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Hey guys, I'm Chris. Just a dude like any other dude. I've been lurking for a while and intended to keep quiet until I had something to contribute.

I've had my eye on the 500 since my Italian honeymoon this summer where we rented a Panda and I thoroughly enjoyed it:







It got me thinking that perhaps I could live with an economy car after all - Especially at €6 per liter. I was surprised by the Panda's utility and its taught, agressive suspension surprised me every time I got into it. We drove from Tuscany to the Naples area, and then back up to Rome, and I kept seeing any number of 500s on the road.

The more we drove, the more 500s I saw, the more I liked the car. I started noticing them everywhere in the various towns we'd visit and despite the car's clear popularity, I never tired of it.











I really liked the grey. I left Italy wanting one, but it wasn't until the head cracked on my engine-swapped old BMW that I started seriously considering one for myself. In the end it was the 40 MPG that sold me due to a 60 mile daily commute, and today I bought a Grigio Sport:











I pick it up Saturday from Gengras Fiat in Connecticut and I'm hoping for good things. I do have one question for the veteran owners here about the recommended break in period for the 500 since my saleslady cannot seem to find that info for me, so if anyone is privy to that information I'd be much obliged to hear it.

Thanks for checking out the thread and have a great night.
 

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Congrads from MA with the same car. About breakin period everyone will have different processes. I usually take it easy for the first 500 miles going various speeds.
 

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The manual recommends an easy break-in period. Don't exceed something stupid like 50mph for 300 miles. Sorry, I couldn't even get it home without breaking that rule. Running great despite a non-optimum break-in. :)

Love the pics with the wide angle lens. :)
 

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Very cool story ... thank you for sharing that! If all goes "right", I'll be heading for Italy for a work project in a couple of weeks, and if that does happen, I look forward to seeing their "landscape of vehicles". The Panda has long caught my eye, and to deviate from the post for a moment, would seem to be a good addition to the Fiat family in the N. American market!

Congrats on your purchase!
 

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Welcome and congrats. If I get another Fiat, it will be that color for sure.
 

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I drove mine like I would a car not in the break in period minus full throttle to redline. I just tooled around in it. I have 4400 miles on it so far and aside from a crank knock and the fact it's burning a quart every 500 miles, I've had no problems at all.
 

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I pick it up Saturday from Gengras Fiat in Connecticut and I'm hoping for good things. I do have one question for the veteran owners here about the recommended break in period for the 500 since my saleslady cannot seem to find that info for me, so if anyone is privy to that information I'd be much obliged to hear it.

Thanks for checking out the thread and have a great night.
Chris,

Great pictures! It was great to see the Hahtfid skyline again; I'm originally from CT and my folks currently live in Glastonbury. Where are you from?

Regarding your break-in period, FIAT recommends keeping it as close to or below 3000RPM for the first 300 miles if you want to do the factory recommended break-in. However, I know that people who have driven their cars hard have seen a somewhat dramatic increase in responsiveness and power after the break in period. No doubt this will hurt the engine's longevity, but it depends how long you want to keep your FIAT:).

Source; I'm a FIAT Specialist at Bob-Boyd in Columbus.

Also, to Fig, meu pai nasceu em Algés, qual é o seu património Português?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

I drove mine like I would a car not in the break in period minus full throttle to redline. I just tooled around in it. I have 4400 miles on it so far and aside from a crank knock and the fact it's burning a quart every 500 miles, I've had no problems at all.
Cool, thanks Pickles. Good to know there's no real impact.


Chris,

Great pictures! It was great to see the Hahtfid skyline again; I'm originally from CT and my folks currently live in Glastonbury. Where are you from?

Regarding your break-in period, FIAT recommends keeping it as close to or below 3000RPM for the first 300 miles if you want to do the factory recommended break-in. However, I know that people who have driven their cars hard have seen a somewhat dramatic increase in responsiveness and power after the break in period. No doubt this will hurt the engine's longevity, but it depends how long you want to keep your FIAT:).

Source; I'm a FIAT Specialist at Bob-Boyd in Columbus.
Excellent. Thank you for the perspective, ACaxide. I am from North Haven and I work in West Hartford, so the 40 MPG of the Fiat is a real selling point for me. I don't know how long I will keep the 500, but given the way I hang on to things...well, if it can prove even moderately reliable I will likely have it for a very long time.

I'm sorry that it took me all day to get back to the thread but today was a long Friday. My wife decided to test my resolve today. She forced me down to Audi to look at base A4s as an alternative to the 500, and I admit that I was both impressed and disappointed with the car. Nicely spacious and comfortable, it was also boring. The overboosted power steering made it feel appliance-like to pilot and this overshadowed the enormous host of practical things it does better than the Fiat. The A4 is a nice car especially with its Quattro option, and I do think that they hit a home run with the current styling. I love the A5/S5, and I love the side and front view of the A4.












Eh. The dealer pitched me a great deal, too, but in the end there's only so "great" they can do on a $37,500 sticker. $37,500 on an A4 that's the size of an old A6 or E39 BMW 5 series. Plus it was only this red one that had the one requirement I demand in a new Audi - the LED cheesebag lights - and, well, the thing is red. Super red. I've only owned one red automobile, my old 1991 3000GT VR-4, and after it I swore that I'd never own another red car. I already catch enough attention with my lead foot and there's no need to provide a visual siren to target that much faster.

So I won't. At least not this time around. I am proceeding as planned with a 1 p.m. Fiat 500 pickup tomorrow. I did find it funny that a car costing almost twice the 500's price was barely tempting to me, but I'm just not looking for a sterile AWD family sedan.
 

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Thanks for the warm welcome guys!



Cool, thanks Pickles. Good to know there's no real impact.




Excellent. Thank you for the perspective, ACaxide. I am from North Haven and I work in West Hartford, so the 40 MPG of the Fiat is a real selling point for me. I don't know how long I will keep the 500, but given the way I hang on to things...well, if it can prove even moderately reliable I will likely have it for a very long time.

I'm sorry that it took me all day to get back to the thread but today was a long Friday. My wife decided to test my resolve today. She forced me down to Audi to look at base A4s as an alternative to the 500, and I admit that I was both impressed and disappointed with the car. Nicely spacious and comfortable, it was also boring. The overboosted power steering made it feel appliance-like to pilot and this overshadowed the enormous host of practical things it does better than the Fiat. The A4 is a nice car especially with its Quattro option, and I do think that they hit a home run with the current styling. I love the A5/S5, and I love the side and front view of the A4.












Eh. The dealer pitched me a great deal, too, but in the end there's only so "great" they can do on a $37,500 sticker. $37,500 on an A4 that's the size of an old A6 or E39 BMW 5 series. Plus it was only this red one that had the one requirement I demand in a new Audi - the LED cheesebag lights - and, well, the thing is red. Super red. I've only owned one red automobile, my old 1991 3000GT VR-4, and after it I swore that I'd never own another red car. I already catch enough attention with my lead foot and there's no need to provide a visual siren to target that much faster.

So I won't. At least not this time around. I am proceeding as planned with a 1 p.m. Fiat 500 pickup tomorrow. I did find it funny that a car costing almost twice the 500's price was barely tempting to me, but I'm just not looking for a sterile AWD family sedan.
While the Audi is a beautifully styled car, I come from a BMW family so I'll always say look at Bayerische first.

However, whether BMW, Audi, Benz, whatever, I can honestly say a police officer has never EVER pulled me over in one of those for any reason other than writing me a ticket. An officer unknowingly helped me sell a FIAT by pulling over my customer to tell them they had a good looking car:D.

And as for 40MPG, don't count on that. Expect better. Traffic on 91/84 is horrible which will certainly affect that, but I used to drive my uncles Corvette down on state route 81 in Higganum and see 30mpg in that, so be sure to have some back road adventures in your FIAT! Rrucker will tell you how great his mileage is!
 

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The manual recommends an easy break-in period. Don't exceed something stupid like 50mph for 300 miles. Sorry, I couldn't even get it home without breaking that rule. Running great despite a non-optimum break-in. :)

Love the pics with the wide angle lens. :)
Me neither. 35 miles away via Interstate.
 

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Bleh. That Audi looks like every other semi-lux sedan on the road. About the only redeeming feature is the swank Audi style grille. But, it's not an R8, so seems a waste. Now, if you said "nice style FOR A BORING SEDAN", I'd agree. ;-)

Good choice leaving it there. Heck, buy your wife her own 500, and still save on the cost of the Audi. ;-)

(I love how it bleeps he11, making it look like I said sh1t or worse... stupid forum censors)
 

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I guess if you compared a Rame 500 to this Red A4, you would have a consistent orange-to-apple comparison. You're comparing an 18K 2-door sub-compact with a 30K AWD 4-door compact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
While the Audi is a beautifully styled car, I come from a BMW family so I'll always say look at Bayerische first.
BMW guy here too, but I prefer the older, smaller, more direct models to the heavier and more tech-laden modern options. I drove my E30 year round for two years before it required work and it's a force in the snow on Nokians.

And as for 40MPG, don't count on that. Expect better. Traffic on 91/84 is horrible which will certainly affect that, but I used to drive my uncles Corvette down on state route 81 in Higganum and see 30mpg in that, so be sure to have some back road adventures in your FIAT! Rrucker will tell you how great his mileage is!
Looking forward to it. I'm taking it down to the SC home for Christmas so we'll see how I feel in after 10+ hours in the car. My commute is 60 miles per day but I don't see a highway going from 15 to 9 before taking back roads for the remainder, and while I've only put 30 miles on the 500 so far I do find it comfortable. I also forgot how convenient the Bluetooth option is. I need to read the manual to figure out the best use of the stereo and TomTom component, but I don't think I like the navigation unit in its mount point as it obscures too much of the view for me.

Bleh. That Audi looks like every other semi-lux sedan on the road. About the only redeeming feature is the swank Audi style grille. But, it's not an R8, so seems a waste. Now, if you said "nice style FOR A BORING SEDAN", I'd agree. ;-)

Good choice leaving it there. Heck, buy your wife her own 500, and still save on the cost of the Audi. ;-)
The A4 really was boring and I dislike the 2.0 turbo's power delivery. I'm an NA guy that prefers immediate power on tap and the 2.0T's peaky, gutless-past-5800 RPM weakness does nothing for that car. My wife accepted and is now enthused with the Fiat now that she's spent some time with it, and in the end I guess I appreciate the Audi exposure because she was trying to look out for me and make sure I'd explored some options.

I guess if you compared a Rame 500 to this Red A4, you would have a consistent orange-to-apple comparison. You're comparing an 18K 2-door sub-compact with a 30K AWD 4-door compact.
Agreed. Although if that A4 is classified as anything with "compact" in the term they need to rethink either the car or their criteria. My friend's B5 A4 was a compact, and it drove like one. I loved that car just like I loved the BMW 3 series cars of the same era. The current A4 feels like an older 5 series sedan inside but without the BMW's sharpness. I'm sure it will have no problem selling to people requiring a sterile appliance, but it failed every last one of my personal demands.

The car had to yield stellar gas mileage with a unique style and substance and be comfortable for my big frame to drive for the amount of time I spend in the car. I wasn't concerned with power or acceleration but I need a sporty ride and direct steering, and there was just no denying that the 500 was 100% perfect for me.

It's a cool car. It ropes people in. My very close friend Carmen, a demanding car guy with a viciously frank demeanor, came with me today when I picked up the Fiat. I expected some resistance to the 500, especially from him, but he was enthralled by the idea of the car and even ended up test driving one to see what all the fuss was about. Sadly he is too gigantic a dude to comfortably fit into one:



But it was an honest effort.

Delivery was fun. My car was covered when I got there and I was treated to the "unveiling" as they peeled the cover back to reveal my Sport. I really do love the color and the wheels. I enjoyed the delivery walkthrough, and before I knew it I was driving my 500 the 30 miles home.

My first impression was that the car was a bit twitchy due to the short wheel base, but I had acclimated to the car's darty character by the time I got home. The ride is very smooth, my seating position is more comfortable than I remembered during the test drives, and the modern amenities of stuff like Bluetooth and steering wheel radio controls are really nice to have.

I'm looking forward to exploring my space with this thing. Pics from today:















































It was a good day, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and I hope you are all having a great weekend as well.
 
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