View Full Version : Why do YOU want a 500?

11-07-2010, 03:08 PM
Why are you here? What is it about the 500 that appeals to you?

- economical to buy and operate?
- small, easy to park?
- style/uniqueness?
- performance?
- you're a fan of all things Fiat and/or Italian?

Me? I never considered an Italian car before the 500 announcement. But I love small cars. I've owned a Mini (1968, not the new BMW), a 1st generation Civic, and an Elise. I like fast cars -- it remains to be seen whether the 500 or Abarth is fast enough. I'm looking forward to the car attracting a lot of attention, too. I don't care too much about the cost. And finally (but maybe most important) I do care about performance, especially handling. So I'll probably wait for the Abarth.

Thanks, Chris, for creating the forum. Let's see if it takes off.

11-07-2010, 03:57 PM
For me, it was a dream come true for it to be brought here; a true prototypical European car, and for a (hopefully) affordable price.

The new 500 caught my eye from the very start, and never once in the first few years did I think I'd even see it on our shores. I was at the 2008 Mondiale de l'automobile in Paris, and saw the very first Abarth 500, and that didn't hurt either.

For me there are a plethora of reasons I wanted one,

-Stick shift
-European (and hopefully with a Euro-tuned suspension)
-Fuel economy
-Hatchback utility

The Mini's a great car, the ForTwo is horrendous; this car should be more practical, more affordable and certainly more unique than the Mini.

11-07-2010, 06:37 PM
I've always been a fan of European cars... guess I have it in my blood (my family moved here from what was then Czechoslovakia when I was 5 years old). I was one of the first go get the MINI when it came out (closest dealer was 200 miles away) as well as one of the first 10 in my area to get the Smart Car (which I still own). For me it is the mix of European design and the "wow" factor. The good old fashion manual transmission if a huge plus as well. I plan to use my Prima (#92) sparingly as a weekend driver (I've had my Smart Car for almost 3 years and it has just over 4000 miles on it.) No rain, snow, that sort of thing.

11-07-2010, 09:25 PM
To contribute in the effort to change a country with superfluous spending habits on inefficiently large and over-powered vehicles (: of course.

Or maybe it'll just be cool to have a fun fuel efficient car that's not a hybrid, TDI or mini. :D

11-07-2010, 10:58 PM
I've always liked small cars and remember seeing Fiat all over the place back in the 70's before Fiat and Lancia pulled out in 1982 and liked the little Renault LeCar (Renault 5) when it was sold here, liked the quirkiness of the 2CV from Citroen and sadly lament their pulling out in the early 70's, always liked the Rabbit/Golf, you get the idea.

My parents bought one of the first Honda Accords in my home town back in 1976 and I loved that car, loved the Civic too and the first gen Integra as well. Finally getting a chance to buy a 9 Y.O. Honda Civic after years of driving US 4 door makes from Chrysler, Chevy and Ford, all of them with bench seats and automatics.

This little 1500cc DX 3 door hatch w/ 5spd was the most fun little thing I've ever driven (and I've test driven the Chevy Chevette and the Ford Escort and they aren't bad cars at all but nothing like this little 2nd gen Civic I had). It showed me how much fun driving a small, fuel efficient car could be and I hooned that car, driving it 6 years before getting an 88 Honda Accord 4 door, now I drive a truck (92 Ford Ranger w/ manual).

When I first heard about the 500 and the news of Fiat wanting to come back to the US a

11-08-2010, 03:13 AM
I fell deeply in love with the 500 Abarth when it was showcased on Top Gear (UK) several years ago. Just as I was beginning to research importing one from Europe, I heard they were being released in North America (much to my surprise and delight).

Before the 500 I was smitten with the Mini and Smart for their size and styling, but could never pull the trigger. The Mini was always too expensive and too common in my area, the Smart was better priced and more unique but, despite it's great safety reviews, I wasn't sure how it would fare in an accident against all the massive SUVs on the roads in TX, or how I'd feel putting an infant in the passenger seat.

For me, the 500 is:

- Great value for money, affordable
- Economic and environmentally kind (for a petrol vehicle)
- Small, yet safe
- Unique, eye-catching
- European
- The best looking 3-door hatch available in the US
- Retro-cool :)

The 500 is the perfect mix of modern safety and convenience and retro styling. I have had a love affair with classic European sports cars since I was a kid, but have never been able to commit to one as a primary vehicle (especially as good, well kept classics are so expensive) -- maybe someday ;)

11-08-2010, 10:36 AM
My very first car was a FIAT 500D, 1964, which I bought in 1972. This was in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The last model with the "suicide doors". Truthfully, it was mechanically the very worst car anyone could own, but that little "bug" stole my heart. Could not look her in her head lights when I sold her for a new Alfa-SUD. (Another lame duck). The new FIAT 500 has also stolen my heart. Still love small cars. Presently driving a Toyota Yaris Liftback which I love too.

11-08-2010, 12:45 PM
As a kid I grew up lusting after American muscle. One day I saw the TV show "The Prisoner" which included a quick glimpse of a Lotus Super Seven. That was it for muscle cars. With the environmental awareness of the early seventies I started to read more and more about the small stuff from Europe. I became intersted in Minis, SAAB 93s, 2CVs and the like. On a backpack trip to Europe in '75 I got to see the entire gamut. I remember seeing a dark blue 500 with red interior in Rome and thinking it was incredible. I owned a Renault 5 but have lamented the absence of really small European cars in our market. The Golf is not small and (like a lot of people) I really wanted the Smart to be a better car. The MINI almost had me, but when I saw the Trepiuno show car the memory of that 500 came back. The FIAT-Chrysler thing came out of the blue. I hope they do a better job than AMC-Renault or Daimler Chrysler. So to get European styling, environmentally friendly transportation (TwinAir?), a driving fun factor, all at a decent price (less than a MINI) it seem like the 500 is at the top of the list.

11-08-2010, 05:04 PM
I've always loved small fast cars (Even small cars that aren't so fast seem so when compared to larger vehicles)--My first car was an Austin Healy Sprite Mk II, and my second was a Sunbeam Imp and then a TR3...Finally after reaching my limit with the diabolical schemes of Mr. Lucas, I moved onto totally reliable but pretty boring VW's & Audi's and then found nirvana: Fiat Spider 2000, Strada and an Alfa GTV-6--Quirky, a bit problematic at times but shear joy to drive...Now, at last FIAT is returning and the only question is whether I can wait for the Abarth or not---Probably I will be at the dealer when the first truckload of cenquecento's hove into view...Even though, my wife learned to drive stick on the TR3, I think it will be the automatic this time (hopefully with shift paddles)---Regardless of whether it's an Abarth or not, I know it will be a blast---FIAT doesn't know how to make boring cars...La dolce vita is straight ahead (or better still, on the twisty bits)---It doesn't hurt that the environment is minimally impacted while out having fun either.

11-08-2010, 10:17 PM
I've had close to 50 cars and owned a 1971 Fiat 124 many years ago. I really liked it - though it did chew through my repair budget pretty quickly. Some time ago, I saw pictures of the new 500 and it really caught my eye. Then one day, several months ago, I saw a new white 500 with Mexican plates near my home in Austin. What a beautiful car. I then stumbled on the Prima Edizione and am really looking forward to it's arrival.

11-09-2010, 05:31 PM
It's small, it's stylish, it's fantastic. I've been craving a manual transmission for years, and what better way to do it than this? Plus I might as well have a little two-door while I still can <smiley image='smiley_thinking.gif'/>

11-10-2010, 02:08 AM
These are really thoughtful, fascinating posts. Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories. I'll share mine soon, after I finish a couple of articles I'm working on...

11-10-2010, 06:17 PM
In no particular order:
Iconic style, History, Italian cinema, manual transmission, compact small car, pricing, originality, gas consumption, the red Fiat badge, grew up in Europe so... memories
I'm sure there are other aspects I'm forgetting.

Prima 109
11-11-2010, 09:46 AM
Feul economy, size, style, features, safety, and to help support Fiat's return to the states after thier departure in the 80's. They got a bad rap. I was lucky enough to reserve a Prima after being on wait list. can't wait to drive it!

11-21-2010, 11:11 AM
- economical to buy and operate
- European
- style/uniqueness
- performance
- A fan of all things Fiat and/or Italian.
- Fun to drive

I drive a 100 mile round trip per day to work. Having driven a 500 for a 100 or so miles, I was impressed with its quality. Very tight and fun to drive. I have been a member of the Fiat Lancia Unlimited club for over 20 years, and am now on the board of directors. I am the original owner of an 81 Fiat Spider. Still have it. I have owned a Ferrari and 5 Alfa Romeos. If I don't buy this car, who will?
<smiley image='smiley_grin.gif'/>

12-06-2011, 05:40 PM
Hope for a Cinquecento 4-Door Hatch

I just joined the site -- and replying to this post seemed like the best way to introduce myself. With the car being out now for, what, the last 6-9 months(?), I realize I'm a little late joining the Cinquecento party but, "with the zeal of a convert," I'm pretty enthusiastic about what Fiat is brining to the US car market with the 500! I'm not a 500 owner (yet), but I test drove a pre-production demo at my local Chrysler dealership about 2-3 weeks before the Prima Edizione were released and I was impressed with everything the car has to offer: style, design innovation, comfort for a 6-foot tall driver, and FUN to drive! ...and those are the reasons I want a Cinquecento!

First, I'm tired of all the boring cars in the US market -- particularly in this class, but abundant in other car classes as well. I'm tired of the massive swaths of grey, black & silver plastic and vinyl of the dashboards that I'm confronted with when I sit in many (all?) of the 500's competitors. The 500 brings a breath of fresh air to the US automotive design market -- the Italian sense of style & design! This is what I am looking forward to most!

The current 500 is a fine re-introduction of the brand to the US, but I actually need a 4-door -- and preferably a hatchback. So,… I'm waiting and hoping for a 500 4-door hatchback with (very important!) THE SAME, IDENTICAL INTERIOR & EXTRIOR STYLE as the current 500. I've seen artists renderings of a 4-door hatch around the internet and they make me hopeful! However, I also see talk of a design based on the European Punto &/or the Panda -- and I become very afraid... I'm sure those would make fine cars -- but we've got too many of those types in the US market. I'm hopeful and am looking forward to the US release of a Fiat 4-door hatchback in the very near future -- one with all the Italian style of the current Cinquecento... just with 2 more doors!

12-06-2011, 07:46 PM
I've been looking for a small red sporty car for years.
Something with the heritage of the sporty cars back in the 70's.
Mg's, Triumph Spitfires, tr4's and Tr6's, fiats, sunbeam alpines & tigers, even Volkswagen beetles .
Mini's and beetles have been the only ones to consider until Fiat showed up.
my Rosso prima fills the bill. It performs well and is hopefully more reliable than the afore mentioned cars from the earlier years. #395.

Kevin Z
12-06-2011, 09:03 PM
For me, it's the following four items: 1) Styling, 2) Fun to Drive, 3) Quasi-Ragtop Experience (500C), and 4) High Quality, Comfortable Interior. I've loved the small cars I've owned in the past (Mazda Miata, Honda CRX Si). I also have fond memories of my previous Italian car, an Alfa Romeo Milano. I bought the Alfa new, but it was in the shop far too often to be practical. It broke my heart when I sold it after only 18 months. It sounds funny to say this, but I've never had as much fun with a new car as I've had with my 500C since I purchased in early August. I really look forward to driving it each and every day. I'm planning a road trip this summer from Texas to North Carolina and back. I'm even taking the time to map out back roads to make the trip that much more enjoyable.

By the way, good fuel economy and a decent price out-the-door were icing on the cake, but were not primary factors in my decision to buy this car. If that had been the case, there are plenty of other cars out there that have a total cost of ownership that are likely lower than the Fiat 500 that I would have chosen instead. To me, my car is not merely a utilitarian device used to transport me from point A to point B, it's an opportunity to enjoy the experience as well. It works for me in that respect, although I realize the 500C is certainly not everyone's cup of tea. To each their own, right?