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2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

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2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Fiat500USA
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Anyone see the Motorweek show with the road test on the Fiat 500? It was pretty good, except for the "Hey Tony, Fiat is back" cartoon. That was ridiculous.

What did you think?

Here is a link to their website where you can search for the archives:Motorweek

Currently, the video isn't up. Hopefully soon.
Prima Edizione  29
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Thad
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Terry
Yep. Thought it was a hatchet job especially with the "trifecta of disaster" comment referencing FIAT, Chrysler and Mexican assembly---Some people clearly don't want FIAT to succeed and they seem to have lost the plot. It's too bad that some uninformed people will see this program and write this great car off. Very irresponsible journalism.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

RacerRon
In reply to this post by Fiat500USA
Motorweek, "noisy engine"? Really?
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

ciddyguy
RacerRon wrote
Motorweek, "noisy engine"? Really?
Seems some people associate any noise as too much noise when it comes to the car, not me, I don't mind a mild growl when at freeway speeds, besides, if it gets too much, there IS  music I can turn up. :-)
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

RacerRon
While I don't own a 500 yet, I have taken two test drives in the Sport model over various roads. The Sport model has that "growl" when you get on the gas, but the engine is generally very quiet.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

ciddyguy
RacerRon wrote
While I don't own a 500 yet, I have taken two test drives in the Sport model over various roads. The Sport model has that "growl" when you get on the gas, but the engine is generally very quiet.
Yup. I got that as well with the Sport and at normal freeway speeds with the tach at 3000K or so, the noise level is barely there, but rev it up though, it WILL intrude a bit more but never raucous in any shape or form.

I think the 500 is quieter than my Mom's 04 Stratus, which tends to produce quite a bit of tire noise on some road surfaces at highway speed and part of that are the BF Goodrich tires she has on the car now and it wasn't so bad on her previous set.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Fiat500USA
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In reply to this post by Thad
Thad wrote
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
Agreed. Just substitute that "Tony" stuff with "Found On Road Dead" Ford stuff. I don't think they would put that in a Ford road test. I was surprised about that. It seriously degrades their professionalism.
Prima Edizione  29
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

kzod
In reply to this post by Thad
Thad wrote
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
Personally I think you guys are too sensitive about these things.   The mini is the closest competitor these cars have.  If you are looking for a city run about that's fun to drive, gets good fuel economy in an upscale package the Mini and the Fiat are the only two cars to consider.  But, let's face the facts that with this engine the Fiat is neither fast, nor does it wow you with unbelievable fuel economy.  As far as driving dynamics are concerned the mini is clearly superior.  Ergonomics, style, flair and value go to the Fiat.  But looking for a review in a car magazine ensures that their main criteria is on fast driving, the Mini should always win.  I have no problem with that.  I've driven the Mini, and I've always liked the Mini, it's a better driving car.  But, it's not that much better.  Definitely not worth the price premium which climbs significantly with the options.  

Similarly asking for a comparo with the Mazda 2, Honda Fit et al. is asking for an even ruder slap in the face.  The Fiat is slower than most of those, much smaller inside, and doesn't do any better at the gas pumps.  It will lose any comparison test that way badly since the upscale attributes aren't a priority for those looking at these other economy cars.  

So why buy the Fiat?  Compared to the others, I prefer the italian style, and upscale of the interior of the 500 much more, and the fact that in Canada a comparable Mini was $10k more made it a non-brainer for me.  Doesn't make it a better car, it just suits my needs and wants better.  And since I'm used to driving luxury cars the low frills approach of the other makes weren't going to cut it.  
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Fiat500USA
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 I have an issue with Fix It Again...  A comment like that belongs in a bar, not on TV.  For me, when I hear comments like that (including the FORD one), it makes me doubt the persons automotive  knowledge and experience.

I won't get into the ethnic overtones...  

 
Prima Edizione  29
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

ciddyguy
In reply to this post by kzod
kzod wrote
Thad wrote
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
Personally I think you guys are too sensitive about these things.   The mini is the closest competitor these cars have.  If you are looking for a city run about that's fun to drive, gets good fuel economy in an upscale package the Mini and the Fiat are the only two cars to consider.  But, let's face the facts that with this engine the Fiat is neither fast, nor does it wow you with unbelievable fuel economy.  As far as driving dynamics are concerned the mini is clearly superior.  Ergonomics, style, flair and value go to the Fiat.  But looking for a review in a car magazine ensures that their main criteria is on fast driving, the Mini should always win.  I have no problem with that.  I've driven the Mini, and I've always liked the Mini, it's a better driving car.  But, it's not that much better.  Definitely not worth the price premium which climbs significantly with the options.  

Similarly asking for a comparo with the Mazda 2, Honda Fit et al. is asking for an even ruder slap in the face.  The Fiat is slower than most of those, much smaller inside, and doesn't do any better at the gas pumps.  It will lose any comparison test that way badly since the upscale attributes aren't a priority for those looking at these other economy cars.  

So why buy the Fiat?  Compared to the others, I prefer the italian style, and upscale of the interior of the 500 much more, and the fact that in Canada a comparable Mini was $10k more made it a non-brainer for me.  Doesn't make it a better car, it just suits my needs and wants better.  And since I'm used to driving luxury cars the low frills approach of the other makes weren't going to cut it.
You make some valid points however, technically speaking, the Mazda 2 and the Fiesta aren't that much larger than the Fiat (due to being a bit longer than the Fiat), the Mazda has a 100 hp 1.5L 4 that seems to have NOT as much going for it than Fiat's 1.4L 4, the Fiesta has 120HP with a 1.6L 4 and it doesn't feel significantly faster than the Fiat with 101HP, and I drove the Fiesta (with automatic) and yes, it's quite sporty and downshifts almost instantly when called upon, but it has a cramped back seat, as does the Mazda and it appears for the Fiesta's size, it should have more cargo space with the seats up, but it doesn't.

That said, there IS something about the Fiat that transcends even all that for it FEELS bigger, FEELS faster than most cars in its segment, even if it isn't and when you look at the numbers, the MINI, the fiesta, the Mazda 2, the Fit and the Fiat, they all fall within the upper 8's (MINI) to very low 10's (Mazda) the rest, between something like 9.2 to 9.7 Sec, 0-60, about on part with its competition and does it on LESS horse power.

In a recent review, I read someone managed 9.4 Sec for the Fiat when someone else got 9.7 Sec and having driven the Fiat, I the car very capable, rides quite good for such a short wheelbase and feels much more sporty than most in this class of car, MINI excepted since it's the sportiest one of the bunch, but as you say, not by much over the Fiat.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

kzod
In reply to this post by Fiat500USA
Fiat500USA wrote
I have an issue with Fix It Again...  A comment like that belongs in a bar, not on TV.  For me, when I hear comments like that (including the FORD one), it makes me doubt the persons automotive  knowledge and experience.

I won't get into the ethnic overtones...
I hear you, it's a clear put down to the car.  And no one who likes these cars, or gasp puts their money into buying one wants to hear it compared to junk.  But, it's unfortunately the Brands largest remaining legacy from it's last attempt in North America, and unfortunately it was relatively accurate.   Most car reviews allude to previous models and history of different marques, look at any Hyundai review.  They often allude to their patheticness in the past, only after years of building better and better cars have they put it behind them.  

Look at it this way, whatever the next Fiat model is (after the Abarth at least) the reviews will all be using the current model 500 as a frame of reference.  Actually, even the Abarth reviews will probably start with how people loved the style of the 500, but that it's performance left something to be desired.  

I look at buying the 500 the same way people used to feel buying a Jaguar.  You know reliability could be an issue, but you WANT it (badly) anyways.  Hopefully, our faith is repaid and they do a good job on the cars.  I know there's been a few problems with the cars on this board, but so far nothing major.  

As far as my comparisons to those other cars, obviously my stats are off, but that's just because I was never interested in owning an econo-box.  Of the lower pedigree cars, I only drove the Honda Fit, which I really like.  But since you can't get any of the nice tech options in Canada (No bluetooth or Nav), and that it's so loud in the car I decided it wasn't for me.   I drive a '96 Audi A4 that I bought new, and the beauty of the Fiat despite it's low price, is that it doesn't feel like I'm moving down.  
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

5*(10)^2
In reply to this post by Fiat500USA
Chris, the Fix or Tony comment is here to stay. That's the way it is. The seed has been planted in the late 70s/early 80s. Once you plant a seed like that in pple, they won't forget about it.

To prove those folks wrong, Fiat returned to the US with this new 500 and they have to work thrice as hard to get the product out right. But at every small wrong step, these naysayers will not hesitate to jump in with that comment. IMO, I think Fiat USA is working very hard. But the dealers have to be on par as well.

Personally if one likes the 500, why bother what others have to say? Every month I fill up gas in my smart, I have one moron at the gas station informing me that I would die in the "coffin car". Still I am here.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Giallo Edizione
In reply to this post by Fiat500USA
Fiat500USA wrote
I have an issue with Fix It Again...  A comment like that belongs in a bar, not on TV.  For me, when I hear comments like that (including the FORD one), it makes me doubt the persons automotive  knowledge and experience.

I won't get into the ethnic overtones...
It just coming from morons who want to show off they are "cool" and "in the know" wiht all the lingo. All one can do is laugh sardonically and say yeah, thats a pretty clever phrase dude, like found on the road dead (which most of them never heard before). Then watch them get into their 6 year old Camrys (Toyota reliable!) while you drive off in your brandy new high style Italian car.
Giallo Sport "Enzo" (formerly PE 311. We don't need no steenkeeng badges)
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

sjmst
My only problem with my 500 is the constant positive attention. Smiles, waves and questions. Every day...
Gets tiring.
Sam

Prima #499... Rossa.
Original Owner, 81 Fiat Spider.

Past Italians:

1991 Alfa 164b
1991 Alfa 164L
1994 Alfa 164LS
1995 Alfa 164LS
1991 Alfa Spider
1982 Ferrari Mondial
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Fiat500USA
Administrator
In reply to this post by kzod
kzod wrote
I hear you, it's a clear put down to the car.  And no one who likes these cars, or gasp puts their money into buying one wants to hear it compared to junk.  But, it's unfortunately the Brands largest remaining legacy from it's last attempt in North America, and unfortunately it was relatively accurate.   Most car reviews allude to previous models and history of different marques, look at any Hyundai review.  They often allude to their patheticness in the past, only after years of building better and better cars have they put it behind them.
I agree with you.  The losers that I see in the streets, who cares what they say. But when Fix It Again ... is in a review, I have a problem because it sums up cars that back in their day were award winning designs and highly rated by contemporary road testers (even Consumer Reports rated Fiat as a best pick back in the early 70's).  Talk about reliability, OK. But not with an ignorant catch phrase.

There is a big difference between old Fiats and old Hyundai's and when a professional reviewer uses Fix It Again... it lumps them together and does a disservice to their readers.

Sorry... I'm just really hard core when it comes to this.! LOL
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

ciddyguy
Fiat500USA wrote
kzod wrote
I hear you, it's a clear put down to the car.  And no one who likes these cars, or gasp puts their money into buying one wants to hear it compared to junk.  But, it's unfortunately the Brands largest remaining legacy from it's last attempt in North America, and unfortunately it was relatively accurate.   Most car reviews allude to previous models and history of different marques, look at any Hyundai review.  They often allude to their patheticness in the past, only after years of building better and better cars have they put it behind them.
I agree with you.  The losers that I see in the streets, who cares what they say. But when Fix It Again ... is in a review, I have a problem because it sums up cars that back in their day were award winning designs and highly rated by contemporary road testers (even Consumer Reports rated Fiat as a best pick back in the early 70's).  Talk about reliability, OK. But not with an ignorant catch phrase.

There is a big difference between old Fiats and old Hyundai's and when a professional reviewer uses Fix It Again... it lumps them together and does a disservice to their readers.

Sorry... I'm just really hard core when it comes to this.! LOL
Chris, I happen to agree with you on this in so far as professional reviews go.

Now, if they'd referred to it as a Fix it again Tony in the context of what Fiat WAS in the past in so far as reliability goes and then followed it up with, well, it's no more, the new Fiat has proven otherwise...

Then I'm OK with it, but when it isn't and is used in this manner, then I'm totally on your side.

It's like you say, Fix it again, Found on road dead or fouled overridden Datsun were very apt descriptions for both Ford and Fiat back in the 70's on many levels, most notably their reliability, or the very much lack there of but to continue on with them when they no longer fit shoes ignorance indeed.
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Giallo Edizione
So my wife and daughter dropped in to see my best friend and his wife on the trip back from college and she sends me a text today saying "He wants to know if you've gone to see Tony yet".  Sheesh.

Well since both of us owned Fiats at one point (he had two), I guess its forgiveable.
Giallo Sport "Enzo" (formerly PE 311. We don't need no steenkeeng badges)
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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

panther76
In reply to this post by kzod
kzod wrote
Thad wrote
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
 

Similarly asking for a comparo with the Mazda 2, Honda Fit et al. is asking for an even ruder slap in the face.  The Fiat is slower than most of those, much smaller inside, and doesn't do any better at the gas pumps.  
in fact, the fiat 500 is rated higher in epa mileage than all those cars. judging by owners reports, even owners who arent trying too hard for effieciency are getting lower 40's on the highway with the stick.

the fiat 500 is rated at 30/38 in its most efficient form.
the honda fit is rated 28/35 in its most efficient form (and the manual is only at 33 highway)
the mazda 2 is rated 29/35 in its most efficient form (manual)
a toyota yaris is rated 29/36 in its most efficient form (manual)

i think most people would be happy if they were told the fiat 500 would equal the toyota echo mileage figures of the early 2000's, right? the echo is still considered one of the best non hybrid fuel misers in the past 20 years. it was lighter than the 500 is and used a notoriously fuel efficient 1.5l engine.
 
well, that echo was rated at 35/43........BUUUUT, under the current epa testing standards, guess what that same echo is rated?...you guessed it---30/38.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorCompareSideBySidePopUp.jsp?column=1&id=18607

so, im perfectly happy with 30/38. the rating of the old echo with an infinitely more fun package. since the current rating methodology is more stringent, beating those numbers should be relatively a regular occurence.

when i test drove the 500 this week, one thing that stunned me was the quietness of the cabin at 70 mph. hatchbacks by nature usually allow a fair amount of road noise into the cabin. upon some research, i found most tests put the 500 cabin noise at 68.2 decibels at 70 mph cruise...this is quieter than most cars in the compact segment....very nice.

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Re: 2012 Fiat 500 on Motorweek

Fiat500USA
Administrator
panther76 wrote
kzod wrote
Thad wrote
Yea, saw it last weekend. I'm really sick of the Tony stuff. I'm also getting tired of Mini comparisons. I'd like to see a comparison of small cars under $17k. This is where the drivability, style, and loaded up features of he 500 will shine!
 

Similarly asking for a comparo with the Mazda 2, Honda Fit et al. is asking for an even ruder slap in the face.  The Fiat is slower than most of those, much smaller inside, and doesn't do any better at the gas pumps.  
in fact, the fiat 500 is rated higher in epa mileage than all those cars. judging by owners reports, even owners who arent trying too hard for effieciency are getting lower 40's on the highway with the stick.

the fiat 500 is rated at 30/38 in its most efficient form.
the honda fit is rated 28/35 in its most efficient form (and the manual is only at 33 highway)
the mazda 2 is rated 29/35 in its most efficient form (manual)
a toyota yaris is rated 29/36 in its most efficient form (manual)

i think most people would be happy if they were told the fiat 500 would equal the toyota echo mileage figures of the early 2000's, right? the echo is still considered one of the best non hybrid fuel misers in the past 20 years. it was lighter than the 500 is and used a notoriously fuel efficient 1.5l engine.
 
well, that echo was rated at 35/43........BUUUUT, under the current epa testing standards, guess what that same echo is rated?...you guessed it---30/38.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorCompareSideBySidePopUp.jsp?column=1&id=18607

so, im perfectly happy with 30/38. the rating of the old echo with an infinitely more fun package. since the current rating methodology is more stringent, beating those numbers should be relatively a regular occurence.

when i test drove the 500 this week, one thing that stunned me was the quietness of the cabin at 70 mph. hatchbacks by nature usually allow a fair amount of road noise into the cabin. upon some research, i found most tests put the 500 cabin noise at 68.2 decibels at 70 mph cruise...this is quieter than most cars in the compact segment....very nice.

Hi panther76, welcome to the forum!

Those are great points you make.  If you want to drive for economy, you can and over 40mpg is achievable.
Prima Edizione  29
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