2012 Fiat 500: They're Everywhere
September 30, 2011
I'm seeing the Fiat 500 everywhere. OK, so maybe not in the frequency they were in the above segment of Top Gear, but in the last three weeks I've been seeing a whole heap of 500s both here in Los Angeles and in Toronto. Sure, the 500's going to stick out a lot more than the countless brand-new Corollas that no doubt drove by me in the same period of time, but August sales back up the notion that the little Fiat isn't a bust. The 500 had double the sales of the Mini Cooper.
I wonder, however, if the 500 will be able to sustain its success over the long term as Mini has over the course of a decade. Or, will it fall out of favor once its hip factor declines (see Beetle) or when a limited number of potential customers finally get their car (see Thunderbird or Smart).
If I were a betting man, I'd say it'll go the way of the Mini with two qualifiers: It doesn't prove to be woefully unreliable and they come out with different variants to keep things fresh (cough, Abarth).
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 8,640 miles