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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
found this on motortrend, looks like they finally got their Fiat 500 and did a little review on it with some other information mixed in.

2012 Fiat 500 Buyer's Guide

MSRP: $15,500 - $23,500
MPG Range: 32 - 38 mpg
Body Style: Convertible, Hatchback

When we first tested out the new-to-America Fiat 500 back in January, two things happened. One, we determined the diminutive Cinquecento is delightful, and two, we concluded that we simply had to get one for our long-term fleet. Preferably in one of the funkier colors available. Why? Ultimately, what we motor heads really want are cars that ooze personality. Put another way, is your car pistachio green? Didn't think so.

Spec'ing out exactly which 500 to get was tricky. This task fell to our photographer extraordinaire Julie LaPalme. She and I both fell in love with the pint-sized Fiat during a San Diego photo shoot. Funny story: Julia wanted to photograph the burnt orange 500 (Fiat calls the color Rame) on top of a parking structure with some city skyline in the background, and randomly chose a building. Once up top, what did we discover? About two dozen 500s in seemingly ever color of the rainbow, right where Fiat left 'em after the launch.

Yes, but what color Skittle to get for the long haul, especially with so many vibrant hues to choose from? Early on in the process, Julia and I decided that our 500 would be either green or brown. Why? Well, we don't have brown long-termers, and our bright green Mazda2's visit is coming to an end. Additionally, car photographers like any color as long as it's not black. For various personal reasons, I was lobbying hard for Mocha Latte or Espresso, but this was Julia's car to spec, and she chose Verde Chiaro, aka light green. A fine choice no doubt, but it did raise a serious issue.

Obviously, being a "buff book" mindlessly obsessed with go faster! we opted for the 500 Sport. Fiat offers two other trims (Pop and Lounge), but those were easily dismissed because A) Sport comes with bigger alloy wheels (16 inches versus just 15 inches) and while you can get a manual transmission on the tiny-wheeled Pop model, the Lounge is automatic-only. Besides, we'd already tested and fallen for the Sport. But here's the thing. Poke around Fiat's 500 configurator and you'll see the interior choice to end all interior choices: white dash with white leather steering wheel and two-tone white and red leather seats. Must have. Only thing is, no.

Why not? Well, if you go Sport your only interior options are... actually, you don't have any interior options. Pick a light green Sport and you get a light green dash piece, and that's the end of it. White and red leather seats? Keep dreaming. Which is really a bummer since, to me (and let's assume Julia), nothing screams sporty quite as loudly as white and red leather. Maybe we should just swallow our pride and get the smaller-wheeled Pop 500, the one without red brake calipers? After at least three (possibly four) minutes of kinda half-distracted discussion, we decided that the reality of Sport is more important than the perception of sport.

We did however choose one option: the $400 removable TomTom navigation unit. The fact that it simply plugs into the dashboard means that upgrades will be available, though probably not through Fiat. That $400, added to a $500 destination charge and our 500 Sport's $17,500 list price, brings the total kitty up to $18,400. Considering that the next cheapest Italian car on sale in America today - the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic -- starts off at $123,000, the Fiat 500 comes across as a solid deal. Especially considering that in the smiles-per-mile category, this here Fiat 500 will give any car a run for its money.

2012 Fiat 500

Base price $18,000
Price as tested
Vehicle layout
Front engine, FWD, 4-pass, 2-door hatchback
1.4L/101-hp/98-lb-ft SOHC 16-valve I-4
5-speed manual
Curb weight (f/r dist)
2373 lb (63/37%)
90.6 in
Length x width x height
139.6 x 64.1 x 59.8 in
0-60 mph 9.8 sec
Quarter mile
17.3 sec @ 77.4 mph
Braking, 60-0 127 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.82 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight
28.2 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 30/38 mpg
Energy consumption, city/hwy
112/89 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 emissions
0.59 lb/mile
Total mileage
1126 mi
Average fuel econ 30.5 mpg

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