2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test


2012 Fiat 500 Sport: ...Can't Figure Out the USB Interface

September 23, 2011

Fiat 500 dash unavailable.jpg

"Rex," I said to our Vice Chairman of making-sure-people-have-something-to-drive-home, "I won't be around when the board comes around. Sign me out for something. Prioritize iPod! Thanks!" A few hours later the text came in "Fiat 500 is all yours."

::facepalm::

See, I've now spent a few thousand miles behind the wheels of various new Fiat 500s and I have absolutely, positively NO idea how to work the USB functions. And I'm a guy who doesn't go a day without plugging some USB-powered-music-holding-device into something else.

I mean, I get the basics, I plug the device in (the port is in the glove box) and can get the songs to play in random order. I can adjust the volume and get it to switch from one track to some other random track. But that is absolutely all I can do.

"RTFM" you say? Fine.

fiat 500 owner's manual.jpg

"The iPod can be controlled using the radio buttons to Play, Browse, and List the iPod or external devices contents. Refer to the Blue&Me Manual on the DVD for details."

What?! Watch the DVD for more? Is this a joke? The process is so complicated that they can't write it in the manual but have to put it on a DVD? Or is the cost-savings of producing a DVD that much higher than including a full manual with the car?

Either way, the manual says that the first original owner of the vehicle can call and get a real manual, I'll be calling on Monday.

But for now, I don't have the time or the patience to watch a DVD about something that should be simple or simply written in a proper manual. I'll try and watch it over the weekend and report back. Until then, though, all music will be completely random.

Oh, and before you anti-Apple folk start rabblerousing, I carry a USB stick with music to test ease of use with -- it's just as impossible.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com @ 8,200 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$134 per month*
* Explanation
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