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2012 Fiat 500 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Its been 3.5 years and 60K miles and the little 2012 Fiat 500 pop is going strong. by vstevens



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Exterior: The paint looks good. I don't wash the car as much anymore but the finish is just as good as it was when new (maybe I'll wax it this weekend) . Except for at work, shopping, etc., its always parked in my garage. Tires were replaced at 40K miles. Yes, they lasted that long. I bought new 'Runho' chinese tires and they are not wearing nearly as well. I can see replacing them within 5K miles (sometime this summer). Maybe when I'm at the salvage yard I'll look for 17" wheels. The 16" tires are pretty expensive since they aren't such a common size. 17" might be more common and less expensive.

Engine and Tranny: The 1.4 motor runs like a top. I love that motor. And the exhaust note, when revved, is music to my ears. I have test driven cars with the 1.4 turbo and the extra power (and that sound!!) is intoxicating, but I get by just fine with the base 1.4. Its taught me how to drive it... rev it to around 4k - 5k rpm and the torque really kicks in. This is why driving a stick shift is so fun to me. That being said, the stick shift remains kind of 'notchy' and unrefined. The Abarth/turbo heavy-duty tranmission shifts smoothly and easily, with confidence and I think shorter throws. By comparision, the base manual tranny is rough with longer throws. If it is feasible, i wouldn't mind replacing the the base tranny for the heavy duty gearbox from the turbo cars. But I don't know if it would work, if you HAVE to mate it with the turbo motor. Another salvage yard possibility, I guess. The clutch is still going strong and I don't feel any weakness or slack in the pedal. And I have a daily commute of about 10 miles of stop and go traffic. The clutch remains easy to use and doesn't wear me out.

Reviewed: 2012 Fiat 500

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

2012 Fiat 500 Love Letter

Interior: The seat material is looking a little dingy and worn, the carpets too. The steering wheel leather (cream color) is still good though showing some wear on surfaces I'm in contact with all the time. The CD player won't eject CDs without a little help, anymore. This coming summer, I'll go to local junkyards/car salvage and look for wrecked Fiat 500s and scounge a set of Lounge or Abarth seats to replace my worn Pop seats. While I'm there, I'll look for all-weather floor mats... they never wear out.


Yes, I would buy this car again given the same circumstances. Its been a great daily commuter car and occassional long trip car. Mileage is very good, maintenance is inexpensive and infrequent, reliability has been outstanding. I love the 1.4 motor, but might prefer it mated with the heavy duty transmission. The Jeep Renegade with the 1.4 turbo and that fantastic 6 speed manual owes a lot to the fiat 500 for perfecting it.

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