CarScrubs Test Drive: 2012 Fiat 500

Tire Rack

As we discussed in a previous post, the new Fiat 500 is coming to America. Wait…let’s update that statement…

The new Fiat 500 has arrived in America! Finally.

Ok, we admit there’s something about Italian cars that brings a smile to our face, and we were anxious to take this little critter out for a test drive. To our good fortune, we discovered that a brand new Fiat dealership had recently opened in our neighborhood, so we dropped by to say Hello to our new Italian immigrants…after all, that’s the American way, right? 🙂

Upon arriving at the dealership, we felt like a kid in a candy store…there were all these little Fiats all over the lot! In all different colors and variations. Of course, we just HAD to drive one!

And no sooner did we arrive and we were greeted warmly by a friendly sales advisor. And before we even went inside the dealership, we were given the OK to take one of the Fiats out for a test drive. Now that’s what we call great customer service. In less than 5 minutes, we were in the car and off and running!

The Fiat 500 currently comes in 3 main versions: The basic “Pop” version, the sportier “Sport” version, and the premium “Lounge” version. All versions come with a 1.4 Liter, 16 valve/4 cylinder MultiAir engine, making 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. This car is light, too, weighing in at around 2,400 lbs. Gas mileage is estimated to be around 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.

The car we drove was the “Sport” version (base MSRP $17,500, sport-tuned suspension, 5-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, more aggressive front and rear fascias and aerodynamic flares, red brake calipers) wearing the classy Grigio (gray) exterior paint color. It had a black interior with a proper 5-speed manual transmission.

2012 Fiat 500 (Sport version)

So after test driving it, we were pretty impressed! It’s surprisingly pretty quick for a little car and it’s fun to drive. It actually has a pretty spacious interior that is surprisingly roomy. It also sports a nice steering wheel and the 5-speed manual is very easy to operate.

The Sport version we drove does need more fine-tuning, though…body roll was evident even at low speed. And we recommend you avoid the non-Sport mode as much as possible, because the car feels very sluggish in that mode. Hitting the “Sport” button makes the car more lively and we recommend you keep it in this mode.

The car is not as nimble/quick as a MINI Cooper S…nor does it handle as well. But the little 500 wins hands down in the looks department. It is a fashionably good-looking car and just has that cool, Italian style about it.

Furthermore, when the more racy/faster Abarth 500 version (about 140 hp or so) arrives in the U.S. (probably sometime in 2012), the MINI Cooper S will have some more competition…this is the version we are really anticipating!

In summary, the new 2012 Fiat 500 is the car to get if you want a cool, fun car with that unquestionable Italian flair! It’s time to start saving up and filling up those piggy banks! 😀

Editor’s Note: The Fiat 500 is the perfect commuting car for a busy doctor. This car will get you back and forth to the office/hospital without having to worry about parking that oversized BMW 7-series, Mercedes S-Class, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, etc. 😉 Ok, ok, we know that most doctors probably drive Hondas, but hey, the 500 has that Accord of yours beat, too…we bet you can’t drive your Accord INTO the office and park it right next to your reception desk now, can you? 😛

Tire Rack

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to our feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


You know what, I’m very much icnelind to agree.

Keep these articles cimnog as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

Leave a comment