2012 Fiat 500

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by bisbonian, May 19, 2012.

  1. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,126
    Location:
    Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
    For the last few years I've been driving a 2000 Honda Insight.

    [​IMG]

    This has been a good car to me but after having the original hybrid battery rebuilt last March and then replacing the battery again in November under warranty I was getting ready for another replacement. This wasn't a big deal as there is a guy making new batteries for less than half what Honda wanted, well I guess I should say there WAS a guy...

    I decided it was time for a new car and we settled on the Fiat 500.

    Evidently we are those people who don't want to see our car around every turn (I also ride a Guzzi) and I really don't like the jelly bean cars.

    We were able to shop the dealer's inventory online and work a trade-in value on the Insight over the phone before we went up last week.

    The closest dealership, excuse me "Studio", is 200 miles away so this was a full day ordeal.

    Everything went smoothly and we drove home in a yellow 500 "Sport" model.

    [​IMG]

    I know people complain about the power with "only" 101hp from 1.4 liters however I came from a car with 66hp so I find the car quite peppy.

    So far I've been running with the A/C on and as long as I have the "Sport" button pushed have had no issues. On this car the sport button really does make a difference in how the engine feels, I have no idea if it really firms up the steering as Fiat claims but it probably does.

    Interior space is not an issue. I am not a small person and do not feel cramped. I use this mostly as my commuter car so I'm normally the only one in it. Even so the Insight was a 2-seater so the vestigial rear seats in the 500 are also not an issue.

    Stepping up to the 500 Sport gets you a bit better seat than the standard Pop and I find them quite comfortable. Of course the seats in the Insight were akin to that board they put on my KTM 640A so anything would be an improvement. You also get different front and rear fascia which I find to be better looking than what is on the Pop model and the 16" "mag" wheels are standard.

    So far I have about 800 miles on the car and I'm averaging around 40mpg. This is a mix of highway/city with probably more highway than city and the A/C is on about 50% of the time.

    The 500 Sport has a firmer suspension than the Pop or Lounge models but I don't find the ride bad, if anyone has been to Bisbee you'll know that our streets are only paved in the academic sense with patches of replacement asphalt connecting potholes.

    I'm really liking this car.
    #1
  2. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas
    I really like those, part of me says too small but theres the little voice that says it would be a hoot. Ought to be fine for zipping around Bisbee, last time we were there parking was a bitch.
    #2
  3. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,733
    Location:
    north of seattle
    I hope you're a chick...
    #3
  4. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    22,748
    WTF is wrong with people? How did we get to the point where people think there are "girl" cars and "man" cars? I could see thinking it was a "chick" car if it were pink and covered in Hello Kitty stickers, but it's just a friggin' car. Some guys think all convertibles are "chick" cars, too. It's ridiculous.
    #4
  5. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,733
    Location:
    north of seattle

    I don't even own a car.
    #5
  6. BCC

    BCC I know better

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,179
    Location:
    Slightly offshore, Southport, NC
    I hope you're a chick...
    #6
  7. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,260
    Location:
    Tampa
    :lol3

    Another option is to wedge a prelude or 'teg-type R motor in the Insight and do away with the silly batteries :wink:
    #7
  8. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,344
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Congrats! I'm in serious lust with the 500 Abarth, and I'm pretty sure I have the wife on board too. I haven't EVER bought a brand new car, but I think the Abarth is the winner. I love goofy small cars, and it's nearing time to end my seven-plus year relationship with my '91 Miata for something a bit more refined and capable.

    I'll probably be going down to test drive one within the year.

    I just love these little things -- I smile every time I see one.

    BTW, over on the Fiat500 forums, somebody in Fla had a dyno test done on a base 500 like yours -- WHEEL horsepower was 99 and tq was 98 ft/lb! (up two hp with the addition of some special airfilter)So there is clearly some interesting number fudging going on. Lots of theories there -- but it leads many to beleive the BHP is closer to 120-130. THe Abarth model makes 160 hp at the wheels! :evil

    Oh, and Flying Eyeball... :rolleyes
    #8
  9. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,467
    Location:
    North Slope of the Flint Hills
    I also like goofy small cars, going back to the Abarth 1000 my brother bought new in '67, followed by a succession of SAAB 2-strokes I owned in the '70s, a friend's Renault R-5 in the early 80s, a smattering of other odds and ends over the years, and a '95 Miata I'm currenty running the wheels off. If I was in the market for a runabout right now, the Fiat would be on the short list; although it's probably something that would wait until there's a reasonable used market.
    #9
  10. KF7GTH

    KF7GTH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Pacific Northwet
    I think it's a cool car- looks good in yellow. I also really like the Abarth- Black with red stripes please, for me:evil
    #10
  11. koncha

    koncha .

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,084
    Congrats!

    I stop into the Fiat 'studio' every time I accompany my wife and/or kids to the mall. I am in serious lust of one. I can't rationally explain it.

    They had an Abarth when I went last time. It almost went home with me.

    I think it might be more of a hot hatch thing for me. I like the Mazdaspeed3, GTI, etc.
    #11
  12. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    50,569
    Location:
    Albuquerque, Neue Messico
    Pollobabe was >< this close to buy one but went for the mini.

    I liked it.

    6'1 and 220 pounds ... I was fine with the ergonomics of the thing.
    #12
  13. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,429
    Location:
    Whippin' Scutt Farkus
    Those things are cool. I broke through back in 1984, when I thought anything without a big V8 that burns tires was worthless, and then I bought my first new car, a Dodge Omni GLH. 2.2L, 110 horsepower. It was a fabulously fun car, and I've liked little cars ever since. Never did get the whole "Miatas are gay" thing and all that.

    Still have a Mustang though, so I'm in both camps. :D
    #13
  14. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,126
    Location:
    Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
    I had a Miata before the Insight so I've become quite good at not paying attention to what people think my car says about me.

    I really like the Fiat.
    #14
  15. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,344
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico

    Ooh...excellent -- how does the shifter/clutch feel in the 500 compare to the Miata?
    #15
  16. cornercarver

    cornercarver Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    18,536
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Good thing you don't live around here. Apparently, Fiat hit the styling/marketing nail on the head because these things are starting to show up EVERYWHERE now. I probably see 2 or 3 of them every time I leave my house - especially if I swing by a trader joes (pretty much every other block in Pasadena, since the company is HQ'd here) or whole foods.

    I'd own one if I needed a new car and didn't usually drive around with 200 pounds of dog in the car with me.
    #16
  17. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,344
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico

    Good. I really want this car to succeed in the US market. I see one maybe every other week here and it's probably the same one :lol3
    #17
  18. Offblnz

    Offblnz Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,472
    Location:
    North
    They seem to be doing good up here in Winter Wonder Land, ME which surprised me since their free height isn't that great. But people seems to like a car that can do better than 12 mpg in the city. I need to try one out. Maybe next weekend!:D
    #18
  19. maydaymike

    maydaymike Fearless Commuter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    404
    Location:
    Jasper,AL
    The Fiat shifter feels vague, rubbery, and truck-like compared to a tight Miata shifter. Of course, just about any manual shifter feels vague, rubbery, and truck like compared to a Miata! :D
    #19
  20. Modena

    Modena Qwickie Mart

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    West Homina duba a do
    I think FLYING EYEBALL
    was saying that it's a Gay car
    not a chick's car?
    can you get show tunes on the radio?
    this may be a tel tale sign.:trp:rilla:strum
    #20