15k: 2012 Fiat 500

Ok – now the guys at DT have gone off the deep end – delete the bookmarks and add the domain to your banned domain list…they just featured a brand new car.  But DT is all about cheap and fun – we never said the cars had to be used.  This is the car for someone who doesn’t want to crawl around on the ground poking the bottom of some dirty old car looking for rust or dealing with mustached car flippers (this ain’t movember, shave it off).  The 2012 Fiat 500 is available from your local Fiat dealers and starts at $15500 for the “Pop” edition.

The original cinquecento was produced from 1957-1975 and had a mind numbingly slow 0.5 liter 2 cylinder engine that makes golf carts feel fast.  Fiat (now merged in some way to Chrysler that only bankers can truly understand) reincarnated the 500 in 2007 for European consumption and finally brought it stateside in 2011.  It aims straight at the market carved by BMW’s successful Mini Cooper and offers a lot for a small price tag.

The Fiat 500 is powered by a 1.4 liter multi-air inline 4 cylinder gasoline engine putting out 101 horsepower and 98 ft-lbs of torque.  The multi-air engine uses a continuously variable valve actuation technology to control torque without a throttle- helping to increase fuel economy and power.  The engine is mated to a five speed manual transmission that unfortunately powers the front wheels – but it falls into the category of cars that are so low in power/torque that its hard to tell which wheels are being driven when you fling its 2400 lbs around.

The Fiat 500 has funky interior with a sweet looking gauge cluster in the center that has a tach and speedo superimposed inside each other.  The shifter sticks out of the dash similar to a modern Honda, but the materials look nice and will probably last a few months/years before the plasticized paint starts to peel off and the new car smell is replaced with the smell of your gym bag and rotting pizza crust.

Ok – we haven’t really lost our minds and we would still prefer to have an original Fiat 500 with a totally open exhaust header to terrorize our neighborhood – but perhaps you would prefer to have a Fiat that isn’t rusty…yet.  The biggest problem we have with new cars is depreciation – and yes at $15500 – this car probably won’t lose more than a few $k in the first 2-3 years…but in 10 years it will probably be featured on DT as a $5k special… Pop for it now, or later?

See another new car that meets the needs for your commute?  Email us here:  tips@dailyturismo.com