View Full Version : Trekking in Wyoming!

09-22-2013, 01:19 AM
Hello from the great, white, under-populated north! Inspired by this post - http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?11270-Trekking-in-LA! (because apparently great minds think alike in their Treks - mine is identical save for the spare tire) I've decided to post and give some feedback about my new Fiat. Or as I call it, the mini-me to my wife's white Kia Borrego.

I wasn't looking to get a new car but my sister-in-law decided to change that for me and coming from a Hundayi Elantra I knew I wanted something fairly similar. A gear-head and good friend of mine pointed me towards the Dart Aero which I really enjoyed in the manual but found the dual-dry clutch to be total rubbish. It felt like it was always playing a game of seeking where it kept asking me "Do you want to shift yet? Can we shift now? Are you ready to shift? I wanna shift" so as much as I enjoyed the manual it just wasn't an option because my wife can't drive a stick (it's on her wish list but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to being down a vehicle :)). With that input the same friend pointed me to the 500L - same engine, same basic chassis, "cooler" design. After a test drive of the dual-dry clutch I was in love.

Being that I came from a 2005 Elantra whose response to a floored pedal was "You want to go fast? Are you sure???" the 500L is a welcome change of pace, especially when going to Denver and merging into real traffic. First is a big sluggish as is to be expected but after that the engine opens up and does a beautiful job. I'm really eager to see how the engine handles when I go visit my parents on the western slope of Colorado - I-70 through the mountains is always a "fun" drive. At first I found the EVIC more then confusing to navigate through but after an hour or two it makes good sense. The beats sound, which seems to have mixed reviews, I found wonderfully acceptable. I'm in no way an audiophile but cranking up the volume to near max resulted in no distortion. In almost every case music sounded better at a much louder volume then at the lower end of the dial so that I find slightly concerning. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus sync'd with no issues but doesn't play perfectly for maps and things like playing Pandora. My Google-Fu tells me this is more a uConnect issue with the mobile app not being "ready" more then a phone issue; has anyone else experienced the same? Nav and SXM aren't working yet but that's because the detail shop was closed on Saturday and the sales guy swore up and down he would have the activation key e-mailed on Monday so no comment regarding those.

First blush after owning the car for a total of 12 hours is very positive. My two warnings to buyers looking at this is if they're coming from (1) an automatic - the dual-dry is not an automatic and just because it shifts for you doesn't mean you should treat it like one. First gear will slap you around left and right if you try to. (2) If you've never driven a turbo before test it out. Then test it a bit more. Then go back and test it one more time. It's definitely not for everyone.



09-22-2013, 01:22 PM

Congrats on the new car. I have the 500L manual one (for me is always more fun), and I heard somewhere (damn I need to find that article again), that next year, the 500L will have an option that is "standard" auto one, not sure why. So far I am with mine for almost a month now, and we are pretty happy.

09-22-2013, 01:46 PM
Congrats from LA! beerchug

09-22-2013, 04:40 PM
...I heard somewhere (damn I need to find that article again), that next year, the 500L will have an option that is "standard" auto one, not sure why. So far I am with mine for almost a month now, and we are pretty happy.

I've read the same thing and it makes perfect sense, honestly. While the DDTC is a semi-automatic shifter, it's not a full automatic like most Americans are used to. I could see a lot of people who have driven nothing but automatics always thinking there's something "wrong" with their car in 1st and 2nd gears because of how it behaves.

Robert Nixon
09-22-2013, 07:48 PM