I was very excited that my 500e arrived at my dealer Fiat of Burlingame yesterday July 16 but that quickly turned to disappointment and anger when the dealer placed the lease papers in front of me. Months ago I put a deposit on the base model (orange on white with no sunroof or sport package) and asked for the $199 lease but the dealer said it was $263.50! Adding tax to the $199 lease gets it to $216.16 but this was $47.34 higher. I took issue with this and the dealer used their usual misleading monthly payment language 'it's only $47 more' to which I replied but that's an outrageous 22% increase – that's the same as jacking the price of the car from $33 to $40k!
I told this dealer the $199 is clearly false advertising and that he took my deposit on the $199 deal to which he replied that you might have told us you wanted the $199 deal but that is not on your deposit receipt. I then said its advertised on the Fiat website in bold letters and he then drew my attention to a little pop up window that only appears when you mouse over a tiny + which says among other things "Offer requires dealer contribution". Of course they refused to make that contribution saying that 'the car is sold out and I have a waiting list, so you want it or not?' I'm pretty sure that no dealers are 'contributing' so no one can get the $199 price so it is a lie and false advertising.
The sad thing is that $264 is still good lease on a great $33k car and this nasty deceitful practice just unnecessarily kills much of the goodwill and brand equity the car's launch created.
Pop up disclaimer on page linked below attached.