The base model has plenty of power for good drivers. "If you can't go fast with 90hp, 900 won't help you" - Bob Hall, father of the Miata. I have to wonder about people who complain about the power of the base model not being enough are full of crap. It is not a racecar, but I can easily keep ahead of traffic without ever shifting above 4500. I usually shift below 3500 and stay ahead of traffic. Never had any trouble merging traffic, either. Yes, an Abarth or Turbo might be more fun at times, but there is nothing wrong with the base model's power.

Fuel economy

Fuel economy. I can wring the little thing around all day, up and down hills, revving high etc, and I still have averaged 36mpg over the first 4500 miles. If I drove in a flatland area (Florida) and kept my foot off the gas so much, I could easily get 40+ mpg.

Why Not the 2013 Fiat 500?

Rear seat room & comfort

Yeah, don't try to ride in the back if you are as big as me. But my kids 8 & 11 fit just fine. My family of 4 has taken the Fiat on several small family trips. I wouldn't drive with them more than a couple of hours each way, as they start to get antsy, but the kids love the car for short trips.

Materials & workmanship

Remember that the 500 is a "Small-Premium" car, so the hard plastic of the doors and upper dash are a little let down. However, the balance of many other nice, quality parts balances that out. The hard plastic does scratch and mark easily.

Price or payments

My dealer would not negotiate the price. He only sold at sticker. However, by the time I factored in the cost of traveling to a dealer who would deal, It would cost me the same. But the plus side is that there were no hidden fees or junk charges. At least he was honest and consistent.

Conclusion

Comfort, Great looking, attention to detail, plenty of capability and features on base model. All other small cars either didn't meet my needs, were boring to look at and boring to drive, or just were not as well built as the Fiat. The Fiat 500 exceeded both my wants and my needs. Had to have it.

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