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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2017 Fiat 500

Eric Peters on

Be aware, though, that the Abarth's exhaust is loud. They will hear you coming and going.

On the Road

This is a car that can exploit almost any hole in traffic that would oblige a motorcycle. And that goes curbside, too. The 500 is only 139.6 inches long. To give you some sense of that length, a Honda Civic coupe is 176.9 inches long overall, a difference in length of more than 3 feet. Imagine what that means in terms of slotting into a parking spot or threading the needle out on the road.

Oddly, because it's so much smaller and shorter overall than the Mini, the 500 has a wider turning circle of about 37 feet. The Mini hatchback's is 35.4 feet. However, this ends up being a wash in real-world driving (like the mileage disparity) because the 500 is so much smaller.

There is about a foot less car to deal with (139.6 inches versus 151.9 inches for the Mini), and that makes the Fiat feel more lithe in tight situations, such as shoehorning into a curbside spot that would otherwise be for motorcycles only.

At the Curb

 

Like the Mini -- and unlike so many other new cars -- the 500 is a happy little car. It makes people smile. And not just because it's cute.

Surprisingly, the 500 has more back-seat room than the Mini. It also has more cargo space behind the back seats, 9.5 cubic feet compared with 8.7 feet. But the Mini has a bit more cargo space overall: With the second row down, you have 34 cubic feet, whereas the Fiat has 30.2 feet.

The available Beats Audio system is excellent, and you can also get a folding soft-top Targa-style roof if you like.

The Rest

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Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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