2012 Fiat 500 Sport: I Don't Like This Car
November 16, 2011
I've driven our longterm 2012 Fiat 500 numerous times now, so now it can come out -- I don't like it. I gave it the ol' college try several times and I've reached this conclusion every time. And I've found I don't like it even before it moves an inch under its own power.
I don't fit; it's as though the seat doesn't ratchet down far enough so I bonk my head on the roof near the door. I'm not that tall (6' 1"), either.
Go ahead, try to stick the key into the ignition. What are you waiting for? Right, the dash crowds the ignition slot, so it's always a bumfight between hand, key and dash.
Succeed at starting it and you're rewarded with the shrillest, most piercing seatbelt alert in the history of personal transportation.
Scramble for the seatbelt. Find it's snagged on the lower part of the seat plastic. Always. Every time. Open the door to un-snag the belt.
All this, and the actual driving experience is pretty ho-hum. Power is fine, really, especially once you really explore the throttle's reach (don't forget to hit the Sport button... every time). It's that the controls -- steering, clutch, shifter -- are all too light and feel artificial.
Fans of small, light cars deserve better than the Fiat 500.
--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor