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Just wanted to provide an overview of our experience with our new 500c, which has about 2000 miles. Hope it is helpful to other Fiat owners or potential owners.

My wife and I have owned a wide variety of cars including European, American, British, hot rods and a number of motorcycles. We currently have an older Chevrolet Silverado and a Lexus IS 350. We were looking for something that would fit in a small spot in our garage, could park easily, carry some luggage, got great gas mileage, was fun to drive and had to be $20k or less. We looked at a number of cars, the first being a mini. My first car was a 1967 Mini Cooper S, so the mini had sentimental value (the memory of working on it constantly has faded a bit). Long story short, after a ton of research and driving a number of other cars we bought a Pop 500c, white exterior, red and black interior, 5 speed. We also added a spare tire kit and Bose stereo, which brought the car in just above $20k.

Our dealer, Bob Baker Fiat in Carlsbad California, was terrific to deal with. My wife and I probably went there 10+ times and drove a number of cars before we made a decision. Our dealer treated us like we were the most important customer they have ever had. We ordered the car exactly how we wanted it, which took about 7 weeks to arrive.

The first week we had the car the dash lights and brake lights went out. I was pretty frustrated, but called Fiat Roadside Assistance and the car was sitting on a flatbed truck headed to the dealer within 45 minutes. No fuss. No muss. It turned out to be a wire pinched by the convertible top mechanism, which they fixed within 24 hours. Since then, we have had nothing but great experiences with the car. The dealer has followed up with phone calls multiple times post-sale to check in with us. JD Powers called to do a customer satisfaction survey. For a car in this price range, the sales and service experience has been equal to cars costing 2-3 times as much.

The Pro's: This is probably the most fun vehicle I have ever driven. I cannot pry my wife out of it and she will drive the Fiat over her Lexus almost any time she has the chance. The 500c corners like a slot car. Put the top down, crank up the tunes and head for a road with lots of curves and it is almost too much fun to be legal. The sensation of actually driving the car is unexplainable. Yes, many, many cars accelerate harder, handle better and pull more G's on a skid pad, but the Fiat makes you feel like you are actually driving it and engages you in the experience. It is the difference between riding in a car, or truly driving it. I can't really explain it, but the fun factor is 12 on a scale of 1-10. The quality of the car finish is good for a $20k car. It is not BMW or Lexus good, but the car is also 1/2 to 1/3 the price. The motor is a mechanical work of art if you read up on the technology. The manual transmission shifts well and the gear ratios are spaced adequately enough to keep the motor singing along. The Bose stereo in this car totally rocks. Minimal distortion at high volumes. The bass is crazy. We love the satellite radio. We added Competezione 17" wheels and tires to match and the car feels like it is on rails with very little loss of ride quality. They look great. Visibility with the top down is fine once you get used to it. We like the instrument cluster and having everything in 1 visual location. In summary, we drive the wheels off the car. We don't baby it, we just drive it like it was meant to be driven. It is a relatively inexpensive, small, Italian heritage sports car that thinks it is a Ferrari. The Fiat is like one of those little terrier dogs that believes it is a Rottweiler. The car at this point is getting about 30 mpg in town and close to 40 mpg on highway trips.

The Cons: The car would benefit from another 10-15 ft. lbs. of torque around 3000 rpm. I'd rather short shift the car in the twisties, than wind it up tight, but that is my personal preference. The air conditioning works good, but if I lived in Barstow, CA I might be wanting more cold air volume in the summer. It could use a passenger arm rest. I wish the darn Sport button was "sticky" and did not have to be pressed every time I start the car. We wish the Pop 500c had a leather interior option. Do not buy this car if you don't want to talk about it. I have never seen anything like it, and I have had some cool cars. Every time we are out in the car someone asks about it, wants to see the top go down, has questions about what it is and basically just slobbers all over the car. We have come out of a restaurant and had a crowd gathered around the Fiat. People constantly smile and give a thumb's up sign. My wife was approached by a bunch of bikers on Harleys who scared her to death, but they just wanted to take a good look at the car and then told her how bitchin the car was. It's crazy. It draws attention like a 7' tall NBA basketball player in high heels and a dress. If you don't want the attention, don't buy a Fiat. Spend the extra money and get a Prius and people will leave you alone.

My wife and I agree that the Fiat is probably the best value and the most fun car we have ever owned. We did not drive anything in this price category that also offered a cabriolet top, back seat (just big enough for grandkids, or a flexible adult) and trunk that we enjoyed as much as the Fiat. The car is cool with a capital "C ". I do intend to add an exhaust, air intake and ECU mod as soon as I have time in order to up the fun quotient 10-15 hp :) I will update this thread as we learn more about the car, but at this time I have to say that we are unreservedly and enthusiastically Fiat fans. We love it and would buy the same exact car if we had to do it all over again.
 

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In short, the wife, and I just love our loaded 500 Sport. Just turned over 2,000 miles today. I a man of few words.
 

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Do not buy this car if you don't want to talk about it. I have never seen anything like it, and I have had some cool cars. Every time we are out in the car someone asks about it, wants to see the top go down, has questions about what it is and basically just slobbers all over the car. We have come out of a restaurant and had a crowd gathered around the Fiat. People constantly smile and give a thumb's up sign. My wife was approached by a bunch of bikers on Harleys who scared her to death, but they just wanted to take a good look at the car and then told her how bitchin the car was. It's crazy. It draws attention like a 7' tall NBA basketball player in high heels and a dress. If you don't want the attention, don't buy a Fiat. Spend the extra money and get a Prius and people will leave you alone.
That is one of the best descriptions of the 500 'feeling' that I have read; as well, it is better than anything that I have written.

Bravissimo!
 

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I agree with everything the said so far, especially everything in the OP. :)
 

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Great write-up, and welcome! I think you nailed it hard. I have 12K+ on my Pop and the feeling doesn't go away, so you have a lot to look forward to.

Ryan
 

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Very well written. I agree with you on just about every point -- except I haven't been stopped by any bikers yet. :)

One additional gripe I have is the cup holder won't hold two coffee mugs, not an issue in the summer when I carry water bottles, but come winter ....
 

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I did have a group of pre teen girls on bikes fly into my son's driveway the oher day. They were wanting to know what it was and to let me know it was so cute! Only bikers I have encountered.
When my wife is with me, she uses the back cupholder with ease from the passenger seat.
 

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Very well written. I agree with you on just about every point -- except I haven't been stopped by any bikers yet. :)

One additional gripe I have is the cup holder won't hold two coffee mugs, not an issue in the summer when I carry water bottles, but come winter ....

Mugs in the car, really? This is one of the seven deadly sins you know, carrying any type of open container in a car, you're just asking for a spill. :(
 

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One additional gripe I have is the cup holder won't hold two coffee mugs said:
What's funny is that, a few years ago, when I was taking an Italian class, the teacher held up a stainless travel / coffee mug, and said that another student had asked about the Italian word for this kind of cup. The teacher replied saying that there really isn't such a thing in Italy and so there really isn't an Italian word for it.

I'm a big fan of real Italian coffee, but I'm kind of with you on the cupholder question.

But we digress... or at least I did.
 

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Ryan .. you're up to 12k miles already ?!?! Eee gads, man ... I still have yet to see you zoom past Kings Island area. Must be operating in "stealth mode" :D
 

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Yeah, I drive a lot. I'm appearing Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on I-71, two shows each day, one around 7:30AM and one around 4:00PM passing by KI. One additional show Saturdays at about 9:00AM, after stopping at Waffle House.

What are you driving? I've seen a Res Sport several times.
 
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