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Thread: Possible Owner- Please HELP

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    Question Possible Owner- Please HELP

    Hi, Iím thinking to get a used Fiat 500. I have a few questions if you donít mind.
    -what are the major differences between the Pop and Sport ?
    -How does it do on a road trip with the wind, is it noisy or does it shake ? (in a freeway also)
    -In general, I donít see any differences between the year models 2012 to 2015. Because of my budget Iím thinking to get 2012-2014. Do you recommend it? And could you please tell me the major differences ?
    -When I test drive the 2015 (automatic gear) I notice when the car shift gears it feels different comparing to a sedan car (I donít know how to describe it exactly), but the dealer told me itís normal in all Fiats. Whats your opinion about that ? Is it a transmission problem ?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Aw View Post
    Hi, I’m thinking to get a used Fiat 500. I have a few questions if you don’t mind.
    -what are the major differences between the Pop and Sport ?
    -How does it do on a road trip with the wind, is it noisy or does it shake ? (in a freeway also)
    -In general, I don’t see any differences between the year models 2012 to 2015. Because of my budget I’m thinking to get 2012-2014. Do you recommend it? And could you please tell me the major differences ?
    -When I test drive the 2015 (automatic gear) I notice when the car shift gears it feels different comparing to a sedan car (I don’t know how to describe it exactly), but the dealer told me it’s normal in all Fiats. Whats your opinion about that ? Is it a transmission problem ?
    Welcome to the forum.

    1) Pop and Sport are different trim and model levels, but also Sports before 2017 have a sport suspension with different wheels and tires, sportier transmission ratios for more acceleration (2013 -2016), different instrument cluster, seats and front and rear fascia. Exhausts were also more throatier, so there are differences in both looks and performance. The Sports ride firmer and handles crisper. The Pop rides softer, has wider seats and is a more geared towards relaxed touring.

    2) the 500 was the quietest car in its class when introduced. Noise is relative to the cars you are comparing it too, so if you are comparing it to a $100,000 Mercedes all bets are off. Generally they aren't noisy cars. They should not shake on the highway, and actually go pretty well there. Remember, these are sold in Europe where they have to be able to handle Autobahn speeds and the US car has more performance than the European model. If a car shakes, there is an issue.

    3) The best thing is to go to Fiat500USA.com and look at the various model year changes. The articles cover the various fiats sold in the US, so scroll through the articles for the 500 hatch and Cabrio model year changes. http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/lab...year%20changes

    Pretty much everything you would want to know about the 500 is on Fiat500USA.com. If you start at the beginning of the blog and work your way forward to the current posts, you will be a Fiat expert by the time you are done.

    4)the 500 is a sporty car, so you will feel the shifts. Again, depends on the cars you are used too, but whenever you buy a used car, you should drive multiples so you can get the feel of them. Pick the one that feels the best. There are plenty of cars around so don't settle.

    abarth500forum.com fiat124spiderforum.com fiat500lusaforum.com fiat500xforum.com

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    Pending on how tall you are may have an impact on the decision you make. I am 6'3" the seats on the Pop do not support the legs like the seats in a Sport. I took a 7 hour trip on the interstate in my Sport and my legs did not cramp nor did my back hurt. Now if I had done that trip in the Pop I would not have lasted 2 hours.

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    To answer your question about road trips and comfort, this is usually our choice for road trips of 8 cars available including larger German ones that are very comfortable. The 500 is just great for me and my girlfriend and a cooler full of drinks and snacks. We've driven it from the Chicago area to St. Louis a couple of times as well as on a week-long trip around Lake Superior and Minneapolis. I wouldn't hesitate driving it to the east or west coast even with the aches pains you get at my age.

    My Pop model certainly has the softest seats, and the least supportive - particularly in cornering, compared to other 500 models I've driven but they are still more than adequate for long drives.

    What is most noticeable to me about this car is that when you sit in the front seats you feel like you are in a "normal" car and you don't really realize that there's not a whole car behind you. The back seats are for shorter people on short trips only. Fiat makes other models for those who regularly carry passengers.

    If I'm not mistaken, the performance models don't ride as well as the Pop and Lounge models because of a different suspension and lower profile tires so you may want to consider this if you are looking at the Sport, Turbo or Abarth models for longer distance drives.

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    Our 2014 Abarth is fun to drive. My wife thinks it's more fun to drive than ride in ( Maybe it's my driving ). We've driven it it to the beach ( 4 hours from Greenville, SC to Murrell's Inlet ), driven it from Greenville to Milwaulkee, and to Carlisle, Pa. The mountains are less than 2 hours away. It's more comfortable than the Saturn Aura we traded in for a 2014 500L; the big 560 SEL that we used to have was more comfortable, but not as much fun to drive. When I drive the Abarth, I feel like I am the car, wearing the car, whereas in other cars I feel like I'm just in the car.
    With luggage in back and the seats down, we can hear the exhaust better; sometimes we drive with the radio off. We plan to drive it to Orlando for the Fiat Freak-out next year.
    EVE, 2015 Bianco Abarth
    GoPedal; 500Madness 28mm rear torsion bar; polished aluminum oil cap; K&N air filter; 16mm spacers on front wheels, 17" bronze Abarth wheels with Pirelli's; Italian stripes, red stripes, red Abarth stripes, red checkerboard roof; red and black Sila floor and trunk mats, red leather hatch strap, badges and vinyl track and autocross cones decals,...needs more scorpions...

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    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search
    2013 Rosso Abarth with 59K miles, Neu-f rear sway bar, EBC Yellowstuff brake pads, DOT4 brake fluid, K&N air filter, autocross 17 inch Ciao Milano wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE71R, daily wheels stock 16 inch Dunlop DZ102. 2017 1st place HS Tidewater Sports Car Club: 2016+2015 1st Place TSCC GS class; 2014+2013: 2nd place in SCCA South Carolina Region G Stock.
    My Car blog: http://www.nms-racing.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Aw View Post
    -When I test drive the 2015 (automatic gear) I notice when the car shift gears it feels different comparing to a sedan car (I donít know how to describe it exactly), but the dealer told me itís normal in all Fiats. Whats your opinion about that ? Is it a transmission problem ?
    To answer your transmission question, the automatic in the 500 is a very typical design, built by Aisin Warner in Japan. It's an ok transmission. There are two ways to set up a conventional automatic like this. One way is to let the friction materials inside slip a bit so that the shifts are slurred and smooth. The other way is to make the shifts more abrupt and tight. I assume that Fiat has calibrated the transmission for the sporty, tight shift.

    While the tight shift can feel jerky, it tends to prolong the life of the transmission and increase fuel economy. Slurred, smooth shifts generate more heat from the friction materials slipping against each other and decrease fuel economy.

    One other note. Buy the newest 500 you can afford. I have a 2012 that has been reliable, but this advice goes for any make or model: the manufacture generally makes improvements to later models to increase reliability, lower noise, etc. so the later model years are often the best.

    Paul

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    i have the sport model 2015 automatic, i noticed on a nice curvy road, in sport mode, it shifts like a sports car would with a manual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SportLaserBlu View Post
    i have the sport model 2015 automatic, i noticed on a nice curvy road, in sport mode, it shifts like a sports car would with a manual.
    I haven't had the pleasure of driving one with the automatic, but thanks for confirming what I suspected - that the automatic has been tuned to give a tighter feel.

    Years ago, I read that the GM automatics being put in Jaguars tended to far outlast the same GM transmission used in domestic models. Why was this? The hypothesis was that since Jaguar tuned the transmission for tighter shifting (what I think the hot rod types back then called a "shift kit") it experienced less slippage and heat and a longer life.

    The corollary is the short-lived and troublesome Honda automatic transmissions of recent years. The '80s Hondas had a decently tight, sporty shift. But as the company catered more to American buyers who wanted that smooth old land yacht style shift they tuned the transmissions to slur the shifts more. Honda products were traditionally light and fun to drive but their overall build quality has always been light duty. Their weak transmissions didn't hold up to the new transmission tuning.

    Paul

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