2011 Fiat 500 Pop 1.4 from North America
Great fun to drive, comfortable, and economical
Nothing - but I've only had it a week.
I don't actually own one. I rented one for a week, and since the car is so new in the US, I wanted to share my reactions to the car.
The 3 trim levels start with the basic 'Pop'; middle level is the Sport, with Lounge at the top, with leather interior, upgraded sound, etc. I'm not sure which I had, but it had the alloy wheels and the Bose sound system, but without leather seats.
The interior is quite comfortable for a small car. Even though it's small, I'm 5'11" and was able to sit comfortably in the back seat, even with the front seat adjusted near the back setting. The car is quiet even at 70 on the freeway, thanks to a 6-speed transmission. The transmission I tested was the automatic, with the driver's option to decide when to shift. While I've always driven stick shifts, the automatic with speed control seemed to work well with this car. It allows you to downshift easily, so you can slow the car that way rather than use the brakes.
The model I tested came with an optional Bose sound system. It sounded very good in the small interior, but I couldn't tell a lot of difference between this and the basic sound system I listened to in the showroom.
The front seats are comfortable, and there was plenty of room. When you sit in it, you feel everything at your fingertips. The car is very nicely designed this way.
The car seems very solidly built, such as when you close the door, there is no hollow sound, but instead the solid sound that speaks of a well-built car.
The Fiat 500 has outstanding cornering ability. There is a 'sport' button that you can push that tightens up the suspension. You can really tell a difference when you activate the sport mode. I made a few sharp U-turns (in safe areas) and the car can really maneuver - and it's a lot of fun to drive.
In my opinion, the power (about 100hp) is sufficient, but a bit more torque would be welcome. To get it to go, you have to wind it up quite a bit - I believe the redline on the tach was around 6500 rpm. Even so, it is relatively quiet for all that - I recall in the literature that Fiat used an advanced damping system to reduce engine vibration and noise, and in my opinion they succeeded.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 22nd June, 2011
27th Jun 2011, 13:46
Just curious, but where did you rent one in the US? I'm considering buying one, but wouldn't mind renting one for a few days to see how it fares with my commute.
14th Jul 2011, 22:43
Budget has them now.
29th Jan 2013, 20:24
Just a note: You mentioned renting one to see if you want to buy one. I'm not sure if all dealers do this, but the one I went to will allow you to take it home overnight and bring it back the next day to see if you really like it. I kept mine overnight prior to purchase, drove about 100 miles on it, showed it to my family, etc., then took it back the following day and told them that they couldn't have it back... I liked it that much!
8th Sep 2013, 17:25
The same thing happened to me. I took my Pop home for an "extended" test drive. The next day, there was NO WAY they were getting it back. If you're considering buying one, do the extended overnight test drive. I have NO doubts that you will want it. I have NO complaints with my 2012 Pop!!