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Fiat 500 hits and misses

2012-10-20T05:56:41+00:00

I drove a Fiat 500 this week. I expected it to be rattletrap junk, like Fiats were in the past, before Fiat pulled out of the US market decades ago. I was pleasantly surprised.

Hits:
Small and nimble
Decent on gas (35+ mpg for the week I had it)
Bose stereo
Excellent, supple, smooth ride for such a small car
Instrument cluster features concentric rings of gauges, very pretty

Misses:
1.4L 6-speed is still a gutless wonder unless you stand on the throttle, or shift it manually
Door handles push inward to lock (unintuitive)
Window controls are on the dashboard (unintuitive)
Moonroof has only a rollup shade, no metal hatch, so you cannot escape the sun
Backseat is only good for groceries or baby carriers
“Trunk” is only good for groceries (or one baby carrier fitted sideways)
No headroom (I was too tall for this car)
Cramped inside, makes a Civic feel like a Cadillac

It’s an excellent commuter car for the young, childless, urban apartment dweller, which doesn’t describe me at all. But I liked it. We’ll see how its reliability ratings turn out, in a year or so.

4 Comments
  1. 2012-10-21T08:35:22+00:00 08:35

    Charlie Sheen fits in it. He must be short.

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    • 2012-10-21T17:24:20+00:00 17:24

      Charlie Sheen is 5’10”, so yes, he would fit. But most aliens won’t. I’d have to recommend the Kia Soul over the Fiat, though – roughly the same price, lots more room, similar gas mileage, plus dancing hamsters instead of bitchy celebrities doing the ads.

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  2. 2012-10-20T17:08:51+00:00 17:08

    o.k. – so how tall are you … or maybe better said, what’s the max height a person should be if they’re thinking of a Fiat 500?

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    • 2012-10-21T05:45:32+00:00 05:45

      Hmm… i found no way to lower the seat, so i would say 6’2″ would be the max height for the Fiat driver. Most women should have no problem.

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