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drive the deal home, pairing its distinctly modern look with classic European nostalgia. Which is, of course, a total win. Other features include Fiat’s own wireless communication system, Apple and Mp3 compatibility, and a host of design features geared towards maximum safety in the event of a fender-bender, like special circular head-rests. Oh, and here’s another clincher: Dr. Dre’s own Beats Audio system is available for both the Sport and Lounge models. I’m guessing it can handle a lot of bass.

driving experience

have all but obliterated blind spots and ensure you don’t feel dwarfed by surrounding traffic. Gas-wise, the 500 offer the greenest petroleum engine on the market. City driving gets you 6.4 L per 100km, while highway promises an impressive 4.9 L per 100km. That’s something a person could really get used to. Highway speeding should be approached with reason, however — the firm suspension and short wheelbase that make the 500 so fun to zig and zag in can be tricky to handle at higher speeds. That said, the 500 is also one of the safest cars on the market. Winner of the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS) 2013 Top Safety Pick, the 500 boasts a total of seven air bags. There’s even a set just for your knees.

bottom line

Photo: Courtesy of Rhiannon herbert

2013 Fiat 500 specs: 1.4L 16V I-4 MultiAir® engine

5-speed manual transmission Available 6-speed automatic transmission

CITY: 6.4 L / 100 km; HIGHWAY CITY: HIGHWAY: 4.9 L / 100 km


his, in brief, is an extremely fun car to drive. The 500 Pop , Sport and Lounge editions come with a 1.4L 16V engine and a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual transmission. It isn’t much for horsepower, but it’s more than adequate for quickly navigating city traffic while keeping your engine revs up. The gear shift is placed slightly higher than where you’d expect it, sitting at an outward angle from the front-end of the interior instead of sitting down below. The result is a shifting experience more in line with the reach and position of the right arm, and is indicative of the research Fiat has put into ergonomic design. This attention is also evident in the feel of the cabin. The bucket seats are propped up nice and high in the cockpit, providing a sense of view and control in what could otherwise be an insecure experience. The driver’s seat is also adjustable for height to better accommodate each individual. Overall, the visibility in the 500 is excellent — plenty of glass and thoughtful internal arrangement

Photo: Courtesy of


or those looking for an affordable compact that’s still a quality drive, the Fiat 500 is a strong contender. Starting as low as $13, 495, it’s well within reach of those with expensive taste who don’t have that much to spend. And perhaps most importantly, the 500 offers consumers a car that’s extremely engaging to drive. You may want to purchase a set of leather fingerless gloves. Just saying. Just make sure they match the interior.

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Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)  

Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)

Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)  

Verb Issue S253 (Aug. 16-22, 2013)

Profile for verb