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Hey I did a very informal test with buddy of mine that works at local Fiat dealer. We tested a few stock Fiats 0-60 to see which 500 is faster to 60mph 5 speed or auto. All fiats were tested with full tanks of fuel.

First test 5 speed sport with 58 miles on it vs auto sport with 42 miles on it. First run sport button off. Soft launch and at 30mph automatic 500 about one car length ahead. 50 mph about half car length. 60 mph automatic and 5 speed dead even.

Next test sport button on. About same results till 60 mph then auto 500 about three car length ahead. Wow

Next test a trade in Lounge auto with 2000 miles on it and a (unwind) fiat 500 pop 5 speed that was sold but financing did not go through. It has about 1700 miles on it. Sport button on.

To 30 mph same result lounge auto about one car length ahead 50 mph lounge about three car lengths ahead and to 60 mph about three and half car lengths ahead. Wow

Last test

Same cars in the previous run but this both fiats going 5mph then run them to 60 mph about same results in last test.

Now I know what your thinking how good driver was in the 5 speed and well that me and was pro test driver with well known car magazine for several years.

We just had fun with this it simple backyard test that's all.



Now all runs were soft runs foot off the brake and go.
 

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That was my impression when I test drove the manual (I have an auto). Still, every test I've seen says the manual is 1 second faster or so to 60 mph.
 

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the only tests ive read about had the manual anywhere from .6-1.0 seconds faster.

that was my impression in test driving.

not only that, the manual gets excellent mileage if you want it to.
 

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Thanks for the results. The Aisin 6-spd auto is a gem in this segment, and it is not surprising to me that it was faster in the real world. My guess is at the race track with the right driver, the manual would be faster...but hey, the 500 is not really a track car.
 

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Thanks for the results. The Aisin 6-spd auto is a gem in this segment, and it is not surprising to me that it was faster in the real world. My guess is at the race track with the right driver, the manual would be faster...but hey, the 500 is not really a track car.
I agree the 6 speed Aisin is real gem. I have two fiat's and you can tell by driving back to back the auto is faster. We have come along way with auto trans and it not like old days with the three speed auto's. It is really good. It really works well in the canyons with sport button on in D it holds the 500 in the lower gears right in the power band it is just fantastic. Really works well but as you said this is not track car. A Prius has about the same 0-60 this not a track car.
 

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all in all its pretty impressive how well the auto preforms. If it takes a professional driver to out accelerate the automatic...well then I think 99% of us would be faster in the auto LOL.
 

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Hmmm...please let us know what dealer you "tested" these cars at so we can avoid it...I'm sure racing cars with 50 miles on them is not part of the offical FIAT break in process ;)

that being said, your results are interesting...I bought an auto and actually traded it in 3 weeks later for a manual, I think the manual drives much much better...
 

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Hello 500Sport,

I am wandering did you dump the clutch right around the torque max (~5000 rpm) when starting the manual? If not this explains why the auto was faster. Of course no one does this in the real world, so your results are reflective of what would happen on the street.

Thanks again,
Cooper
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hmmm...please let us know what dealer you "tested" these cars at so we can avoid it...I'm sure racing cars with 50 miles on them is not part of the offical FIAT break in process ;)

that being said, your results are interesting...I bought an auto and actually traded it in 3 weeks later for a manual, I think the manual drives much much better...
You would want to take your car to that dealer as the fiats I tested are all for loaner service and I think they will have ten total. So at that dealer you will get the fiat you bring in as a loaner sport 500c stick and auto. That's great you don't get a crappy car from enterprise some other rental.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hello 500Sport,

I am wandering did you dump the clutch right around the torque max (~5000 rpm) when starting the manual? If not this explains why the auto was faster. Of course no one does this in the real world, so your results are reflective of what would happen on the street.

Thanks again,
Cooper
Yes, this is not real world but I did try dumping the clutch first at 3000RPM the 0-60 time was 9.4 sec. I then tried dumping the clutch at 5000RPM and 0-60 time 9.4 Sec. I do not think the stock clutch could handle much of this as after I did this a few times with a few trial runs the clutch was starting to shuddering and this is most likely hot spots on the flywheel. I did not want to ruin this clutch so we swapped out fiats for easy take off runs. I wanted to see what the little fiat would do but this is a city car not race car.
 

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Hi

That's interesting stuff. I still prefer a manual transmission for the lower cost, lighter weight, and better potential effiiciency. But who knows, as technology improves an automatic may soon gain in these areas as well.

Regards

Pat

PS. From some of the stuff listed above, I hope people aren't taking any undue risks, driving unsafely, or "pushing" the engines and gearboxes on cars that they don't own just to see how they perform. (Specifically, I think that the Owner's Manual, with regards to a break-in period, makes some sort of recommendation againast going flat out in low gears.)
 

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That's interesting stuff. I still prefer a manual transmission for the lower cost, lighter weight, and better potential effiiciency. But who knows, as technology improves an automatic may soon gain in these areas as well.
yes, i think the relative inefficiency of the automatic transmission in the 500 is a turnoff to alot of people.

it is a mistake to think people will only look at the car for style rather than style and efficiency. i and plenty of others did cross shop this car with the likes of the fit, yaris, versa, etc...

yes, the style helped, but i would only buy a car i knew would get me low-mid 40's mpg (meaning very close to 40 epa).

i guess i dont know how fiat was unable to get more efficiency out of a 6 speed auto transmission in a 2400 lb car.
 

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yes, the style helped, but i would only buy a car i knew would get me low-mid 40's mpg (meaning very close to 40 epa).

What some people seem to lose sight of when playing the fuel economy game, is what differences are important and which ones really aren't. If we assume a standard 15k per year, 34mpg vs 40mpg is going to be a difference of about $4.45 a week @ $3.50/gal or a little under $1,400.00 during a 6 year ownership. Not something I'm going to lose sleep over.

Now if you move from a car with really bad EPA ratings (like the 13.5 average in my truck) the numbers are astonishing. I'm saving $45.00/week at 34mpg thats $14,000.00 over a 6 year period. My car is basically free :eek:.

Anyway, my point is simple, while its certainly nice to get a little better millage, you really are not making any huge financial gains even with 40mpg vs 34mpg...the real savings is getting out of a vehicle with poor millage.
 
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