August 17, 2012
Say arrivederci to our 2012 Fiat 500 long-termer. It was tiny, red, fuel efficient and cute as a button.
I know some of you didn't like it but we thought it made a good little city car. It had a few minor issues during our time, such as a broken seat adjuster handle and flat tire.
It's rosso exterior made for good photos.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
May 7, 2012
After mulling it over for 11 days, we decided to sell our long term Fiat 500 to Carmax. Our prior appraisal had expired, so the car would need to be re-evaluated. Would Carmax offer us the same amount -- or less?
The second appraisal went much faster, since the car was already in the system. Carmax re-appraised the Fiat for $14,000, the same amount as last time. It wasn't too surprising: We had only driven the car 227 miles since we last brought it in. We took the offer and I was out of there in about an hour.
I'm going to miss our Fiat 500. It was a car that was fun to drive, fuel-efficient and garnered plenty of smiles and thumbs up from curious onlookers.
Final Odometer: 15,527 miles.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor
May 2, 2012
Usually, I try to avoid weighing in on matters of style, because I'm not on the cutting edge in any other part of my life, so why would I have any special insight on how cars look? Exactly. But I'm going to venture out here and say that I like our 2012 Fiat 500 Sport's hind quarters.
April 30, 2012
Generally, we like the Chevy Sonic around these parts: It's got a good motor with great mid-range and it in no way rides like a small car.
Of course, we've got our gripes, too. I think the interior is taaaacky and we're almost universally convinced that the electronically controlled throttle is a huge downer. It tries to do the thinking for you and, at low RPM, refuses to act when you instigate throttle tip-in. Want to quickly get the engine from idle to 1,200? It takes a KICK, not a tap. It's very much like driving our Fiat 500 without the sport button pressed. (Which is a lot like driving a slower Mini Cooper S without the Sport button pressed.)
April 30, 2012
If you want to get the most for a used car, it is always best to sell it without any outstanding issues. I noticed recently that the air conditioning on our 2012 Fiat 500 stopped blowing cold air, so I took it in for repairs. The Fiat was about 600 miles away from the 16K service, but since we are selling the car, I figured I'd have that taken care of too. Lastly, the car was missing a windshield washer reservoir cap so I asked if they had one in stock.
April 26, 2012
Our 2012 Fiat 500 is nearing the end of its term in our fleet. When selling time arrives, we usually look at Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) and compare that to what we we're offered for a car at Carmax. However, since this car is still relatively new to the U.S. market, there is currently no used pricing data available. Our TMV analysts are working hard to crunch the numbers, but won't have their results ready until the end of next month. We've got the new-car itch, though, and we need to start clearing out some old toys before we can get new ones.
As with the Volt, we went into Carmax with no clue as to what the folks there would offer us for the car. I hazarded a guess of $17,500 based on what similar 500s were being listed for on AutoTrader. Turns out, I was way off the mark.
April 24, 2012
So our little 500 motored past 15,000 miles this weekend. As it happened during a long highway drive, I was in the middle of the New York Times crossword puzzle when it occurred and I was too distracted to notice.
No, not really.
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 15,247 miles
April 24, 2012
I can't remember the last time I had a thought about windshield washer fluid that lasted longer than the 2 minutes involved in buying a jug of it.
But our 2012 Fiat 500 Sport makes it interesting again. It turns out the filler mouth for its reservoir is about 6 inches below hood level. The upshot is that unless you've got a steady hand (I don't) and the presence of mind to brace the fluid jug against the headlight (I didn't), you're gonna need a funnel to avoid slopping it all over the engine bay.
April 23, 2012
You may have heard (and perhaps you may even want to forget) that there's a Gucci edition of the Fiat 500. When I saw one drive by the other day, it reminded me of two other cars that were touched by the famous Italian clothing/luggage company's hand...
April 20, 2012
One thing that I've noticed about our 2012 Fiat 500 Sport since it was new is that you can't be in a hurry going into Reverse gear. Getting to the gate requires you to pull up on a ring and then slide the shifter way over to the right and down. Not difficult. But if you are in a hurry, I've found this shifter more susceptible than most to grinding. Not good.
I'm a chronically impatient person, which is bad. Even when I think I'm not hurrying and being deliberate about getting the clutch all the way in and moving the shifter exactly into position for Reverse, well, I'm still hurrying and I still occasionally get the graunch.
Pausing just a little longer with the car stopped usually helps, as does reclutching. But most often what I'll do is give it a little throttle on my way into reverse -- that gets it in there smoothly every time.
Obviously, I'm not pointing out a flaw in the Fiat, but a flaw in myself... frankly, I've only talked to one other driver who has ever had this problem in the 500. In other news, I'm seeking the nomination for the 2012 Least Favorite Edmunds.com Editor award.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,917 miles