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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Calling out to all the Prima Edizione future owners out here. I am still somewhat confused about what's going on with the test drive/dealer assignment.

Unless I am mistaken, Fiat is hoping to deliver the Prima Edizione by end of Feb. I believe Laura sent out an email saying that the purchase agreement must be finalized by end of Feb.

Today is Feb 7, 2011. Feb is a short month, minus a holiday and weekends, we have about 14 days left. I reckon a lot can happen in 14 days.

I called Motor Village LA and they have no idea whether I am assigned to them. As for test drive, no anticipated date either.

So what exactly are we waiting for? The phone call that announces the arrival of our Prima Edizione at X dealership and we have Y days to decide if we want it?

Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

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I called the Fiat info line and asked those same questions, and they didn't have answers. The dealer closest to me may not be up and running by the end of Feb. I talked to the new GM and he sounded very vague about establishing a dealership. Fiat doesn't even know if there will be any factory financing available

I did read in Automotive News that Fiat will deliver Primas to owners that don't have a functioning dealer nearby
 

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#241 Here .......

All great questions. I think with any new launch of something this big there are several moving parts. I do think they could be a bit more on top of things for the "Prima" owners, maybe. How many are just reserved by folks wanting to flip and how many are ordered by floks like me a true enthusist that wants one of these cars. Sure I could wait utill the Abarth shows up but to have one of the "Primas" delevered to the USA will forever make them special.

So far only two dealers I know of have gotten test drive vehicles. I would think that Motor Village in LA would have something to test drive as it is their "Flagship" store. It had lots of cool stuff at the launch party but that was so much show for the press as anything else. Once someone from Fiat found out I was a Prima owner I got some quality time anout 15 minutes going over the cars. I just happened to say the right thing to the right person. They should have had guides for Prima owners.

I for one have several cars and can pay cash but I would rather trade in my 2007 Passat as the Prima will be my new daily driver.

I have a feeling it will be like a dam breaking soon but right now the little boy still has his finger in the hole......;)
 

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Hi guys, we are in Toronto Canada. Our First PE was shipped on the 3rd and they are telling me 3 week transit time. It will be our first 500 to arrive. Hold on tight they will be here real soon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
joee,

I was at the preview as well. A bit lost cos I thought there will be a reception/guide for prima owners. It was quite a event nonetheless.

Will see what happens in the next few weeks. Thanks for the insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
An update.

So Motor Village LA, being the Fiat flagship store in Los Angeles, has published on their website that test drives will be available for the 500.

I submitted a request on Feb 2.

Today, Feb 10, still no news.

I called instead. The sales rep wasn't aware of an online request.

I am down for a test drive this Sat morning. We will see.
 

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So Motor Village LA, being the Fiat flagship store in Los Angeles, has published on their website that test drives will be available for the 500.

I submitted a request on Feb 2.

Today, Feb 10, still no news.

I called instead. The sales rep wasn't aware of an online request.

I am down for a test drive this Sat morning. We will see.
Eagerly awaiting news.......:)
 

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I'm tired of chasing downtown LA motors all they have is a Fiat facebook page.
They had a ad saying "Now open" in last Sunday's paper with a bubble in the corner saying "Introducing the Fiat 500" but the phone number calls back at Le Brea.
I was going to see if I can drive by the front of it on my way home from work. I did notice that they now have the side lot lit up again. The freeway display has nothing new, most are 2010's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Back from the test drive. I will be brief.



1. Motor Village LA has a non-Prima waiting list. That list is about 55 strong.

2. They have several Fiat 500s (all manual) in the showroom and a 500 classic. As of today, they reckon that some of the 500s maybe distributed to other dealers around LA.

3. No word on Prima pricing/delivery dates etc.

4. No appt needed for the test drive. But plan on early morning. Once the noon hits, the streets get busy.

My background:

I haven't owned a FWD car for a long time. So this review is coming from a mechanical engineer who owns several RWD-front/mid-engine cars and someone who competes in NASA (not the space one).

Driving experience:

I am lucky to have two separate test drives today.

I have a bit of a problem adjusting the seat to get the right leverage on the clutch. I am short at 1.7m. The clutch pedal travel was a bit further than I thought. But after a while, you get the 'catch', you don't have to go all the way. Gear shift is tight and solid. Easy to get in gear.


Steering wheel is beefy which I like. Steering feedback is ok. Comfy suspension. The sport suspension could use a little upgrading.

Don't care much about Bose. Cabin is quiet. I reckon a louder exhaust is needed (then again all my other cars are pretty loud).

Brakes are sensitive. And it bites very well!

Not a fan of the sun-roof. It has a retractable sun shade which I doubt helps a lot.

A/C is strong.

Witnessed a 6ft 5 guy climb into the rear seat is painful. Let's just be honest, the rear seats are for little people. Or puppies.

Rear view vision to sufficient. Side mirrors are well equipped with wide field of vision.

Performance wise:

LA is hot today. So the A/C was on full blast. But to really see how the car performs, it has to be turned off. The Sport mode makes a difference. Not a HUGE difference but it's there. The driving experience, for me at least, is much better with the sport mode. Take off from stationary is much quicker. The RPM achieves slightly higher for each gear. But one wonders, what it does to fuel economy.

1st gear is quite short. Most of the city driving was accomplished in 2nd and 3rd gear. But once you get the momentum going, it's easy to get into 5th.

I can see how this can be a fast autox/track car. Curb weight is about 2100lbs now. Can easily shed 200lbs of weight. Up the torque and that should be very fun to drive.

My take:

The 500 is really for 2 pple. I still can't get over how anyone can fit two full grown adults in the back. The Fiat rep who sat in the back had to crouch a little so his head doesn't touch the roof.

I can see the appeal of the 500 though. The size, the friendly looking facade, the Italian branding etc. While we were talking to the Fiat rep, folks arrived for more test drives. Some of whom as passengers, since they can't even drive manual. They are eagerly anticipating for the 500 with auto.

I think it will be unfair of me to judge the 500 based on this model. I reckon the Abarth, no doubt with a stronger engine and better suspension, will handle much better through the corners. But...nothing is etched in stone yet regarding a US Abarth version.

As of this writing, there is something in me to want to drive this car again. Just because as a car nut, you want to drive everything twice or thrice on different days/traffic conditions. But there is not a burning desire to want it now. Let's just say, if I can't have a 500 now, I won't miss it.
 

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Dirve on.....

Thanks for the update. I drive 35,000 to 50,000 miles a year. 95% solo. I first used a Plymouth Neon in 95 (loved it) then upgraded to a Passat in 99. I had a 2000 Passat and then a 2003 1.8T GTI next and was afraid of the possible tickets because the car was way too fun and went back to a 04 Passat. My 07 Passat is the first automatic of all the cars. Cabin quiet and fun is what I need more than anything else.

In your opinion do you think the Fiat 500 would fit the bill? I'm not driving as much lately....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey joee,

If your current ride is the 07 passat, I think the 500 should be quite fun for you. But if I can be honest...since you had a GTI 1.8T, I think you will miss that feeling. I drove a friend's 2006 GTI 1.8T and that is a fun little bugger. This 500, least the version we are getting, won't come close to the GTI.

You know how pple describe certain cars as 'zippy' around town? In my mind, the smart, mini fit that bill. The 500 is trying to be. Just that I don't feel that zippy yesterday.
 

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During my test drive I thought the response was quite zippy. If it's not, then there is something wrong. This is a 1.4 Litre engine and it reportedly gets in the low 30's mpg. That's not much better than the 1.6 L in a Mini Cooper, or the 1.8 L in Toyota Corolla.

I am going ahead with purchasing one, as originally planned. But it does not make sense to me to forget that this is an economy car. Once the fog of newness dissipates, and you take an honest look around the cabin, you will see what the car is really like.
 

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I stopped by just before closing Friday night and they addressed my concerns about seating. The sport seats when you lower to the bottom two levels the front of the seat stays up for a bit of thigh support. It also helps to keep you from feeling like you are sitting on the floor. They also added two clicks to the seat travel. You can move the front seat all the way to the front of the back seat, so far back I can't even reach the pedals.

Also I was offered a drive in the silver one but they were getting ready to close and was too dark to get a good feel for it.

I did get to the roof to see their 10 cars that are going to be available for sale on 3/1.

I just missed Laura and the people that were there after a press/sales meeting at dodger stadium. But they did have the 20 odd cars that were used for the event on the second floor. It was kind of reminiscent of the US introduction before the LA car show but I was there all by myself.

BTW, they have their phone all sorted out.
 

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We (Fiat of Portland) are expecting our test drive car in a little more than a week. Got to sit in one at the auto show, but no drives. Initial lauch is all manual tranny cars, with automatics to follow in about a month (according to last information, subject to change).

I can't wait to drive this car.
 

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Hey joee,

If your current ride is the 07 passat, I think the 500 should be quite fun for you. But if I can be honest...since you had a GTI 1.8T, I think you will miss that feeling. I drove a friend's 2006 GTI 1.8T and that is a fun little bugger. This 500, least the version we are getting, won't come close to the GTI.

You know how pple describe certain cars as 'zippy' around town? In my mind, the smart, mini fit that bill. The 500 is trying to be. Just that I don't feel that zippy yesterday.
Thanks!

If I want zippy see my avatar. That is a Intermeccanica (IM-6) reproduction of a 1959 Porsche Speedster using 1980 3.0 Porsche motor, trans, full suspension and steering. At 2,300 lbs and 235 hp the car is scary zippy!

The reason I only had the 1.8T GTI for only 9 months before I bought the 04 Passat was the car was WAY too much fun and I was worried about tickets. For a daily driver I want something fun, practical, cool, quiet and fuel efficiant on the freeway where most of my driving takes place. I don't go fast but do lots of driving. The Passat gets about 28/29 MPG. If I can get a solid 35+ I will be happy. I wish Fiat had the diesel in the US.

I'm looking forward to the Prima. I fell in love with the car in Rome in 2008 and have been waiting for it to come to the states. This will hold me until the Alfa's get here for a larger car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@777joee: Opps... I didn't know you have an avatar! I might have accidentally switched off that option. But yes, that's a gorgeous ride. Who did the work on the car?

@sfv500: Yes the seat adjustment is a bit quirky isn't it? Next time you head over there, speak to Michael Passage. He's the go-to bloke for these Fiats.

@andyandrews: My idea of zippy is obviously different, which could corroborate with your statement that something being wrong is 'me' as a driver. Your test drive review posted earlier in this forum stated that "Driving the car is kind of like driving a cadillac.." Unfortunately, that marque wasn't my bench mark. Mini, Smart car, GTI (3dr), Rabbit (3dr), Mazda 2 are my benchmarks. The 500 falls into this cluster.
 

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My baby.....

@777joee: Opps... I didn't know you have an avatar! I might have accidentally switched off that option. But yes, that's a gorgeous ride. Who did the work on the car?
Intermeccanica is a 50+ year old company that got it's start in 1959 in Turin, Italy. The company is now based in Vancouver, BC. Intermeccanica built the very first reproduction Speedster. They don't build kits but turn key cars built to your specs. Go to: http://www.intermeccanica.com/ for more information.

I ordered the car in September 09 and picked it up this past July. I totaly rebuilt all the mechanicals before I sent them up to Vancouver to be installed in the car.
 

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@777joee: Opps... I didn't know you have an avatar! I might have accidentally switched off that option. But yes, that's a gorgeous ride. Who did the work on the car?

@sfv500: Yes the seat adjustment is a bit quirky isn't it? Next time you head over there, speak to Michael Passage. He's the go-to bloke for these Fiats.

@andyandrews: My idea of zippy is obviously different, which could corroborate with your statement that something being wrong is 'me' as a driver. Your test drive review posted earlier in this forum stated that "Driving the car is kind of like driving a cadillac.." Unfortunately, that marque wasn't my bench mark. Mini, Smart car, GTI (3dr), Rabbit (3dr), Mazda 2 are my benchmarks. The 500 falls into this cluster.
Like a Cadillac only in the quietness of the ride. It is almost impossible to find an underpowered car in this country, because we are still in the Beach Boy era. That's why we can't get the range of nice small cars like you see in Europe.
 

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Hi all,
We (at FIAT of Milwaukee) already have a sport model that you can test drive, and will be getting the first 15 cars to be sold in the US in the next couple of days!! We are really pumped with anticipation :)
After the first 15 cars we will be getting the second batch with Pop/Sport and Lounge models with the Pop and Sport models that have Automatic Transmissions! Which I didn't think would be available...until later down the road.
If anyone has any questions regarding the FIAT 500 feel free to email me or just keep on posting here :)

Talk to you all soon

Valeria
FIAT of Milwaukee
 
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