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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I just bought a FIAT Sport (automatic) in Rosso Brillante on 2/20/12. I had been on the market for a new car for only a short while. I used to drive a staid, reliable, family-sized 4-door sedan (2002 Honda Accord, 4-cyl EX) which still runs perfectly and is paid off. Thus, there was no rational reason for me to want to buy a new car. I just didn't feel that the 4-door sedan "fit me," for lack of a better reason, and it probably never did, given that I don't have family in the States, never haul around stuff, don't drive more than one other person EVER. Call it mid-life crisis. I wanted a smaller car, one that got better gas mileage, but more importantly, one with some style, whatever that meant to me. I did not want to drive a bland Honda Accord any longer (although it is a fabulous, fabulous car)!

I test drove many cars (all the hatchback versions): Honda FIT, Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris, Scion xD, Scion iQ (so cute!), Ford Fiesta (definitely my least favorite), Mazda2 (my #1 car until I drove the Fiat on that fateful day) and the Mini. I liked some more than others, and my reaction was usually "Yeah...this is nice, I guess I'd be willing to let go of my Honda for this...it is smaller." The Fiat was never on my radar because of its "Fix It Again, Tony" reputation. But on Presidents' Day weekend, I test drove the FIAT, and I totally and utterly fell in love. Never mind the mediocre gas mileage, the "untested in the U.S." reliability, the "made in Mexico" factor, the lack of power. This was the first car that made me regret still owning the 2002 Honda Accord. I had to have it, and I had to have it right then and there.

I bought the extended warranty (an additional three years) and the maintenance package and did not bargain hard. I drove off the lot with an automatic Sport in Rosso Brillante with sun roof, safety and convenience package, dark brown & black interior, extended warranty & maintenance package (was I a total chump?). BAM!

Did I just make the biggest mistake ever? Driving home on the freeway, the sun shone in through the sun roof, and I did not realize that the sun roof did not come with an interior cover (no, I do not consider the mesh thing an interior cover). I was getting warmer by the second and it was very bright. ****. What did I just do? I called the dealer the next day and the sales manager offered to re-tint the sun roof to a very dark color, and one of my very supportive friends has found HotFiat.com that offers an interior cover, so I should be okay. (Yes, I know that living in Southern Cal means you should have a sun/moon roof, and yes, my Honda has a sun/moon roof. Did I ever use it? Rarely.)

But I am/was freaking out a little. I am so used to driving reliable Hondas, and not used to driving a fun car, whatever that means! I drove my new FIAT last night in West LA traffic (from here to there, maybe 1.5 miles, taking 25 minutes, you know, the usual) and I have never had so much fun sitting in stop and go traffic. I played with the steptronic (I am not very good, I do know how to drive manual, albeit not well) and just felt happy.

Does this feeling last? I am not a driving enthusiast, quite clueless about cars, and I went with my emotions on this, which is usually not very wise. I would love to hear from some supportive FIAT owners about their experience. The salesperson said that the people in Europe have been driving this car since 2005 and that it won awards for reliability...can somebody speak to that? Are the cars comparable?

I would love to hear from you!
 

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I traded in a mercedes for the fiat for exactly the reasons you got yours. this Fiat is super fun.
Yes the europeans have had our car for a while but ours is actually better than theirs. I have 2000kms on mine and I still grin while I drive.


as for quality if you look at the pics from the factory there is alot of robots doing the building and the engine is put together in Detroit. A robot in japan is the same as a robot in mexico right?

Stop worrying and enjoy the car. :)
 
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You need therapy, and welcome, lol. I've had it for 5 months and love the attention the Fiat gets. As soon as my wife comes home from work, I find excuses to drive it. Need milk? Is the tank empty? Need meds, lol?

Enjoy it and don't look back with regrets, especially for, sorry to say, a plain vanilla Accord.
 
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8000 miles in and we are still loving our 500c. We have a Lexus IS350 and a Chevrolet Silverado truck and the Fiat is our car of choice to drive 99% of the time. Welcome and enjoy!
 

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Well Peipster, you've come to the right place. I loved your story of the purchase. Mine was a bit similar, in that I have a perfectly reasonable jetta, but I just had to have the 500.

As for reliability, I've mentioned here before that we've had several 500's as rentals, and even the welll-used cars seemed fine. They must be satisfactory to Avis and Hertz, who had more than one. And the car coop here in Vancouver has a red 500 in their fleet, along with Mazdas, VW's, Ford's etc. Every machine has problems, but I have no reason to think that the Fiat will be anything like any car from 30 years ago.

Forums attract folks who care about their cars, and who are picky, and who scrutinize their cars more than the average person IMHO. So, you'll find stories of problems, but also solutions. Many more postings about modifications than failings, I think.

Get a funky hat, some cheap sunglasses and enjoy the ride.
 

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^+1 on all that. Nobody starts a thread to enthuse that they've had no problems with their car.

I wouldn't be too nervous. The 500 is a well-sorted, thoroughly modern car. A few of the interior bits are admittedly cheap, but overall the car gives off a vibe of being solid and substantial. A real car. Very impressive considering the small size and low price.
 

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We trade a Accord in for a 500. The Honda was a very good car, but very boring. Everything Honda makes now is boring, and ugly. I've always bought Honda products in the past. Haven't really had any issues with the 500, after 6,000 mile. Our 2007 Honda Fits dashboard rattles like a piece of junk since new. Its a fun car to drive. Would except more from Honda.

I forgot, we had to put in a new transmission in our Accord, 5 years ago. 3 grand worth. My brother had to replace the transmission in his 2002 Accord 3 times. ?????????????

Had 104-110 degree weather here last summer the sun screen worked fine in the 500.
 

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Yep. Problems can come up with any car. My jetta was built in Mexico. It is a 19999.5/2000, so the first year of the Mk IV body style. It's been excellent, so you should not worry on that account. Fiat is taking the Dodge Journey (modded a bti ) to Italy, and they are selling them faster than they can make them.

And remember, everybody buys alternators, starters, fuel injectors, batteries, airbags, transmissions (sometimes) and a million other parts from other suppliers. A Ford and a Fiat and a Honda could all have A/C compressors from Sanyo, or whomever.

Hondas are reliable; so is every other make of car on the road, Fiat's included. My prediction is that you'll spend more time here sparring about the color of the fuzzy dice you hang from the mirror than discussing problems. Now, where did I put those naked lady mud flaps....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thanks! (3 times transmission in 2002 Honda Accord? D*mn.) THanks for responding to the sun roof topic, too. I agree that everything Honda makes now is boring. I really wanted to love the Honda Fit, but I did not. And I still remember when I first saw the FIT, I thought it was the ugliest thing ever. It's grown on me since then, and I am impressed with its 57 cu. inch cargo space, but I do not haul anything around (no bikes, no plasma TVs, no artwork, etc.) so there was really no reason for me to buy a FIT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Smark, seriously 104-110 degree weather last summer and you were okay with the sun screen? That's amazing and good to know. You guys are all great to respond to me. I really appreciate it.
 

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Wife & I traded a 2002 WRX wagon for our 500C & we love it. Regarding the Fit, or really any other car you mention, I'll say this: At least 3 times per week someone will ask her or myself about our 500. I promise you that would not happen with any of the other cars on your list!
 

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The 'fix it again tony' is not fair to say especially with todays new Fiats. The new 500 is completely redone from the ground up. This IS a reliable car. You made the right choice...now lets see some pics please.
 

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The novelty doesn't wear off quickly, you'll be enjoying your 500 for some time to come. Welcome to the forums by the way, for the pics you need to find an online picture host such as tinypic.com and upload the pics then use IMG tags here on the forum to display the pics so that we can view them. Here is an example but remove the spaces. [ img ] www.thisismypictureurl.com/thisismypicture.jpg [ / img ]
 

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Just adding to the general sentiment that the Fiat 500 is a joy, a gem of a car, and the novelty doesn't wear off. It makes you rethink what is needed of a car. It proves you don't need to spend $30, 40, 50, 100K to feel like your'e indulging or splurging! I think once the Abarth is here in the US, it will prove that you don't need 300+hp to feel the rush of acceleration. When I slip into my red seats and grab a hold of the red perforated leather steering wheels, I start to feel happy immediately. If I HAD to chose between my 500 and my BMW M3, I'd have to go with the Fiat because, while it lacks outright performance, it is easier to live with daily while delivering a huge dose of joy with its personality and style.
 

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I wouldnt be nervous at all. There have been a few sunny days here, and the sun screen helps out quite a bit. Doesnt block everything, granted, but it does help out a lot.

Ive had mine for almost three weeks now, and every time i look at it or get into it, im always happy. I can actually just go for a little zip around town, and enjoy driving. Sure, its not a fast car, but its fun to drive.
 

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I'm in WeHo. Bought my Fiat on Monday. My work commute can sometime be 90 minutes long (for a 15 mile distance) and like you said, NEVER has gridlock been SO enjoyable! I get at least two people a day rolling down their windows and asking me if I like the car and commenting on how cute she is (my 500's name is Lorna). LOVE my car and I've never really been a car person.
 

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These cars are rock solid reliable-they've been on the road in US for a year and few problems of substance have been reported on these forums. No massive recalls, nothing. No worries here.

Your dealer must be pretty good to immediately offer to resolve somethng you did not like, even though it had nothing to do with the car design or build. Consider yourself fortunate.

How many FIATs have you seen since you bought your car? How many Honda's have you seen? Doesn't it feel good to be driving something special now instead of a cloned appliance?

Enjoy your FIAT. It will soon feel like wearing your favorite pair of shoes or sneaks-reliable, comfortable and natural.
 
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I'm use to that type of sunscreen. One just like it on my little smart car too. That car is just like a fish bowl. AC works great in these cars.
 
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