2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test

2012 Fiat 500: Nice, Little Car About Town

May 09, 2011

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Sitting at the car wash this morning, I heard these two guys going on and on about how shiny their boots were. One guy was at the moment getting his boot shined. I started to tune them out when I then heard one of them say, "Look! It's the new Fiat!" I looked up in time to see our shiny, red 2012 Fiat 500 Sport emerging from the car wash. The guy then giggled as it was driven around the corner to get hand-dried. "Niiice!"

And I have to say, it does look niiice. Driving it around LA this weekend, I kept catching people smiling at it -- while sitting at a stop light, while passing them on the freeway, while parked at the side of the street. The same sort of reactions our old Smart Fortwo garnered. But thankfully, unlike that microcar, this one is actually a blast to drive. Having stick and a sport mode helped immensely. It's so go-karty and you get the get-up-and-go when you need it.

I loved the Fiat for getting around the city. Parking was no problem, negotiating traffic was a cinch (easy clutch), it wasn't as scary to drive on the freeway as the Smart was and, as I said, it's a blast to drive. It's perfect for the likes of me: a single girl with a dog (she'd fit nicely in the backseat).

Only issues would be that the gearshifter, especially with the chrome, feels chintzy and I didn't like how 3rd gear could easily be mistaken for 1st. I wasn't the only editor who made this mistake. Otherwise, fun, little city car.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 2,353 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 FIAT 500 in VA is:

$135 per month*
* Explanation