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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone!

My wife and I picked up P/E #113 on Saturday the 12th from Motor Village in Los Angeles. The studio there is not quite finished and though the product specialist staff is somewhat trained, the overall purchase experience was typically 'dealership' as opposed to FIAT. We where there for much too long, the process was not organized and in general, the delivery experience was 'eh' at best.

Prep on the car was OK, nothing more. A few small marks on some interior panels, half-assed car wash, no vintage car-cover experience or any of that.

We brought our own financing and were prepared with a dealer check from our finance company and though we made this clear, the finance guy still tried to sell me their financing in an assumptive way (as in...here's all the numbers - this OK? Me: um, no. We're not financing it with you and made that exceedingly clear).

At any rate - they still haven't transferred any information to our bank so we're having to chase crap down. Amateur. Also have yet to receive the call to schedule installation of LoJack that I was promised to receive last week.

(I swear, when an automaker finally has the balls to walk away from the traditional dealership model and just sell cars directly to consumers online I'll be one of their first customers).

Enough about that...on to the car.

The good:

• Terrific in LA traffic
• Turns heads everywhere
• Much better than expected highway ride
• 38.5 MPG to Palm Springs from LA (included some city driving time before getting on the freeway) Roughly 28 MPG day-to-day city driving.
• Great driving position
• Terrific steering wheel controls for the audio system, blue and me, etc. Very well done.
• The interior design is fantastic.
• The exterior styling is exceedingly well executed.

The 'OK:'

• Powertrain - Spirited enough for city driving but by no means quick. Gear ratio distance between 1st and 2nd is too large. Fifth gear is for highway cruising only. 2nd and 3rd are OK.
• Shift throws are Looooong and a bit too vague; very difficult to heel-toe. Eager to fit a short-shifter.
• Ride height - the distance between top of the tires and the bottom of the wheel well is huge. This, combined with my perspective on the suspension (below) has me thinking hard about an upgraded aftermarket suspension once the offering is sorted out.
• Audio system - typical Bose (not my favorite by a long-shot) but much better than the Bose system in the Porsche Cayman S which we had previously.
• Huge B pillars - the over-the-left shoulder glance is useless; must use side mirrors
• Seats - don't love 'em but don't hate 'em either.


Not loving...

• The alarm beep
• That the USB media player automatically launches if a drive is in the slot and contains music (though I suspect I can turn this off - need to dig in on this)
• The suspension - though the ride is surprisingly smooth, the car tends to hop a bit and the rear feels like it wants to step out if encountering a bump mid-corner.
• Steering - WAY too quick and light - even in sport - at highway speeds. Feels like the car needs more negative caster to offset the short wheelbase. Driving back to LA from Palm Springs in a storm was a truly white-knuckle experience on the freeway. Not cool.
• Blue and Me voice recognition: My wife and I have yet to successfully complete a call using voice rec. The system gets it wrong every time.


Despite the few criticisms I detail above I'm really thrilled with the car. It's absolutely astonishing that Fiat is able to offer so much for so little money. I think this car is going to be very easy to live with and to enjoy. It's an exceptional city car and that's exactly what we were looking for.
 

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Yes, thanks for the update. Good heads up about storm driving; I'm in Vancouver and we can get some strong winds on the bridges here.
 

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Not sure how Great Highway driver goes from pros to cons so quickly. But, I don't doubt it. The 500 is tall and light, a good wind could easily make us feel like a cow caught in a tornado.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A follow-up...

A cow in a tornado is apropos for our ride back Sunday night!

Stormy conditions blew the car around the lane quite a bit and for me, the too-quick, too-light steering made dealing with it a white-knuckle experience.

Your experience, of course, may vary.

An aside...I thought it somewhat interesting yet not at all surprising that of the 5 cars we passed between Palm Springs and LA that had spun in the wet either into the center guard rail or off the shoulder - all were SUVs.
 

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I have to disagree on the Voice Recognition part of your interview. My salesperson set up my blackberry during our delivery process and downloaded the phonebook from the phone. I have never in my life have used a voice recognition system so user-friendly and intuitive. Two of my other friends picked up prima's and they have expressed the exact same feeling. Just push 'VR' and say "Call HOME" (or whoever).

You may be doing something wrong or have a thick accent that may be confusing the computer.

Make sure that
a) your phone is paired and your phonebook has been copied
b) Make sure you say the name as it shows on your phonebook. (yes first and last name if thats how its set up)
 

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I have to disagree on the Voice Recognition part of your interview. My salesperson set up my blackberry during our delivery process and downloaded the phonebook from the phone. I have never in my life have used a voice recognition system so user-friendly and intuitive. Two of my other friends picked up prima's and they have expressed the exact same feeling. Just push 'VR' and say "Call HOME" (or whoever).

You may be doing something wrong or have a thick accent that may be confusing the computer.

Make sure that
a) your phone is paired and your phonebook has been copied
b) Make sure you say the name as it shows on your phonebook. (yes first and last name if thats how its set up)
Agreed.......I love the way it asks which number, office, mobile, home.....
 

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jimmiev,

I took delivery at MVLA and yes they made me wait as well. Some folks had great experiences there and some don't. Tedious process with the finance manager. I felt like just walking out of the deal since he wont stop talking. The PDI was horrible too. Found a bunch of blemishes on the car and they supposedly ordered the parts to replace them. Now whether the blemishes were due to QC from the factory or from transportation is still unknown.

Did you hear about #315? The porter at MVLA scrapped the rear of the bumper and damaged the quarter panel.

And today, I found that the paint on my bumper is flaking off. I feel as if Fix It Again Tony maybe back to stay. I called Ciao Fiat and have them escalated the matter already. Joel Nelson (GSM) at MVLA has been very responsive as well. Hopefully I will hear something back soon.
 

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I did a search and found you have the same annoying issue I have...

• That the USB media player automatically launches if a drive is in the slot and contains music (though I suspect I can turn this off - need to dig in on this)

Any more info on how to stop that from happening? It truly is very annoying, seems about this time my wheel controls don't want to respond instantly but if I push on the head unit button then return to using wheel controls there is no issue. Thanks!
 

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Any more info on how to stop that from happening? It truly is very annoying, seems about this time my wheel controls don't want to respond instantly but if I push on the head unit button then return to using wheel controls there is no issue. Thanks!
In the menu we have a option to turn off the autoplay for the usb drive...but this option not work for me!!
 

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• That the USB media player automatically launches if a drive is in the slot and contains music (though I suspect I can turn this off - need to dig in on this)
When you get in the car and it starts to play from the USB drive, hit the voice recognition button on the left side of the steering wheel and simply say "Stop." It will stop the automatic playback from the USB drive, I believe. I did this a while ago and it no longer defaults to the USB drive on start-up.
 

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The only thing I haven't really got used to is the rear suspension, I feel it's too nervous. I hope the Eibachs will cure this, or at least minimise it.

Then again, last week I did sort of a panic stop from 120 km/h to, say, 60 km/h and the car felt pretty planted, so I guess it's not really that bad.
 

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When you get in the car and it starts to play from the USB drive, hit the voice recognition button on the left side of the steering wheel and simply say "Stop." It will stop the automatic playback from the USB drive, I believe. I did this a while ago and it no longer defaults to the USB drive on start-up.
In the event this does not work how does it respond to yelling cause it is rather frustrating...lol. Thanks, I'll try to mess with it shortly when I head out. :cool:
 

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Not sure if there is an adaptive process but mine worked poorly at first. Now it works fine.
 

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Not sure if there is an adaptive process but mine worked poorly at first. Now it works fine.
Can you elaborate on that? In what ways has it changed?
 

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it works well vs. it didn't work well.

I don't know. When I first started using it I called my friend Mike 17 times because Fiat thinks Mike and Rebecca sound a like.

Now it seems to know who Rebecca is. Downside, I ordered pizza last night from Mione's and Mike answered the phone. I knew it was Mike but I started ordering pizza anyway. He ended the call with 'FIX MY NUMBER IN YOUR CAR DUDE". I was planning on it until he said that. Now I'm going to call him even more.
 

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it works well vs. it didn't work well.

I don't know. When I first started using it I called my friend Mike 17 times because Fiat thinks Mike and Rebecca sound a like.

Now it seems to know who Rebecca is. Downside, I ordered pizza last night from Mione's and Mike answered the phone. I knew it was Mike but I started ordering pizza anyway. He ended the call with 'FIX MY NUMBER IN YOUR CAR DUDE". I was planning on it until he said that. Now I'm going to call him even more.
HAHA, that's both interesting that it may actually "learn" also very funny stuff. :D
 

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It might be me who has learned how to use it though. I am a little southern you know.

My wife will never get it to work. Her family is originally from NC.
 
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