2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test

2012 Fiat 500 Sport: Mid-Lifers Prefer Funky Over Flashy?

August 29, 2011

When I was in a PetCo parking lot loading up our 2012 Fiat 500's trunk with dog diapers and dog food, a 50-something gentleman approached me asking if that was the new 500.

He then proceeded to tell me his story. That he loves the fun look of the 500 but his wife won't let him get one because it's too small. He currently drives a GMC Yukon XL but since his kids went off to college he doesn't need a car that big anymore. "How's the gas mileage?" "How does it compare to the Mini?" "Is it fun to drive?" "Is there enough room in the backseat for passengers?" Needless to say, I tried to answer all his questions. "It's cheaper than the Mini and doesn't drive as well but still pretty fun. Decent gas mileage. My parents can fit in the backseat but not too much space for tall people."

But this encounter reminded of something editor Mark Takahashi and I talked about when discussing his Fiat's CDI post (that old men seem to be the ones attracted to the 500 the most) as well as what commenter firstwagon pointed out in James Riswick's recent Juke post: that nowadays older people are going for the funkier cars. Am I jumping the gun in thinking that means we can say good-bye to sports cars as the default choice for those suffering from "mid-life crisis"? Are they now choosing funky over sporty and/or flashy looks in an attempt to recapture their youth?

When faced with the above choices, which car would make you feel young again?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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

$135 per month*
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