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You are in the Fiat
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Fiat 500, Coupe, Hatchback
Nov 09, 2009 (5:02 am)
The announcements that Sergio Marchionne and his executive team made on November 5th suggest that Fiat will introduce its 500 model in the U.S. market in the latter part of 2010, as a 2011 model. It will not be rebadged as a Chrysler, as was previously speculated. However, it will be be sold in Chrysler showrooms, by specially trained sales people, perhaps in a similar manner as Toyota sells the Scion brand.
The Fiat 500 will be a MINI fighter, but it will probably be priced lower than the MINI. I imagine that Fiat's ambitions go well beyond winning over MINI buyers, to expanding the market for this niche of car in the U.S. The 500 will also compete with the Scion iQ, Chevy Spark, Smart Car, and others.
Much has been written in the press about the 500. For example, there will be a performance oriented Abarth version, to battle the MINI Cooper S, and versions for those looking for high fuel economy. Based on the limited information you now have, and assuming you'd even consider a car this small, would you consider buying a Fiat 500? What if one engine option were a diesel version? Which car appeals to you more, the 500 or the MINI?
#3 of 67 I might be interested in a diesel
Nov 09, 2009 (3:08 pm)
but the Abarth model also interests me. Kinda opposite ends of the spectrum. Looks like I need two!
Elsewhere folks are saying they expect this model to have a Chrysler badge, so the word hasn't gotten out that it will be a Fiat in the States. I'm glad it won't be a Chrysler.
As for the competition, the new Fiesta will be pretty small and should have a sport trim too, so there is additional competition you didn't mention. And what about the oft-promised arrival of the VW Polo?
It's hard to choose between the Mini and the 500. As much as I love the look of the 500, the Mini is even better-looking IMO.
#4 of 67 Re: I might be interested in a diesel [nippononly]
Nov 10, 2009 (4:57 am)
I think the Fiesta and the Polo are one class larger than the 500. Their back seats are more useable.
#5 of 67 Re: I might be interested in a diesel [hpmctorque]
Nov 10, 2009 (1:01 pm)
Yes, but I think most Americans tend to lump everything subcompact and smaller into one big group when they think of them. The Smart car is said to be in a class of one, for instance, but it really competes with other "premium" small cars like the Mini.
The 500, given its shape, may find its strongest competition in the VW Beetle, although that model hasn't been selling well lately.
The problem is "Fix It Again Tony" has such a memorable ring to it, people may stay away from the 500 because of fears of unreliability, unfair given that the rep of unreliable was earned by Fiats from 30 years ago.
#6 of 67 Re: I might be interested in a diesel [nippononly]
Nov 10, 2009 (6:31 pm)
Yeah, I agree with all the points you made.
I was trying to think of the Ford model that is the most direct competitor to the Fiat 500, when earlier today I read that Ford has decided not to sell the Ka and the Ranger in the U.S. Ding, ding, that's it, the Ka. In fact, the 500 and the Ka share the same platform, but they look very different.
Actually, the 500 may compete with the Beetle, but it won't be the current generation Beetle. I read that the next generation Beetle will be downsized, and possibly be offered with a 2 and/ or 3 cylinder engine, in addition to a 4. I don't recall where I read that. Therefore, I have no idea of how reliable the source was, but I read about the down-sizing in more than one place.
I think the Fiat 500 is offered in a 2 cylinder version in some markets.
#7 of 67 Re: I might be interested in a diesel [hpmctorque]
Nov 30, 2009 (3:25 pm)
The Fiat 500 will more likely compete with the BMW Mini. The plant that builds the Mini in the U.K. is running at full production which suggests that there is a potential market available for an upscale subcompact. I think in the U.S.-Canadian market Fiat/Chrysler wants to move upscale anyway. Outside of the U.S.-Canadian market I can see this car being sold much further downscale. Since the car is going to be built in Mexico, this car will likely be sold in both North and South America.
#8 of 67 2 Cylinder News
Feb 25, 2010 (7:35 am)
Fiat will introduce a new 2 cylinder "MultiAir" engine for its smallest cars that'll produce up to 120 hp. It'll be displayed at the Geneva Auto Show. I wonder whether a version of this new engine will be available for the 500 model that's coming here.
#9 of 67 2012 Fiat 500 Review
by Claire@Edmunds HOST
Apr 11, 2011 (10:16 pm)
"The all-new 2012 Fiat 500 ushers in the return of the Fiat brand to North America." Edmunds says it promises character and personalization in a decent price category, but offers this caveat: "Italian cars are not known for their reliability, and neither are Chryslers."
#10 of 67 Re: 2012 Fiat 500 Review [claires]
Jun 15, 2011 (6:21 am)
I thought my wife would be interested in a Fiat 500. She saw the tv commercial the other day and wanted to know if she would have to go to clown college before being allowed to drive one..............