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View Full Version : Back at the dealer today to look at the 500L some more



ciddyguy
06-29-2013, 05:43 PM
And to verify what, I thought I saw, or could have sworn I saw last weekend was indeed true, and hoped to have seen a Pop (though I don't recall seeing one listed on Rairdon's site, but that doesn't meant one didn't come in and it's just not listed yet) so I can look and compare the two head units together. No Pops, so could not verify as all of the L's are Easy trim, with one lounge, or two lounges, one inside, the other outside.

Anyway, Played with the 6.5" model, and yeah, sadly, no CD slot, so I could have well imagined I saw one last weekend, however, the one I sat in, was an Easy with the manual. While I didn't get to drive it, I did "run" through the gears, and I found it no better/worse than what's in the standard 500, with the only difference being, this has 6 forward speeds, and that reverse, which uses the same lockout ring as in the 500, is now left, and up next to 1st gear, instead of right, down as in the 500.

In any event, did get to listen to it, though this particular vehicle had the premium package, which did NOT include the Beats speakers and even though there is technically, 6 speakers, I found the sound quite blah, dead, with no life to it at all, the highs were muffled/attenuated, heavy on the mids, and quite decent base, though not as defined as in vehicles with larger speakers (6x8/6x9 ovals) or a sub to provide the bass duties, as what's in there now is at best 6.5" round drivers in the doors with a midrange driver as Fiat calls it, not an actual tweeter to carry the highs. This was after I had adjusted the settings in the Audio section to bring out the highs and still it sounded flat and a real, meh. So first order of business is if I did end up with this car and the standard speakers, swap them out for something decent, with clear highs as that's what's in my car presently, and they ARE the stock drivers (with tweeters in the sail panels up front), though I am running them through an aftermarket head unit from JVC I bought last year.

As for the head unit itself, outside of the lack of the CD slot in the 6.5" model, it's quite a decent unit from what I've been able to observe. It has sat-nav, but you have to have it activated to use it, all cars have the parksense/parkview setup, and many get the Beats audio. As far as playing thumb drives, yes, it does that very well, and seems to maintain playlist order, provided that is how you have it setup through tagging. This system does not appear to utilize the playlist file formats a la the older B&M setup does in the 500, if memory serves, and this new system will only recognize WAV and MP3 files, or full CD audio if the CD player is present. That said, I found the whole interface intuitive, and very easy to use.

I have NO idea how the Beats audio setup sounds, but I'm sure it's probably somewhat better, though their headphones are not all they are cracked up to be for what they charge for them, according to reviews, and even I noted how soft they were on the high frequencies when I checked them out at a local Target store a few months back.

Meanwhile, Marcy, the sales person tried to get me to buy, right now, I just could not do so, not with too many unknown variables at this time, better job prospects, dealing with the rent (it now supersedes any paycheck I make) and thus leaves me broke, or nearly so for 2 WEEKS until the mid month paycheck drops, so I am now being subsidized through my sisters on that at the moment, so even if they were to bring my car payment down to $137.36 a month (standard 500 Pop with 5spd), I just could not justify at this time as I already have a good, reliable car as it is, so was not desperate to replace it at this time.

And that was the most frustrating thing about the whole thing as she kept trying, and finally said, she won't push it, but did anyway. Eventually the finance guy, I think it was came by and and even kind of tried, but in the end, I demanded my keys back, and he willingly did so, as I said, 6 months to a year out, things may be totally different and I may well be in a position to do something, as right now, I can't even save much of anything due to what's going out Vs coming in at the moment.

BTW, test drove a manual Pop, and loved it, though I'd prefer the stiffer ride of the sport, but loved it anyway and really and truly, I just miss having a true manual, though my car has a 4spd automatic with the sport shift feature, which I DO use all the time and it's very good, for what it is. BTW, they'd offer me $10K on my car! Interesting as S. Tacoma Honda had to drop the price to make it fit within the criteria set forth by the bank that was willing to finance the Mazda, and keep my payments within what I can get for it, for a 4 year, max loan.

So why rock the boat now when too many variables as it is? I think not, but if the situation had been totally different, I'd be home now with a Fiat. BTW, the standard speakers in the 500 sounded better than the standard speakers in the L, go figure, even though all I could do was listen to the radio as I didn't have my thumbdrive handy at that point as it was with my good camera, which was in my car.

Fiat500USA
06-29-2013, 07:43 PM
Thanks ciddyguy as usual for your insight. I wish a dealer was closer to me so I could check things out when I needed to. Regrettably, it's a three hour round trip. There istalk that a dealer about 40 min away will open.

The CD thing I guess is the sign of the times. Man, I've got to put some music on a stick one of these days!

ciddyguy
06-29-2013, 08:22 PM
Thanks ciddyguy as usual for your insight. I wish a dealer was closer to me so I could check things out when I needed to. Regrettably, it's a three hour round trip. There istalk that a dealer about 40 min away will open.

The CD thing I guess is the sign of the times. Man, I've got to put some music on a stick one of these days!

I realize that the CD feature is going away, at least in cars, but still, there WILL be people who don't have the tech savvy to be able to do this, so to force them to use anything else, let alone an MP3 player is just plain nuts in my view.

Anyway, I have music that I listen to most in the car on a thumb drive, well, most of them as I have others that I've not put on the drive as yet and it's nice to NOT have to shuffle between CD's while driving.

I sure hope that dealer can open for you as being a mere 40 min's from it would be nice for you.

Chico Valdez
06-29-2013, 08:58 PM
I like having a cd player. I still buy cd's, and I can listen to them on the way home. (or wherever.)
I like the mp3 and Ipods too. Carry a lot of music that way. Both beat a suitcase full of cassettes...

Fiat500USA
06-29-2013, 09:01 PM
I have nothing on a drive yet! I just made myself use the cd player a couple of months ago. :dunno:

ciddyguy
06-29-2013, 10:20 PM
I like having a cd player. I still buy cd's, and I can listen to them on the way home. (or wherever.)
I like the mp3 and Ipods too. Carry a lot of music that way. Both beat a suitcase full of cassettes...

I like the mp3 and Ipods too. Carry a lot of music that way. Both beat a suitcase full of cassettes...

Ya got that right, though I've never been one to need to carry every piece of music I own as not all I listen to is worthy of car music status. For that, it is best that the genres tend to be rock/pop music from most eras, minus rap/hip hop, but can include some techno/trance/progress/house from time to time. Much of it is vintage 60's era stuff of all stripes, including soul/R&B/funk, and of course, 70's era classic rock, a la the Doobie Brothers, 80's new wave etc, on up through the 90's with the likes of Cheryl Crow, Dave Mathews etc.

And nothing beats the open road with good, and often appropriate music playing at a good volume. :-)

ciddyguy
06-29-2013, 10:25 PM
I have nothing on a drive yet! I just made myself use the cd player a couple of months ago. :dunno:

As I told Chico Valdez, I gotta have music when driving, and I'd rather roll my own, rather than rely on the radio, which can vary from good to dreadful (especially most top forty stuff where they repeat the same stuff every hour), and I'd rather play stuff that suits my mood when I want to, and not be chained to what FM radio decides I should listen to.

Curious
06-30-2013, 08:43 AM
I also love to play cd's in my car. Get into some mountiain areas on trips and there may be no radio signal, or you may get just a few stations. To put music on an I-Pod you have to buy a computer to load the music to the I-Pod and then you have to buy music from I-Tunes, expences on top of yet more expences. Why can't we all just have a C D player in the car? Heck if someone pays over $20,000.00 for a car then it should come with a C D player. It's just nuts not to include it.

And speaking of nuts, having to get front heated seats just to get a spare tire!!!! That's a joke Fiat, just plain stupid.

Felnus
06-30-2013, 09:40 AM
I-tunes is not the sole source of digital music. I've simply ripped all the CDs I own (and continue to buy) onto a large USB drive. It's easily portable and searchable in the 500's interface. Besides which, 500L still has a CD player if you do not get the 6.5 Uconnect system, it would seem. I remember similar lamentations when tape decks started disappearing from cars in the 80's in favor of CD players. Technology marches on, folks, for good or ill. I'm old enough to remember 8 track players in vehicles. I've seen a car or two from the 50's with a 45 rpm turntable mounted in the glove box.

Spare tires are going the way of the Dodo in modern automobiles too. I ponied up the option cost for the spare on my 500. You know how many times I've used it? Zero. On my last 5 vehicles over the past 20 years, I've had one major blowout, actually two. A piece of road debris I didn't see until it was too late sliced through BOTH tires on the drivers side of my 2002 Focus. Having a spare did me no good in that situation either. So basically I've been carting around 30 or so pounds of dead weight all those years. As manufacturers look to cut every bit of weight possible out of vehicles to get the best fuel economy possible, expect to see more vehicles with emergency sealer and not spare tires.

ciddyguy
06-30-2013, 11:24 AM
I-tunes is not the sole source of digital music. I've simply ripped all the CDs I own (and continue to buy) onto a large USB drive. It's easily portable and searchable in the 500's interface. Besides which, 500L still has a CD player if you do not get the 6.5 Uconnect system, it would seem. I remember similar lamentations when tape decks started disappearing from cars in the 80's in favor of CD players. Technology marches on, folks, for good or ill. I'm old enough to remember 8 track players in vehicles. I've seen a car or two from the 50's with a 45 rpm turntable mounted in the glove box.

Spare tires are going the way of the Dodo in modern automobiles too. I ponied up the option cost for the spare on my 500. You know how many times I've used it? Zero. On my last 5 vehicles over the past 20 years, I've had one major blowout, actually two. A piece of road debris I didn't see until it was too late sliced through BOTH tires on the drivers side of my 2002 Focus. Having a spare did me no good in that situation either. So basically I've been carting around 30 or so pounds of dead weight all those years. As manufacturers look to cut every bit of weight possible out of vehicles to get the best fuel economy possible, expect to see more vehicles with emergency sealer and not spare tires.

Oh I realize that iTunes isn't the only source, but geez, many people act like it is though. That said, it'll probably be a year before I can even begin to seriously look into buying something brand new, and then the promotion for the free upgrade will be over, and then I can get say the Easy with the 5" HU.

That said, I use a thumb drive too, and make my own CD's so being able to keep playlist order is important to me since I make CD's for a reason, to build on a mood, or theme and thus have music from various artists, genres, and eras on them. So I just tag and nest things as appropriately.

But still in all, when I buy a CD, or play some commercial released CD that I don't normally play in the car, I want to be able to grab it, and stick it in when I want/need to.

All that and I also have a fairly large resource of vinyl, of both sizes to get music from, so I record those to the computer and go from there, so my files have a combo, often, of vinyl and CD sources.

Andree
06-30-2013, 12:20 PM
I like having a cd player. I still buy cd's, and I can listen to them on the way home. (or wherever.)
I like the mp3 and Ipods too. Carry a lot of music that way. Both beat a suitcase full of cassettes...

I still have a suitcase full of cassettes. And adopted someone's disposed suitcase of cassettes when they trashed it. Some of my music isn't even available on CD, let alone iTunes.

I have an ipod, and no idea how to use it.

And I'm guessing that thing Fiat sent in the body color matched envelope would hold music, yes? That thing is HEAVY.

ciddyguy
06-30-2013, 12:29 PM
I still have a suitcase full of cassettes. And adopted someone's disposed suitcase of cassettes when they trashed it. Some of my music isn't even available on CD, let alone iTunes.

I have an ipod, and no idea how to use it.

And I'm guessing that thing Fiat sent in the body color matched envelope would hold music, yes? That thing is HEAVY.

What you just said is my main concern, ditching older formats for new ones is being, in my opinion, short sighted on whom may be driving the car, be it young, or old as there will be those who are NOT technically adept in such things, and may not even know about the thumb drive and if it'll hold music (yes it can).

That said, I am pretty technologically adept, and I had to do research on how to go about naming/tagging my files so I can keep my music in the proper order on said thumb drive, just like I have it on my home brew CD's that I make. The reason was there simply isn't any clear instructions easily obtained on HOW to do this anywhere, so while it makes things more convenient, it has also made things more complicated than it needs to be in terms of the user experience.

I've got an idea for a general discussion on music and the open road, and the mix CD/cassette is at the root of it coming up, once I get it written.

cmj912
06-30-2013, 01:41 PM
One thing that is weird about the USB sticks is that they play randomly in the car whether you want them to or not.

At the car wash, the car is regularly returned with AC/DC blasting and the attendant rolling his eyes..."um, the radio just turned on and started playing"

On a side note, iTunes released the 'cloud' which is cool if you have lost track of things you've purchased. The downside is if you redownload the file and attempt to copy it to the USB, it will only let you do so for tracks newer than XXXX. The older stuff that I forgot I bought back in the day is in the original Apple-you-can't-play-it-anyplace-else mode.

Now if my iTunes library would sync from the cloud to the car we wouldn't need the bloody stick. That'd be some technology!

I don't have unlimited data, but if I did I'd just say screw it and use an app in the car to stream music. I had Sirius in the original car but I found the audio quality very wanting.

Chico Valdez
07-02-2013, 04:36 PM
I still have a suitcase full of cassettes.
Some of my music isn't even available on CD, let alone iTunes.
Same here! I always referred to my albums and tapes as 'source materials'. I'd only play them to record them so to reduce the likelihood of damage to them. I also still have a box of 8-tracks...

...that thing Fiat sent in the body color matched envelope would hold music, yes? That thing is HEAVY.
Lol! It's really a gasoline powered entertainment system! Kind of a big close n' play with wheels...