Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2017 Fiat 500
It's hard to say no to cute, especially when cute is also inexpensive and practical.
Fiat's 500 microcar is all three of those things at once. To no surprise, it's beginning to outsell its main rival, the BMW Mini Cooper -- which is also cute but costs thousands more.
What It Is
Like the Mini Cooper hatchback coupe, the Fiat 500 is a modernized reincarnation of an iconic '60s-era microcar, only more so.
It is much smaller than the already very mini Mini Cooper hatchback. And yet, it manages to have a roomier back seat.
It also has a much lower price tag: The base Pop trim with manual transmission is $14,995, whereas the least expensive Mini Cooper hatchback starts at $21,600, and price tops out at $31,800 for the high-performance John Cooper Works, or JCW, iteration.
Over at Fiat, you can get the 500 Abarth -- which, like the JCW Mini, has a punchy turbocharged engine and an array of suspension, brake and trim upgrades -- for $19,995. That's less than Mini wants for the base trim model.
All trims now come standard with an upgraded six-speaker Alpine audio system at no additional charge.