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Old 01-06-2012, 04:58 PM   #16
PoundSand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert OK View Post
The Abarth is a pretty big known/unknown. The dealer I talked to today didn't know much. He thought around $25K and March.
not much to say. cooper is faster and handles better, the fiat is cheaper and better equipped.

i've heard anywhere from $19k-$25k for the abarth; there obviously hasn't been any confirmed prices yet. at $25k would be suicide - that's $10k over base (cooper s is about $3500 more than base cooper), and more than the cooper s. a cooper s starts less than a cooper convertible, so it'd be nice if the abarth were less than the 500c, but i doubt that's going to happen. my guess is ~$19k if fiat is smart, and $22.5k if they're dumb.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:59 PM   #17
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Versa

I got a Nissan Versa a couple of years ago and I love it. I get about 37mpg and it seats 4. Being 6'2" I have no issues whatsoever with headroom or squeezing into it. It also has a trunk bigger than the Maxima. It does tend to blow around on the highway but so would any car in this class. BTW, I only paid around $11,000 brand new and a mini would be easily $20,000 with any extras. Plus, when you have to replace the tires and shocks you will be in for a big suprise, quite expensive.

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Old 01-06-2012, 06:01 PM   #18
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I've put 20K on a Mini S and a member of my household just got a Fiat. The Mini S is get and up go fun and practical around San Francisco gridlock.

The Fiat is a gutless wonder. As in, turn off the Vehicle Stability Control, put it in Sport mode, and shift the gears manually, and it is still incredibly slow. Italian cuteness with Chrysler build quality. The Fiat is cute. CUTE. If that is worth something to you, then that is all you need to know.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoundSand View Post
not much to say. cooper is faster and handles better, the fiat is cheaper and better equipped.
Coopers have had some reliability issues, the newer Fiats are hopefully better than the old ones - which were nevertheless fun. Let's suggest something different...I have a 2009 Cobalt SS that I put the GM power kit in. 290 hp, 340 torque, it will rip any of the above a new one without breaking a sweat. Lovely motor, civilized, you don't have to work it to have fun. Good suspension, Brembo brakes, Gertag transmission, Torsen differential, forged wheels, GM put a lot of thought into how to get the performance pieces into it while holding the price. Very clever exercise in content. Do I miss the wind blocker on the sunroof (which has enough headroom for 6'2")? Auto climate control (gee, I can adjust that manually)? No. When GM wants to, they have the engineering muscle. And it can be serviced anywhere. It may not have that European cachet, but cars like this have lots going for them - stealth being another attribute.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #20
Robert OK OP
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The Versa and Cobalt are too long. I'm trying to make space in my garage for more bikes.

Jake28, gutlessness is a problem. Thanks for your opinion. Probably more noticeable in SF with the hills. I test drove it in a relatively flat are in Larchmont, NY where the acceleration seemed OK.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #21
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I have Cooper S and I am very interested in the Fiat! I have always been a "small car" guy. Actually, I should say "was interested" in the Fiat. Why do I say "was"? I went and took a very thorough test drive. The 500 is very small, the mini seems spacious and roomy. The 500 has virtually no trunk space, and the rear seat is totally non functional. The 500 is the slowest car I have driven in the last 10 years. Hell even an 70's - 80's Rabbit diesel was faster than a 500. It rode nicely, handled better than I thought it would, and the seats were very comfortable, but there is very limited headroom, and I just couldn't get over the gutlessness! BORING!

Even if the Mini were $5000 more, model for model, option for option, I'd say BUY A MINI! Plus you get a 4 year warranty and 3 years of free maintenance.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #22
PoundSand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoundSand View Post
not much to say. cooper is faster and handles better, the fiat is cheaper and better equipped.

i've heard anywhere from $19k-$25k for the abarth; there obviously hasn't been any confirmed prices yet. at $25k would be suicide - that's $10k over base (cooper s is about $3500 more than base cooper), and more than the cooper s. a cooper s starts less than a cooper convertible, so it'd be nice if the abarth were less than the 500c, but i doubt that's going to happen. my guess is ~$19k if fiat is smart, and $22.5k if they're dumb.
abarth confirmed at $22k with $700 destination, so total $22.7k msrp, with destination. so they're just a little dumber than i thought they'd be on the dumb side.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #23
Grainbelt
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The Fiat is really fucking narrow. Makes my Focus look like a land yacht.

I can't imagine two 6' 200# guys in a Fiat making it twenty minutes before one gets out to walk.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #24
Jurgen
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Originally Posted by dlearl476 View Post
I'd take a WAG that Fiat (Chrysler) was tailoring their marketing more to 18-30 year olds who are very acquainted with J-Lo, as opposed to fat, balding old gits who follow Jeremy Clarkson.

More good news from FIAT?




As to the OP, I rented a 500 for a day's drive from Montreal to Mont Tremblant. I liked it a lot, my passenger didn't. (Probably gone soft from driving Range Rovers?) I've also had occasion to Zipcar several Minis, along with a few VW Golfs.
My impression would be the FIAT would be a great errand car, a nice weekend drive, or a trip into the city car, but IF I had to include the NY-DC commute, I might balk. To be honest, I think that would get me leaning towards the mini. But the be perfectly honest, based on my recent experience, I think I'd take a long look at the VW Rabbit (or whatever they call that new mini-car) first. The build quality and the "touchy-feely" quotient is much higher in the VW than either of the others.

Still love the 500 though. And when the Abarth comes in, all that might go away.

On marketing I think they obviously swung and missed. J-Lo has more appeal to us fat 50 year olds than the 18-30 category. Plus by picking her, they cemented the "secretary's car" mind set.

Having now seen a few 500's (not Abarth, just standard) around I have to say design wise I'm underwhelmed. They remind me a lot of the Toyota Yaris vs the Mini's, even in basic trim look sharp and sporty.

I'm with you, I'd really look at the Golf/GTi-- but if I wanted to stay in the smaller category it would be Mini, Fiesta, Mazda 2, or even the Kia Soul before I'd shop a 500.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:34 PM   #25
Jimmy the Heater
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I really like the new 500...and if gutless is a problem I really think the aftermarket or factory will be able to help with that as these start to populate the US.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:38 PM   #26
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Hmmm Golf TDI.
If you are going to go with 2 vehicles that recommend premium fuel(Mini,Fiat)
I'd go for the one with the best MPG and uses diesel.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:44 AM   #27
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The Fiat is really fucking narrow. Makes my Focus look like a land yacht.

I can't imagine two 6' 200# guys in a Fiat making it twenty minutes before one gets out to walk.
If you think the Nuevo 500 is narrow:



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Old 02-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #28
Grainbelt
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Neither pair can fit their arms inside the windows.

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Old 02-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #29
Jimmy the Heater
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Shifting the old one would require some man touching I bet.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:03 AM   #30
squish
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We had two Minis
A first year standard and a first year S (with the supercharger)

We were on first name basis with the service writer at two different MINI dealership,

One of them stopped giving out loaner cars since the MINI's were taking all of them and there were non left for the BMW owners.

Nothing major, but an incredible large number of little tiny things.

The sport suspension coupled with run flat tires makes for a punishing ride in comfort
but boy howdy was it a blast to rip around. Driving the car, I would give myself motion sickness it could corner so hard.

We found that the off-set of MPG verse Smiles in the Cooper Vs. the CooperS made the standard car a bit more of a winner. (We got around 30mpg in the std, and 19 in the S)
The throttle by wire took us a long time to get uses to, The brakes were awesome, the DSC leads little to like. If it sense wheel spin, it slows the car down quite dramatically.

We sold the last MINI and having looked back... Ok that's not entirely true, the wife still yearns for a MINI, and someday she might get another one.

We replaced ours with an S2000 and have enjoyed the hell out of ever since.

As for Fiat's I know nothing of them other then their "sterling" reputation as a manufacture of the finest of long lasting and dependable automobiles...

Ok everything I've ever heard about Fiat leads me to believe they suck.
Then they went and bought what at the time was the worst car company in the US. So not only do they suck, but they make really bad decisions to boot. Then there was the fiasco of the launch of the 500.

But who knows maybe both companies are getting turned around.

I think if I was looking at that class of car, I'd look at the IQ from Scion.
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