FIAT of Kearny Mesa provides its customers with professional automotive analyses from today's top automotive journalists and industry experts. When shopping for your FIAT please check out our related reviews.
The 2013 FIAT 500 Abarth is worth a nod on anyone's Xmas list simply for the fact that it combines a subcompact hatchback that could conceivably fit in your stocking with a dose of performance most people don't expect in its segment. The Fiat 500 Abarth includes racy styling (aided and abetted by a sporty sticker package and an upgraded interior) as well as a more finely-tuned suspension system. Under the hood, the Abarth model slaps a turbocharger on the standard Fiat 500's 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, resulting in 160 horsepower corralled by a five-speed manual gearbox.
To appease consumer demand for a feistier Fiat 500, Chrysler unveiled the 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo at an event in Monterey, Calif., on Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported. The newest edition of the minicar family is positioned between the regular 500 and the performance Abarth, the paper noted. The new 500 is powered by a turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir engine to give the car 135 horsepower?34 percent more than the 101 hp in the Fiat 500?and 150 pound-feet of torque, a 53 percent increase in power over the naturally aspirated engine, the article said. Tim Kuniskis, head of the Fiat brand in North America, told the Free Press that the turbo "hits the sweet spot between the regular Cinquecento and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth."
The 2012 Fiat 500 Sport is one of the unique new cars for 2012 - visual styling alone made an impact on how we perceived the 500, Edmunds Inside Line said. As economy cars go, the Cinquecento is a gamer, the website said. It is the only car to have met or exceeded its EPA estimates, beating cars that should theoretically have been more efficient, the website said. It provided serious comfort over nine hours of driving, the article said. "It's hard not to like it. It's eager. It'll dart into that gap between stopped traffic," Edmunds Inside Line said. "It is a great little city car," the website said. "Fun and distinctive quirks set the Fiat 500 apart from the stale majority in this segment," Edmunds said.
By the end of the year, there will be nine different versions of the Fiat 500 on the market?from the base model to the $27,000 Gucci version, but with the new one, Fiat hopes, will hit the sweet spot, USA Today said. For $19,500, the Fiat 500 Turbo, just introduced here at the Concorso Italiano car show in Monterey, Calif., will sort of incorporate the "best of" elements of the entire lineup, the paper said. It's has a sportier suspension, a jazzier front-end look, a Beats by Dr. Dre sound system and most important, a turbocharged and twin-intercooled MultiAir engine good for 135 horsepower, the article said. As Tim Kuniskis, head of Fiat in North America, said, "It has the soul of the Abarth," USA Today said.
HOP in the new Fiat 500 Abarth, start the engine, stab the throttle and revel in the burbling growl of its exhaust. That subversively flatulent tailpipe emanation is an attention-getter, as bracing as a slap in the face, and proof that Abarth engineers have worked their mischief on the otherwise mild-mannered little Fiat.
Time was that to spend under $15,000 on a new car, you'd be looking at a short list of pretty uninspired rides, the Vancouver Province said. Things have changed, the paper said in listing five "sporty and sexy sub-$15,000 rides," including the Fiat 500. Iconic Italian styling comes to Canada in the form of the Fiat 500, the paper said. The two-door sub-compact is injected with fun and flair, not to mention very impressive fuel economy, the article said. The 500's interior definitely has pep and personality thanks to splashes of color and the use of various textures, the article said. It's anything but boring - it's still charming and a great city commuter, the paper said.
The little Fiat is a transformational ride, a muy bella jewel of a car, the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto said. The dashboard painted the same color as the exterior recalls the 1950s - you feel you're not simply in a car, but in some happy time warp, the paper said. Few cars with this much emotional appeal use this little fuel. Fiat has reinvented the 500 that ceased production 37 years ago and somehow captured its spirit (film star Sophia Loren and the 500 first turned heads in the 1950s and remain uniquely appealing to this day). The design is Italian, the sentiment is Italian, the brio triumphantly international, the article said.
After three decades away from the American market, Fiat is back in a big way with a really small car. The Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Competizione made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, replete with a scorpion logo and $23,000 price tag. The small car comes hot on the heals of the base Fiat 500 models in an attempt to debunk the car's cutesy image. Suffice it to say that Abarth's engineering prowess is evident in this particular Fiat 500 model. Simply put, the Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Competizione is proof that great things can come in the smallest of packages.
Regardless of what the Hello Kitty mafia would like to believe, cute isn't cool. Not usually, anyway. But that's because cute is rarely backed up by substance, as it is in the 2012 Fiat 500. It's seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper and positively adorable, but spend a day driving Fiat's first U.S. offering in 28 years and you'll discover a comfortable, livable, well-built sub-compact car that just happens to have 10 times the personality of some of its cookie-cutter competitors.
"At freeway speeds of 80, 85, and 90mph, not only wasn't the 500 struggling, but it was calmly cruising. The tach was just above 3,000 rpm; tire and wind noise were low; and the engine felt refined. Fiat's novel MultiAir four-banger easily maintained 80 miles per hour."
"The 500 will offer 'extreme personalization,' including a 14-color exterior paint palette and a customizable interior scheme (also with 14 colors to choose from)...on a 5-hour excursion, the 500 performed admirably in a range of condition."
"Even driven hard, you'll get extremely good fuel economy."
"The 500 has won a flood of kudos: It was proclaimed World Car of the Year by a panel of international journalists in 2010. The tiny car also grabbed the 2009 World Car Design of the Year accolade at the New York Auto Show."
The 2012 Fiat 500 hatchback is the newest and arguably the cutest small car in the United States, with federal government fuel mileage ratings that are at the top of the subcompact class."
"The 500 is a pure car and there's nothing econo-box about it. The 500 provides a good driving position - two big burly Americans were able to sit in the car comfortably."
"It's perceived craftsmanship and use of materials is far better than the Mini, the article said. The 500 is far smoother in ride and comparable in handling compared with the Mini."
"The 500c in not you usual drop top. The solid pillars mean that the top can be opened like a sunroof as far back as the rear spoiler at up to speeds of 60mph."
"The interior is very functional and would be easy to live with. The 500 is amusing and fun, and the 500 rides more comfortably than any Mini I've driven."
"The 500c will appeal to city dwellers and mpg-conscious buyers who want Ford Fiesta-type mileage with a whole lot more sass."
"In the inevitable comparison with the Smart ForTwo, the 500 ends up being more usable. For one, it's bigger. For another, the drivetrain is better. Inside, the Fiat 500 wins too."
"I loved the Fiat for getting around the city. Parking was no problem. Negotiating traffic was a cinch, and it's a blast to drive."
People give me friendly waves and smiles as they see it, and the appeal seems to cross a lot of demographics."
"Fiat has built a legitimate Mini alternative for thousands less, for a brand looking to get back into a market it left 27 years ago, that could signal as good a start as any."
"The four-seater 500 Cabrio will be priced from $20,000, including a $500 destination charge, which is almost a full $5,000 less than one of its closest rivals, the Mini Cooper Convertible."
"On the road, the 2012 Fiat 500 drives bigger than it looks, the ride isn't choppy or harsh. On the highway, the interior is surprising quiet and free of engine noise."
"The 500 has arguably the coolest car cabin design we've seen in a small car since the debut of its primary competition - the MINI Cooper Convertible...The dash layout is clean, and controls are refreshingly straight forward."
5155 Convoy StSan Diego, CA 92111