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Fiat 500 Pricing Revealed, Cheaper Than MINI

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On: Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:54PM | By: John Welch


Fiat 500 Pricing Revealed, Cheaper Than  MINI

Finally making its way to our shores, the Fiat 500 is available for order as we speak. The little car has a lot of buzz in America already, so we decided to go price our own Cinquecento.

Not surprisingly, the Fiat 500 is very wallet friendly. Starting at $15,500, it's priced to move. That is an awfully low number for a car that is sure to be popular with the daughters of wealthy folks everywhere. That $15 grand gets you a 1.4 liter "Multi-Air" engine, touted by Fiat to be the "most eco-friendly petrol engine in the world". Real specific. Your money buys an impressive list of standard features, making the 500 a stellar value as well. Power everything, an MP3-ready sound system, micron-filtered a/c, cruise, tilt steering, seven airbags, traction and stability control; the list goes on and on. A fifteen thousand dollar Toyota might not have sunvisors, but Fiat makes it clear that the 500 does, in fact, have visors. Mirrors in them too. The outside mirrors are heated. Floor mats are included! This is a seriously decked-out sub-20 grand car.

Your $15,500 does not buy you Abarth-anything. Sorry. No rip-snorting turbo motor, no sweet body kit, no stickers, no badges, nothing Abarth. If an Abarth 500 is what you want, please, buy one of these and just trade it in when Fiat decides to bring the Abarth here. The more lesser 500s Fiat sells, the better the chances we get the nasty little scorpion-branded Abarth hatches.

No Abarth, swell. That's life, I suppose, and I still want the first affordable Italian car sold here since Reagan. There are three versions of the Fiat 500 available: the Sport, the Pop, and the Lounge. What?! Why? since I can't have a sporty 500 I might as well have a plush one, so I select the most luxurious package, aptly named the Lounge. The price has just jumped to $19,500. Wowza. This increase provides some new chrome to the body and other places, fog lamps, steering wheel audio controls, chrome mirrors, chrome exhaust tip, and a fixed glass roof. This is still going to be a pretty slow car; I don't know if I'm willing to drop 19 thousand dollars on a chrome-heavy dog. Let's switch our option package to "Sport".

The price comes down to seventeen five, and the car gains some butch accents in place of the overbearing chrome suit worn by the Lounge model. Better looking fog lights team with larger wheels to give the 500 some much needed malice. We select the Azzuro exterior paint, a deep shade of blue that I don't usually go for. The 500 takes to it though, and I'm tired of red, green, white, and black.

The interior can be fitted with two different color schemes, both contrast well with the body-colored dash and exposed B pillars. Our 500 gets the "Nero" treatment, which I assume means "black". There are several options and accessories; I chose the AutoNet WiFi kit (that's right, just like a BMW, your Fiat can transmit a WiFi signal) and "Ambient Lighting" which adds blue LEDs to door panels and cup holders. Why the $309 dollar Ambient Lighting? Why the hell not; this is Internet fantasy land. I don't think I'd get it if I was actually going to buy this car.

Which brings us to an interesting impasse: our Fiat 500, with these options, Ambient Lighting included, is now $18,308. Wait a month and you could get a new Ford Focus for that much money. You still get European design, but you also get more power and more utility. You would not, however, be the first person on the block with a Ford, whereas the Fiat brings that all-important rarity that makes neighbors drop their gardening tools and stare. If that Abarth is what you really want, but you're to impatient, the Fiat is probably the way to go.

The Fiat website itself, the Fiat 500 "Configurator" if you will, seemed a little dull. Maybe the bar has been set pretty high by the likes of Fisker and Cadillac, and maybe the nature of having loads of standard options dictates a less than exciting "Configurator" experience. There are a number of sticker and stripe packages available, to add some extra flair to your Cinquecento, and interesting items like a block heater.

Well equipped, the Fiat 500 is probably more enticing than its website, and should begin sprouting up all over our roads by the end of the year. Expect a hard time when trying to find one on dealer lots; the supply most likely will not meet the demand.


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