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I have been interested and researching the 500 since I learned of plans to bring it to the US market (thanks to Yamaha's MotoGP program). I have visited the local dealer, test driven one & am about ready to order one spec-ed out as I want. My only concern (and it is HUGE to me) is Chrysler's involvement as a parent company. Now I don't want to turn this into a debate about brand loyalty. My experience, from working in the auto industry and working for a company which has always had a fleet of Chrysler products, is that, ever since the introduction of the "K car", Chrysler has built nothing but CRAP autos. They wear out quickly, fall apart and generally display poor build quality. Remember, this is based on Personal Experience. No amount of "running to Chrysler's defense" can change my experiences.
So my question is this: is Chrysler's involvement simply financial, or are they lending technical advice as well. Thanks.
 

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As I did... you should look @ the PT cruiser and expect about the same. "K car" days are over. The 500 is cool enough... that I can live with PT cruiser reliability. As far as I can see this car shares no parts with any other Chrysler.

p.s. In the "K car" era... most all American 4 & 6 cylinder cars were crap
 

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You got it backwards friend. Fiat is the parent company, and the one giving technology to Chrysler. In fact they got 30% of Chrysler right off the bat just for sharing technology with them. Since then Fiat has acquired another 22% of Chrysler and is the controlling shareholder.
 

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I'm with the Kzod on this one. I'm getting 42.7 mpg. It's not the smoothest riding car, but it hops over bumps and potholes with a nice tight feel. So far my experience tells me it was not Toluca, but good design and technology that was lacking with Chrysler. Chrysler had nothing going for it except the Jeep brand. The Caliber was a piece of junk that came out while Ford was producing the Focus and Fusion. GM was building great engines and selling Buicks like hotcakes to the Chinese.
 

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I've owned a couple of new cars.... and I'm comparing the quality of my 500 to the rest of them.

My Mazda3 and Civic Si never had to go back to the dealership for any sort of initial issues, just the same as my Fiat.

My Volvo C30 had to go back one or two weeks later because of a gearshift recall. It never had any issues afterwards, except for the fact that the gearshift never felt actually right.

My Cooper S went back one week later due to a rattle in the dashboard, then a couple of panels underneath the car fell, the hood was misaligned, and then it had the cold start chatter issue. It spent so much time at the dealership I ended up selling it.

BTW, my mom's Cooper S left her stranded 3 times in two years, and it had to go back to the dealership 1 week after she got it because the driver seat's cloth was ripped. It rattled like ****.

Bottom line - so far, so good, for a car built by Chrysler, in Mexico, based on an Italian design. Want a truly awful car (in my, and JD Powers experience)? Get a German / English designed (BMW and Rover), built in England, German car.

YMMV.
 

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ownership

Yup, see today's header on this forum! I've been following developments for a year also and will buy in the fall, maybe Xmas. Other than cosmetics (hood misalignments, headlight housings) and some gripes about lack of power (but it is, in the end, a 1.4!) and a blindspot (fixed with a split mirror) all seems well.
 

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Yeah, FIAT's in the driver's seat, so to speak on this one.

From my personal experience, I feel that the 500 (I have a Pop) is decent enough. It's not opulent, but what is there seems to be solid enough. My dad, who knows his cars inside and out and has never been a fan of Chrysler, said he felt it was very solidly built. May not mean much to you, but it meant a lot to me :)

Now, last year, I rented a Charger for about a week. The only thing I could say good about that car was that it was comfortable to drive -- it sat up nicely, the seat was fabulous, and everything I needed was easy to find and easy to use. But, the fit and finish on it was utter and absolute crap. Cheap, cheap, cheap everywhere I looked. Edges misaligned, flimsy controls, and just plain ugly inside. I remember commenting to my wife that I liked sitting in the car, but that was about it.

I don't have that feeling at all with the 500. All I can recommend is go back and take it for a longer test drive and really sit in it and pay attention -- press the buttons, look at the finish quality, push on the edges, adjust the seats, adjust the wheel, and then make a judgement based on that.

Ryan
 
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