2012 Fiat 500 from North America


Compact and frisky!!


Too new to evaluate.

General Comments:

This review is geared toward user experience, rather than evaluative mechanical and diagnostic matters; to help ascertain user comfort and enjoyment.

I test drove a basic manual 2012 Fiat 500, as well as an automatic Fiat Sport, to compare driving position, comfort and relative driving performance.

The manual was smooth shifting and easy through the gears. The automatic excelled in the 25 mph speed range, which is so common in city driving situations. Some cars with smaller engines stumble and seek between 3rd and 4th gears around 25-30 mph, which can be totally annoying. The Fiat 500 automatic maintained its gear choice and did not seek.

Relative to the driving position, it was gratifying that the seat could be pumped up high for excellent visibility, though not to the extent that one could see the four corners of the car; still had to guess the edges, which of course will mean scuffed bumpers in close quarters?

The seats are compact in both models, though considerably more comfortable in the Sport.

Speedometer & tachometer are crammed in close circles on one gauge, together with gas and temp, and all sorts of other digital information. It takes some concentration to see specifics.

Also, to brighten that cluster when the headlights are on, it is necessary to 'program' rather than simply dial up 'bright'. Sophisticated choices that are more difficult than easy; requiring a computer sort of capability?

Headroom is good once inside the cabin, but if you like the driver seat raised high, as I do, watch out for your head getting in and out, as the roof edge dips over the door, and you must duck to clear it.

The dealership did mention a potential item of interest... Fiat offers a lifetime warranty for just under $4000, which can be transferred once only if sold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th November, 2011