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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone. I'm in California and I'm trying to sell my truck, which I no longer need or want. My top choice right now for my next vehicle is a Fiat 500. At first I was looking towards getting a Yaris but it doesn't seem that appealing to me, other than the smaller size and length. I definitely want a vehicle that is smaller and shorter compared to most cars out there. Something that would discourage multiple passengers, which is a me thing(had bad experiences with multiple immature passengers). If I got a Yaris, I would have removed the rear seats completely. I would likely do that also with a Fiat and store the seats for future use like if I sell the vehicle(hopefully to get a newer Fiat).

Anyways, the Fiat caught my attention and I researched. I test drove the Pop and Sport models in automatic. I didn't quite understand the Sport mode at the time. If I do another test drive, I'll try those and see if taking off from a stop is better. I don't race or anything like that. I need a car that can accelerate enough for practical situations like lane changing to a faster lane and having to match speed as I do so. Or entering a freeway from a stop at a meter light off the entry ramp.

Anyways, I'm gonna learn how to drive manual from a friend this weekend. I'd like to compare the manual shift feature in the Automatic models to the true manual models. I hope the Automatic can perform comparably to the Manual models when using the manual shift feature, at least in Sport mode. I may also have my friend test drive to see what she thinks.

I absolutely wish and hope to see more cars like these on the American roads. I'm not against large cars and trucks and SUV's. But I want to see more of the reasonably sized vehicles like Fiat's, Mini Coopers, SmartCars, iQ's, and compact hatchbacks. I'd love to see a lot more of these on the roads and bicycles on the sidewalks. I hope to see the Suzuki Swift come to the U.S. also. And I'm compelled by the whole story and situation of Fiat's return to the U.S. I feel like that's a side reason for me wanting a Fiat 500. To be a part of this in a way.
 

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The manual and auto are miles apart IMO. The sport button in the auto allows the trans to hold gears longer but I didn't really notice the engine characteristics change. The manual is much more spunkier in sport mode.

To me, the manual feels quite a bit quicker than the auto. I owned an auto for 7 months and have owned a standard for 2 months.
 

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The Yaris may be attractive due to the perception of "Toyota Reliability" but you would be driving an appliance. I am not sure if you looked at the new Yaris but the interior plastics are the worst i have ever seen next to a Saturn Ion. If you like to drive please don't torture yourself with a Toyota Yaris. Really, the only realistic alternative to the 500 is the Mazda2. Like any Mazda, the chassis dynamics are superb and the little motor is very lively. Still, the Fiat 500 is a well engineered piece of machinery that actually has a soul along with its style. Go for the 500!
 

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My mom has a Yaris hatch 2Dr. I like it, but it's very sterile. The interior is boring and purposeful, nothing else. It's bigger than the 500 though. Quite a bit bigger. It's also peppier as an auto. I like the Yaris but love the Fiat. THe mazda 2 was sportier...but had interiors pieces that were as plasticy as the Yaris. The IQ is freaking cool looking. I would love to have one, dump it, and put 18s on it. Interior wise, the 500 is a lot more practical and I'm netting 43mpg average on my sport. That's 6mpg over the IQ's listed MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I didn't care much for the interior in the Yaris. I think the interior in the Fiat 500's are fantastic.

The Sicon iQ's interior looks nice at first. I sat in one. But like other Scion models, I see cheapness. Like the doors. When I press, even gently, on something like the protruding arm rest or whatever that thing is, it actually flexes and goes inward. Meaning, it's really hollow and flimsy. I once closed the door from the inside by the handle on the door and I think the protruding part with the handle actually flex a little away from the door itself.

I have a 2008 Tacoma truck, V6. The interior, like the seats, is like that of a budget 4 cylinder car from the 1990's. It's not much better than the '93 Honda Civic I had as my first car and the '96 Accord I had after that.
 

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Yeah get the manual. It seems like it would be worth it just for the difference in MPG , and the price. And once you learn to drive one well you will never want to go back.

I looked at the Yaris, yawned and moved on. Same with the Versa. The Fit was the only other car I liked, but it cost so much more and is not nearly as cool.
 

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Toyota owner here. :)

They are reliable cars, but as mentioned above... completely sterile.

Save yourself the boredom. I'd suggest you look into a manual 500. :)

You will not regret the decisions...after you've driven a European brand that embodies a thorough balance between performance, quality, and styling, the difference compared to a Japanese vehicle will be night and day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think it's time for me to learn manual. A friend is going to show me how in her car tomorrow evening. It will be later after a show so we can easily find a large, empty lot to start in(LOTS of super store parking lots here in Southern California). I used to ride a motorcycle and did it enough to know, at least to some degree, how to accelerate at a faster or slower rate. How to push it more. Maybe I can figure that out tomorrow with a car, we'll see. I just haven't used a clutch pedal before. But I did use a clutch handle on the motorcycle and it became natural. So it's coordinating my left foot instead of my left hand that I'll have to get used to, if it starts to feel like I'm on the motorcycle again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
True and true from what I read. The Smart ForTwo is said to be a harsh ride with clumsy handling. Jerky gear changes.

And I think the Fiat 500 looks way better. The ride on the Fiat was very comfortable. I noticed the difference in the Sport from the Pop in how the road felt. I still liked them both.
 

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rent a manual car and learn to drive a stick......

I traded in my 2000 ford ranger v6 for my fiat pop 5 speed and couldnt be happier
im getting unreal mileage...hit 301 miles and still have a quarter tank i hope it will warn me when its time to fill up...
i like the seats better in the pop than the sport....and the pop is now fully loaded cant say enough about the car....
its a blast to drive in the canyons..... its just pure fun i look forward to driving my pop the stick shift is also very easy to use and it has hill assist thats awesome...let go of the clutch and the car does not role back as you start to give it gas....i could go on and on..did i say 301 miles and i got a quarter tank left...yeah baby
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I thought of that, investing in the rental of a manual car. I can look for the absolute cheapest freaking rental car rate I can find for the purpose of learning stick shift. For now my friend is actually excited to teach me tomorrow evening. And she said she loves the Fiat's and wants to test drive one also. We may do that on Monday.

I don't drive much but if there's a time when I drive every day, the Fiat is a car I'll like seeing each time. I've had a car I didn't like and seeing it every day did take a toll on me. Like seeing clutter in my room every day(one of the reasons why I moved towards minimalism). The truck is in between in the effect it has on me, visually, but it's more the length, mpg, and unnecessary size that is turning me off. I don't use the carrying capacity anymore. Haven't opened the camper roof in weeks or used the bed for anything. It's just my situation and I still think trucks are fantastic for what they are. I'm just not in need of one or into them myself. And I can fit everything I own and more in a Fiat with the rear seats removed!
 

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I thought of that, investing in the rental of a manual car. I can look for the absolute cheapest freaking rental car rate I can find for the purpose of learning stick shift. For now my friend is actually excited to teach me tomorrow evening. And she said she loves the Fiat's and wants to test drive one also. We may do that on Monday.
Just remember, stick shift is easy to learn, difficult to master. :)

Don't be discouraged if it all seems overwhelming at first. I'm sure you'll pick up the general idea within less than a few hours, and it'll likely be a couple of months before you can actually enjoy the complete freedom it gives you with controlling the way your vehicle performs. Once you learn the nuances of the vehicle you're operating, then you'll really be able to have some fun. Since you've had experience with motorcycles, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do know and that's how it happened when I started riding a motorcycle. If I test drive a manual Fiat 500, I'll have my friend drive while I ride with the sales person and observe and get her opinion. If I end up buying one, I can learn and get better in my own time. If my friend is unavailable, I can ask for a sales/specialist or any staff member to drive while I ride.
 
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