Is The 2012 Fiat 500 New York City's New "It" Car?

It's no secret that Fiat's pushing its 500 as a chic urban runabout, but the company's really striving to resonate with drivers in New York City. The automaker launched much of its market research and marketing campaigns in the Big Apple, and even waited for the New York International Auto Show to launch the Fiat 500 Cabrio in our market. But one question remains:  does the pint-sized Italian hatchback resonate with New Yorkers?

The New York Observer, a weekly paper based in the city¸ interviewed a handful of new Fiat 500 owners, including a few who were previous owners of a Mini Cooper, long considered one of NYC’s “it” cars. Among those who made the switch is Joel Karie, who doesn’t mind that his Tropicalia Yellow, sport model 500 is a bit smaller than the Cooper. “I can get more bang for my buck this way,” said Karie, who points out that his 500 is about $5000 cheaper than a comparable Cooper. “I feel very comfortable in this car. It’s like an Apple computer. Aesthetics and design can make something boring fun.”

One can argue that the Mini is just as fun with its quirky interior bits. But in a city packed with Italian immigrants, the Fiat 500 can tug at the nostalgic heartstrings of Italian-Americans like no other car can.

“I’m Italian. It’s my first car, I learned to drive with a Cinquecento when I was 15 years old,” said Claudio Coronas, proprietor of DOC Wine Bar and DOC Wine Shop, both located in Williamsburg. “For me, maybe it’s something that’s more than a car. It reminds me of when I was younger. When you drive a Mini, it’s good; when you drive a Cinquecento, it’s passion.

So has the Fiat 500 unseated the Mini Cooper as NYC’s “it” car? It’s probably too early to say and it wouldn’t be fair to make a decision based on The Observer’s collection of anecdotes skewed in the 500’s favor. But for a city that embraces the latest and greatest in design, fashion, and all things Italian, it’s hard to argue that the Fiat 500 encompasses all that into a (small) package.

Source: The New York Observer

It would be popular everwhere if they would get off there ass and get the abarth here faster! ps: quit dicking around its been long enought!
@ M.A. Do your homework first before judgment! What do you think where other cars are assembled, or are getting their parts from...or for that matter overpriced?!? For that money you get more car then in any other's small? Well hello M.A.! It is a city car. You don't have to buy or like it, but then don't talk about something that you maybe overheard somewhere, or just made a superficial conclusion, and now you think that you have an MBA in cars are like those old ladies living in the country side!!
ok,M.A, it's not for you! So just stick with your Hummer
M. A.
Small overpriced and made in Mexico...what more do you need to know

New Car Research

Find reviews, photos & pricing for:

Fiat 500

MINI Cooper

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles