Since the FIAT 500 returned to the United States four years ago for the first time in about 30 years, I’ve driven at least a half-dozen of the little cars. They’re fun to drive and they have a refreshing amount of attitude as little engines that can.
The FIAT acronym stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, with Fiat as the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy and ninth largest globally. The FIAT acronym does not stand for “Fix It Again, Tony,” the infamous, harsh definition.
Owners of FIATs seemingly love to complain about their cars, but they often buy more than one.
Not everyone is enamored with FIAT. But in its short return tenure in the U.S., the peppy, fun-to-drive machines have proven worthy. They’re among the best cars available in the United States for less than $20,000.
In a recent week’s test drive with FIAT 500 Pop Hatchback (the entry level trim) I was reminded of the vehicle’s versatility several times.
I was able to park in spaces I would have not be able to consider in 95 percent of the other vehicles I’ve driven this year.
I was able to easily place my folding bike in the cargo area.
My wife and I easily placed a sizable mirror on its end between the front and back seats and went on a delivery run to our friends’ home.
Here a few other likes (and a few dislikes) about the 2014 Fiat 500C.
The Fiat 500C is rated at 40 mpg on the highway, which places it near the top of fuel efficiency among gas-burning cars.
The five-speed manual transmission is easy to shift, particularly reverse gear via the pull-up shifting method.
There’s a tremendous blind spot via the B pillars.
Rear vision is limited.
Facts & Figures: 2014 Fiat 500C (Pop)
Warranty: Bumper-to-bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 4 years, 50,000 miles; Corrosion, 8 years/50,000 miles.
Base Price: $16,195.
Price As Driven: $18,595.
Manufacturer’s website: www.fiatusa.com.
The WeeklyDriver’s Final Words:
“Like the Mini and Volkswagen Beetle, the Fiat 500 is fun to drive. It won’t lead the pack in any race, but as a daily driver for someone with city tasks and not a lot of mega-mileage freeway journeys, the FIAT is a strong choice.”
Links to previous Fiat 500 reviews
My blogpost was written as part of my collaboration with eBay.
Article Last Updated: September 4, 2014.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.