About a month and a half ago, I traded my '09 Ford Ranger for an Azzuro '12 Fiat 500 Sport with just under 14k on the clock. I loved my truck, but I had the itch for something new. Here's how I like it so far, along with a few little niggles that annoy me.

I LOVE the way this car looks. The color is exactly what I wanted, and the wheels are what first caught my eye. You can be sure you've bought the right car if you park it and as you're walking away you keep looking back at it. I do that a lot now.

One thing that hadn't occurred to me when I bought it was how quickly I'd be able to wash it. I took it to a do-it-yourself wash and it took about 5 minutes. Its size is definitely a plus there.

So far, I've gotten an average of 34-35 mpg. The best tank so far is 37. It would be higher, but unfortunately my commute is right in the heart of both rush hours. Sometimes I have to avoid the highways completely. I can tell that if I went on a road trip I'd be getting 40+, though.

Advertisement

It's a lot more comfortable than I thought it would be. I love the seats in it. I do wish I could lower the seat just a touch, though. My head can touch the side of the sunroof opening. This 500 does not have a height adjuster.

I really like the Blue & Me bluetooth integration. That is way more handy than I expected. Ecodrive is a weird feature, but interesting. I don't know that I'm going to be using it too much, but it's still a neat idea. Basically it stores your driving data and you can download it onto a flash drive, then upload it using the Fiat Ecodrive app. It shows you statistics on how you drive and how you can save gas, and so on.

Advertisement

It drives about how I expected, and I am not disappointed. First and second gears are lots of fun, and the engine note is great. Third gear and above it could use just a few more ponies. I think if I were buying a brand new 500 I would probably spring for the Turbo, even though I wouldn't be able to get it in this color. I'm looking forward to spring and summer, because I'll be flinging this little thing up and down some mountain roads as soon as possible.

Inside the cabin the fit and finish are mostly good, but the build quality is a bit suspect. The door handles inside feel loose. The driver's side window rattles constantly when it is rolled down. One of the anchors for the driver's side floor mat broke. The plastic cover under the steering wheel is loose and clunks when I hit it with my knee. The driver's seat back release that you would use to let someone climb into the back seat is not working. I can still adjust the seat back angle, but the release is broken somewhere because it will only release one side of the joint. I can get all of these things fixed under warranty when I take it in for service in about a month, but they all are kinda disappointing.

Advertisement

My partner Jason likes it much better than the Ranger, but the first couple times he got in it he hit his head on the door sill. That negative reinforcement doesn't help. The first time he drove it, though, was not what I expected. He drove the Ranger a couple times and wasn't exactly smooth with the transmission, but he got into my Fiat and drove it like he was trying to set a track record or something. He didn't redline it or anything crazy, but he drove it like he was a seasoned automobile enthusiast (he is decidedly NOT an enthusiast). I didn't expect that at all. Made me proud!

I am not digging the sport tires in the snow. Snow tires would definitely be useful. I'm able to get around ok, they just struggle to get any traction.

Advertisement

All in all, I'm loving this car. It's easily the most loaded car I've ever owned, at least where all the features work ('91 Sable, I'm looking in your direction). I'm not used to having things like cruise control or automatic climate control or power anything, but I'm enjoying the hell out of them.