Can’t get enough of the obscenely cute Fiat 500? Want to put one in your garage as soon as possible? There’s good news from Fiat/Chrysler: the diminutive urban commuter will start at just $15,500, for the base trim level (called “Pop”) with no options and no dealership “ADM”, which won’t be easy to find given the interest in the 500. The mid-level trim package is called “Sport”, and this comes with a stiffer suspension, 16” alloy wheels, performance exhaust and revised front and rear fascias. Sport versions start at $17,500 before you add options (and dealer price gouging). At the upper end is the Fiat 500 Lounge, which focuses on luxury and amenities and starts at $19,500. If you go crazy checking option boxes, it’s not difficult to get a Fiat 500 Lounge over $24,000; that’s a little steep for an urban commuter car, but it’s still less than a well optioned Mini.
All Fiat 500s come with the Multi-Air 1.4 liter turbo motor, good for 101 horsepower and 98 ft lb of torque. That may not sound like much, but the Fiat 500 only weighs about 2,200 pounds, so you can expect acceleration on par with a first generation Miata. Pop and Sport models come standard with a five speed manual transmission, and both offer a six speed automatic as an option. The automatic is standard on the higher trim level Lounge version.
Fiat’s also made some significant changes to the 500 to accommodate U.S. tastes. Suspension tuning is different than EU models, and U.S. 500s get a strengthened body with improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics. We get improved front brake calipers, a larger fuel tank, upgraded HVAC, more comfortable seating, revised steering and an energy efficient Bose audio system. We also get larger cup holders, since we Americans just love our 55 gallon fountain drinks and Venti Mas Grande coffees.
Want to configure and price your own? Fiat’s U.S. site allows you to do just that, although it doesn’t give you much in the way of technical details or specifications.