2012 Fiat 500 Wilmington NC

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Fiat of Wilmington
(910) 617-2898
229 S. COLLEGE RD
WILMINGTON, NC
Car Makes
FIAT
Hours
9AM TO 7PM

Keith Bowman Auto Sales
(910) 270-5515
13410 Us Highway 17
Wilmington, NC

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Autos 4-U
(910) 772-9224
2326 Carolina Beach Rd
Wilmington, NC

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Cape Fear Auto Sales & Consignment
(910) 350-0449
6408 Market St
Wilmington, NC

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Bruce Cavenaugh Auto Mart
(910) 798-9000
6321 Market St
Wilmington, NC

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D & E Mitsubishi
(910) 799-4210
6220 Market St
Wilmington, NC
 
Lovitt's Auto Sales
(910) 362-0003
1925 Carolina Beach Rd
Wilmington, NC

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Leigh Motor Company
802 S 17th St
Wilmington, NC

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Murray Motors
(910) 452-4850
6209 Market St
Wilmington, NC

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unique autobody
(910) 264-7540
5659 market street #5
wilmington, NC
 
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2012 Fiat 500

January 28, 2011 by Josh Sadlier  

2012 Fiat 500

Overview 
You hear the darndest things when you’re tooling around in a 2012 Fiat 500. “It’s a weird New Beetle !” Uh, nope. “It’s some kind of Mini !” Wrong again. But come to think of it, those two models are useful for explaining where the 500 fits in. The original New Beetle was basically a styling exercise, a Golf in a bubble costume, and the 500 isn’t quite like that. Sure, it’s related to the overseas-only Fiat Panda econobox, but it’s been engineered to provide a unique driving experience along with its unique shape. The Mini , on the other hand, is a purpose-built car that speaks to racing buffs and fashionistas alike – and the 500 isn’t quite like that, either. Yes, it’s got the fashion part covered between its retro-cool looks and Mini-like personalization options, but this Fiat is not a driver’s car, at least not until the turbocharged Abarth version bows next year.
 
2012 Fiat 500


2012 Fiat 500


2012 Fiat 500
So where does that leave the neither/nor 500? In an enviable position, actually, and here’s why: the New Beetle has been discontinued and is transitioning to a new design for 2012, the Mini has lost much of its novelty factor, and the Fiat starts at just $15,500, or thousands less than any other cute-mobile that matters.
 
Mind you, the 500 could use improvement. Still, we think there’s enough good stuff here to win over style-conscious shoppers on a budget. Shouldn’t be long before Americans know a 2012 Fiat 500 when they see one.
 
What's to Like  
The 500 is an endearingly styled runabout with extensive customization available directly from Fiat – just like a Mini . The base price is attractive, and the optional Bose stereo is satisfying. We also like how the 500 remains quiet at speed, and how the Sport model’s suspension delivers that typically European combination of suppleness and athleticism.
 
What's Not to Like  
The automatic transmission produces unbecoming vibrations when you’re stopped in “D,” and it takes a bite out of fuel economy, too. The manual transmission has a pleasant shifter, but the clutch and throttle aren’t on the same wavelength, making smooth shifting difficult. Rear headroom isn’t adult-friendly, and the front passenger seat is oddly elevated. We’d like to see higher-quality plastics on the dash and doors, too, as well as a telescoping steering wheel.
 
The Drive:
Driving Impressions 
The front-wheel drive 500 has above-average ride comfort for such a diminutive car, and the cabin remains pleasantly quiet on the highway by segment standards. The chassis feels willing enough in corners, too, especially in the Sport model’s state of tune, but the gooey e...

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