News

The Struggle is Real: Fiat is Aggressively Reducing Prices for 2017

fiat cabrio abarth 500

Fiat’s pain is your gain, assuming you are in the market for something small and quirky.

As expected, the company’s revamped pricing structure will drop the sticker on many of next year’s models. That includes a $5,205 reduction on the company’s squirrely little scorpion, the 500 Abarth, if outfitted correctly.

According to documents obtained by Automotive News, Fiat’s going to be aggressively cutting prices in 2017. The pricing adjustments were eluded to in March after a special North American Fiat dealers summit convened to save the faltering brand. By September, we began learning exactly what that could mean for the brand with consistently declining U.S. sales.

The intercepted document sent out to Fiat dealers indicates an markdown of the base 500 from $16,995 to $14,995 and a $5,205 drop in the 500 Abarth Cabrio. It also outlines that the company will have fewer trim levels for its lineup, seemingly done to avoid continued pricing overlap. Reducing the open-topped Abarth to a more modest $21,490 provides important breathing room between it and Fiat’s incoming 124 Spider.

500 trims have been cut from six to three, with the convertible being a $1,495 option on all of them. The 500L and 500X have been similarly deflated, with the 500X priced slightly higher overall. FCA’s head of passenger car brands, Tim Kuniskis, told Automotive News that the 500L and 500X had been “tripping over each other” in both pricing and content. The 500X essentially came into existence only to steal potential sales from the 500L. While still similar in cost and offerings, the limited number of trims helps to better differentiate the vehicles.

Fiat’s reintroduction as a U.S. brand in 2011 has been difficult. North American sales peaked in 2014 and began to slide as the brand introduced more models to its lineup. Compared to last year, Fiat’s U.S. sales have declined every month in 2016.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

109 Comments

  1. CoreyDL says:

    With the most reliable cars in the country and a vehicle for literally every single person with no children who lives in an urban area, I can’t imagine why they’re struggling.
    Must just be media bias.

  2. 28-Cars-Later says:

    Pfft, its the vast right wing conspiracy.

  3. GeneralMalaise says:

    Niche cars for a small market, Fiats are fun. There are Versas, Corollas, etc. for the folks who view cars as appliances or who need larger models for their fraus and pups.

  4. redliner says:

    The system is rigged. It’s rigged by all those people that insist on having children and doing practical things in a relaible, flexible vehicle.

  5. CoreyDL says:

    Damn them to hell!

  6. Maymar says:

    I would say there’s a ton of families for whom a 500L would be adequate (similar in size to a Ford Escape), but there’s not a lot of blind licensed drivers who could get past the looks of the thing.

  7. GeneralMalaise says:

    Let the H8 begin…
    “Updated Stats–best and worst 2016s
    The Honda CR-V and Toyota 4Runner continue to rank among the most reliable cars. Members reported no repairs for the 2016 version of either. This said, Honda has fully redesigned the CR-V for 2017, and first-year glitches are likely.
    The new Mazda Miata has worsened to about average thanks to some problems with the soft top. Otherwise it has been nearly problem-free.
    The new Honda HR-V and Kia Sorento have improved in recent months, but remain a little worse than average. The new Honda Civic has continued to require somewhat more repairs than the average 2016 car.
    2016s in the “red zone” include the updated Acura RDX, new Honda Pilot, and new Volvo XC90.
    Worst 2016 of all: the Tesla Model X crossover. The limited data we have suggest a repair frequency about six times the average.”
    — True Delta

  8. eggsalad says:

    Or you can buy a 3-year-old model for 40% of MSRP.

  9. koreancowboy says:

    Wait another year, and it’s a tossup between a Fiat and a “Live, Laugh, Love” painting.
    Or just buy something reliable, which is virtually everything else.

  10. Vulpine says:

    The Fiat 500 is a remarkably reliable vehicle, KC. I’ve driven one for over two years so far with NO mechanical or electrical issues whatsoever. People need to actually try one before commenting about it first; the Fiat 500 ain’t your grandfather’s Fiat 500 by a long shot.

  11. Quentin says:

    Consumer Reports reliability: well below average
    JD Power Dependability (MY13): 2 out of 5
    True Delta: sad, red face indicating far more dealer visits than the average car surveyed

  12. CoreyDL says:

    I see you’ve found three examples of pure lies.

  13. Vulpine says:

    @Quentin: Where does CR get its data? From subscribers. Now, how many subscribers own a Fiat 500 compared to the number of Fiat 500s on the road?
    Where does JD Power get their data?
    Where does True Delta get their numbers?
    The problem with all of them is that they’re working with less-than-statistically-significant numbers to get their figures on a brand that people aren’t buying because of a 40-year-old reputation. They should be polling ALL Fiat 500 owners instead of the fifty or one-hundred members who bothered to reply.

  14. Zackman says:

    “Fix it again, Tony” may be the go-to joke when the word “Fiat” comes up, but it appears it’s hung on even if no longer true.
    Now, having said that, I haven’t owned a Chrysler product since 2007, and bought my last Chrysler new in 1999 and sold it before the warranty ran out due to fear of something catastrophic like a transmission or engine. Yeah – all the horror stories did put the fear in me.
    A friend has a 500, and he had problems with the windshield leaking! I just add that little detail, not knowing if he still has the car or not. He did say it was fun to drive.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, all cars have some issues from time to time, but Chrysler/fiat is always at the bottom of the heap, deserved or not, and public perception has taken its toll.
    Reply to Vulpine:
    No, I haven’t had the chance to drive a 500, but looks like it would be fun.
    And yes – public perception is very persuasive.
    So, how many Fiats do you own or sell?

  15. Vulpine says:

    The problem is, Zackman, that too many people, like yourself, assume there’s junk underneath.
    Have you, personally, ever driven one?

  16. GeneralMalaise says:

    4.5 years, 36k miles of absolutely troublefree driving on my 2012 Abarth. How are the Ford Fiesta and Focus doing reliability-wise? Not too well. Where’s the hate?

  17. GeneralMalaise says:

    “I haven’t owned a Chrysler product since 2007,”
    I haven’t owned a GM or Ford product for well over a decade. Stung once too often in both cases. My ownership experiences inform my opinions and purchasing.

  18. SC5door says:

    “Where does JD Power get their data?
    Where does True Delta get their numbers?”
    JD Power gets data from owners. I just got my survey in the mail from them and used the crisp $1 bill on some candy in the machine at work to eat while filling out the stupid survey. Hell even Hyundai gives you a survey to fill out after a year to give feedback to the engineers.

  19. Vulpine says:

    I have NEVER received one of those surveys for any car I ever purchased new and that means zero (0) out of seven (7). Again I question where they get their data as it seems more like it comes from the shops and not the customers themselves.

  20. APaGttH says:

    @CoreyDL
    .-.I see you’ve found three examples of pure lies…
    You win the Internet.

  21. APaGttH says:

    @Vulpine writes…
    …Where does True Delta get their numbers?…
    They get it from owners who self report. True Delta recruits through the various enthusiasts sites for owners. I know they post regularly on the G8 communities and Avalanche communities for feedback so I have no reason not to believe they don’t do the same at others.
    Owners self report, good, bad or indifferent. If the number of vehicles reported total don’t provide a statistically valid sample, the overall ranking isn’t given.
    Of the three, the most bulletproof for being a truly random sample is likely True Delta, followed by JD Power, and third place Consumer Reports.
    Consumer Reports goes to their own subscriber base, so no argument that there is going to be a tilt toward favoring brands they recommend.
    JD Power gets their information from new car buyers, representing a more broad group. However like Consumer Reports I can’t figure out my Infotainment and my transmission shifts weird to me are reasons points get zinged.
    True Delta is anyone, including second, third, etc. owners, who self reports – I believe they are closing in on over 1 million owners. They also have a higher bar on what gets reported as a “real” problem.
    Bottomline is in survey after survey Fiat is consistently toward the bottom of the reliability pile.
    But, before your head spins off your neck, that isn’t saying a whole lot. In 1986 the difference between best and worse was literally hey this car get to 100K miles (best) and hey, the engine fell out on the ground in a pool of oil at 38K miles. Today the difference between first to worse is far more narrow. With a handful of outliers, almost any vehicle you buy today will get to 150K miles relatively trouble free.
    Fiat offers up a lot more — trouble — compared to leaders like Lexus and Buick.

  22. JimZ says:

    you repeatedly show your inability to understand the term “statistically significant.”
    ONE CAR does not disprove a general trend.

  23. Vulpine says:

    That works both ways, JimZ. For all we know, CR only had one respondent to their owners poll.

  24. Lou_BC says:

    “statistically significant”
    Statistically, if we have a few people with zero problems there are a few who might as well buy their own tow truck!
    What does other data say?
    JD Power Dependability survey for 2015 rates Fiat brand at 273 problems per 100 vehicles.
    There is plenty of corroborating data.
    Would you go out and smoke 3 packs a day just because you know two people who lived to 100 doing that?

  25. Vulpine says:

    By extension, Lou_BC, that means I should have had 2.73 problems in my Fiat 500 by now. Why haven’t I? It’s certainly not like I babied that little thing.

  26. WalterRohrl says:

    “By extension, Lou_BC, that means I should have had 2.73 problems in my Fiat 500 by now. Why haven’t I? It’s certainly not like I babied that little thing.”
    Uh, no, that is not what it means at all. It means exactly what it says – that on average, every 100 vehicles experienced 273 problems.
    If yours had zero issues, then for the average to work, at least three other people had around 3 problems each. Once you get to a hundred cars there were 273 total problems reported. It’s not difficult math.
    Or maybe you got the best Fiat every built. Maybe 98 others also got the same quality Fiat. But then one poor schmuck somehow got the worst one ever with 273 issues on one car.
    There are plenty of ways to parse the numbers. On AVERAGE each car has 2.73 problems. I’m sure you can understand that. In any case, that’s enough for me and plenty of others to avoid the brand and watch resale values plummet. There are other cars out there that are also fun without the baggage.
    People may have issues with the methodology of CR, TD, and JDP but when all three say one car/brand is at the bottom of their surveys statistically something is up.
    Note also that there is ZERO incentive for an owner to tell them how bad their car is. If I tell them my car is a total turd and enough other people do as well, then those resale values will plummet. Why would anyone do that? If anything, the number of issues is probably UNDERreported.

  27. Vulpine says:

    Every brand has its lemons, Walter. From what I’ve seen from personal experience and that of my friends, Ford has more than most, though their trucks seem exempt from much of it, except for when they catch fire. You also have to consider how FEW Fiat 500s are in the country, what with maybe 100,000 sold, plus or minus and not counting the L and X versions (which really are NOT 500s.)
    I won’t argue that maybe the first couple of years in the US market might have had issues; after all, they had to seriously modify them to meet US safety standards which means some significant changes came through the assembly line for them. But as even the JD Power report lists, from ’13-’14 on they seem to be no worse than any other and better than quite a few–standing in roughly the middle of the reliability pack. BUT… the JDPower reports being used against Fiat in this thread are older ones still referencing those older, first-year models. That’s why I’m not giving any credence to the reports those individuals are quoting.
    And cars that are fun will ALWAYS carry the baggage; just look at the Mini, the Mustang and so many others that tend to stay in the shop more than they are on the road.

  28. Big Al From 'Murica says:

    And my 2.7 ecoboost routinely beats EPA estimates in my F150 so it must just be a bunch of internet morons that can’t drive.

  29. slavuta says:

    It is interesting how they keep on coming with this, even though American consumers rejected one unreliable brand after another

  30. Vulpine says:

    People assuming the Fiat is unreliable is the problem. They don’t bother to discover it for themselves, they believe everything they’re told by people who know less about it than they do.

  31. JMII says:

    I think the problem is they only really make ONE thing – thus everyone who wanted or desired a Fiat already bought one. Their CUV is a Jeep and their sports car is a Mazda. Mini seems to have the same problem yet they are still hanging around… for now.

  32. Vulpine says:

    It’s misinformation like yours that is one reason why Fiat isn’t doing better. The Jeep Renegade and the Fiat 500X are almost identical in every way EXCEPT their appearances, yet the 500X won’t move because “everybody” knows Fiat builds junk. Get a clue–they don’t.
    What is remarkable is the the Cooper Mini, now BMW Mini, is essentially the same type of car the Fiat 500 is, at almost twice the price. And the BMW Mini doesn’t seem to be all that reliable for the money.

  33. Stumpaster says:

    Cage Brawl: In the White Corner, we have Vulpine and his 2-year old and eminently reliable Fiat 500.
    In the Red Corner, we have decades of production Fiats.
    Who’s to win this one? What will consumers do when their lease runs out? It’s a real nail biter.

  34. Vulpine says:

    • In the White Corner, we have Vulpine and his 2-year old and eminently reliable Fiat 500.
    — Accepted
    • In the Red Corner, we have decades of production Fiats.
    — False. We have a four-decade-old reputation with NOTHING to support or oppose it in the US. Strangely, Fiat is doing far better around the world than it is in the US simply because the company abandoned the US market for so long.
    • Who’s to win this one? What will consumers do when their lease runs out? It’s a real nail biter.
    — If you lease, you lose. Try buying instead. With this new shift in pricing, the Fiat 500 becomes the most affordable car in the US.

  35. GeneralMalaise says:

    I own an ’81 Fiat X1/9 with 206k miles. Still looks and drives great. My daughter’s 2016 Toyota Corolla is plagued with electrical gremlins. YMMV…

  36. slavuta says:

    Raging Vulpine is on the mission.
    Mini may be similar in size but boy, Mini is a nice car inside and Fiat… not so much.
    I wouldn’t buy neither for safety reasons. And you need to check reliability surveys here and in Europe… oh wait…
    “It seems Fiat and Alfa Romeo still have work to do…” http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/consumer-news/91220/the-most-and-least-reliable-car-manufacturers-2016

  37. WalterRohrl says:

    “It’s misinformation like yours that is one reason why Fiat isn’t doing better. The Jeep Renegade and the Fiat 500X are almost identical in every way EXCEPT their appearances, yet the 500X won’t move because “everybody” knows Fiat builds junk. Get a clue–they don’t.”
    Many/most people deep down think Jeep is junk too but its sales are propped up by
    A) being able to do what most others can’t (Wrangler) and
    B) It’s a cool brand to own.

  38. Vulpine says:

    Even the Renegade can do what most other ‘similar’ models can’t. I refer you to ToasterJeep dot com to see how “real Jeepers” are running their Renegades.

  39. GeneralMalaise says:

    They’ve imbued enough Italian flair in the Miata platform to differentiate it from the new Miata – I’ve driven both – and the 500X is a cool little CUV. The more cars, more choices, the merrier.

  40. Big Al From 'Murica says:

    Why would I plunk out 15k to “see for myself” if a car is reliable in spite of what all the objective sources say?

  41. Vulpine says:

    Why? Because those “objective sources” aren’t necessarily “objective.”

  42. Big Al From 'Murica says:

    Nothing is without risk, but there are more known quantities in the automotive world. Maybe if FCA builds several generations of a particular model that is as good or better than the competition they will Ben a known quantity too. Until then I’ll wait.

  43. heavy handle says:

    JD Power rates them mid-pack (for cheap cars) in their 3 year reliability survey, just above Nissan. As much as internet experts love to claim that modern Fiats are especially unreliable, the data doesn’t back that up.

  44. Lou_BC says:

    JD Power Dependability survey for 2015 rates Fiat brand at 273 problems per 100 vehicles.
    That is at the bottom of that pack!

  45. GeneralMalaise says:

    My experience with my own Abarth puts it at the top of that pack.

  46. Pete Zaitcev says:

    The reliability argument carries no water, because 500X and Renegade are built in the same factory. Renegade is a sales leader and 500X is tanking. Clearly it’s not the reliability that’s killing FIAT.
    Personally I could only consider the Renegade among the two, because I need the headroom badly. But since most people are short, price adjustment might just be the ticket.
    One downside about it though, the FIAT dealers that I saw were invariable dinky, low-rent shops. Cutting prices isn’t going to help them to move into more respectable digs, or to hire more presentable and competent sales staff.

  47. Vulpine says:

    Agreed, Pete; it’s not the reliability, it’s the obsolete reputation of the brand itself.

  48. Big Al From 'Murica says:

    Disagree. It has more to do with the reputation of Chrysler then FIAT at this point.

  49. OldManPants says:

    “I need the headroom badly”
    Non-removable hat?

  50. Vulpine says:

    “I need the headroom badly.”
    And when did you sit in a 500X?
    If the Renegade has the headroom, then the 500X has the headroom, or pretty darn close to it.

  51. slavuta says:

    Vulpine, everything Italian is like this. Their clothe is fashioned but doesn’t last 10 washes. their Furniture is stylish but falls apart after few years. Their cars – both. Italians are people of beautiful style, taste and things like that. But they also don’t want to work hard, take it easy, you know. And car engineers too.

  52. GeneralMalaise says:

    Wow, bigoted much, slavuta?
    But you’re right. They don’t build those Coliseums and towers like they used to!

  53. Maymar says:

    I don’t think the Renegade is proof you can disregard Fiat’s image. I’d wager you could take the average consumer, point out all the shared features, dimensions, even all the points on each that say Made In Italy, and they’d still refuse to believe you that they’re the same thing (“the Jeep is, like, so boxy and tough, and the Fiat isn’t. How could they be the same?”). Plus, this assumes that the Renegade isn’t benefiting from the Jeep image.

  54. Vulpine says:

    Oh, the Renegade is definitely benefitting from the Jeep’s image. One can only hope Fiat gets the benefit of a halo effect from that image.
    I do agree with one thing though… Outside of the 2-door Fiat 500, the others should most definitely carry their own image; the looks alone of the bigger models is what is hurting them. The Panda would do far better simply because it doesn’t have that 500 nose-job.

  55. 319583076 says:

    “The pricing adjustments were eluded to in March after a special North American Fiat dealers summit convened to save the faltering brand.”
    elude =/= allude
    The struggle is very real.

  56. SCE to AUX says:

    Beat me to it.

  57. 319583076 says:

    I guess it wasn’t worth fixing? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  58. heavy handle says:

    Not sure why the 500L is still on offer. The brand’s perceived value would probably improve if they dropped it.
    What Fiat really needs in the US is product. Something that doesn’t look like a 500, and that a significant number of Americans would want. Sub-compacts can only sell so much in this market, and they’ve pretty well nailed the whole segment with the 500 (the Mazda 2 dropped out, the Yaris hatch is nowhere, the Spark is a dud that sells for thousands less).
    The 500x asks the question “how many people will buy an expensive car that looks like a cheap car?” The answer is “fewer than anticipated.”
    Fiat should send over their small pickup and a sedan.

  59. Speed3 says:

    Give us the Panda! They have legit product in other markets. Sell the Tipo here too.
    Especially since the Dart and 200 failed, why not sell compact cars via Fiat?

  60. JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N says:

    Tipo is already on sale as the Dodge Neon in Mexico. Why not sell them both here?
    FCA should have spent the Compass budget on a replacement for the Journey and Freemont. Give them a good redesign on the Pacifica platform, and sell both versions in the US. Make it still an affordable 7 passenger crossover, but this time, a decent one. Not something that makes a Hyundai feel like a rebadged Lexus by comparison.
    Give the Fiat more graceful, Mona Lisa styling, give the Dodge the menacing kick-ass acid rock band image that works for Durango and Charger. Standard 4 or perhaps turbo 4, optional Pentastar (if only in the Dodge).
    Ram needs the Toro. Its headlights already resemble the Ram full size trucks. Give it a new-style ]–R-A-M–[ grile, call it a day. The Mexican Ram 700 isn’t bad either. Just needs a better (less Fiat-like) front styling.

  61. SMIA1948 says:

    The FIAT 500 Abarth 500 needs a 6-speed manual transmission (up from the current 5-speed) even more than it needs a price cut.

  62. heavy handle says:

    There’s apparently not enough room for a 6 speed that can handle that motor’s torque. The 5 speed already severely limits the turning circle.
    Maybe they will fix that in the next gen.
    That being said, the Abarth is not a great long-distance car. An extra gear would help, but that car will always be happier on curvy roads, tickling the red line.

  63. Vulpine says:

    That’s very interesting considering the Fiat 500 comes with a six-speed automatic that seemingly has no effect on turning radius. Any car that can do a U-turn on a two-lane highway from shoulder-stripe to shoulder stripe without crossing that line has some remarkable agility.

  64. heavy handle says:

    6 speed automatics are about the same size as 5 speed automatics. They both use 3 planetary gear sets.
    Adding a sixth speed to a manual involves making it a little longer. The Abarth’s 5-speed already sticks-out into the driver’s side wheel well.

  65. WalterRohrl says:

    Let/Make every FCA dealer sell Fiat and only let the ones that built the dedicated showroom carry Alfa. The biggest issue by far is lack of locations. Not everyone lives in a MAJOR metropolitan area and even less people want to drive far to buy or to service their car. Can’t sell ’em if people can’t see ’em. Now that there are no more small Dodges let Fiat take up the slack.

  66. heavy handle says:

    Any FCA dealer can service them. The same engines are used in other Dodge and Jeep products.

  67. WalterRohrl says:

    That may well be, but I don’t think the average member of the public is aware of that. Unfortunately, perception is reality.
    I’ve got more than half a million people within 25 miles of me, but my closest FIAT dealer is almost an hour away. No shortage of Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler/RAM dealers around here though. People just don’t want to drive an hour to look at a car with a poor reputation (that may or may not be deserved, I don’t have a dog in this fight) when Subaru, Mini, Hyundai, even Mitsu, and virtually everyone else is nearby.
    Put ’em in the FCA showrooms. They’ll sell especially once someone can compare a Renegade with a 500X side by side.

  68. stevelovescars says:

    They could likely service them, but they can’t bill repairs to the warranty and likely won’t have most parts in stock. Heck, any independent mechanic can service a car… that isn’t the issue.

  69. stevelovescars says:

    Small cars and sedans just aren’t selling in general. Gas is still very inexpensive in the U.S. That is certainly not the only reason Fiats aren’t selling well, but it must be contributing to it. The 500X is in a growing category but there is a lot of competition and it also has strange option combinations. The Renegade is available in more configurations (AWD with the 1.4 turbo, for example). As a result, an AWD 500X is pretty pricey because it comes with other stuff mandatory like the larger engine and automatic transmission.

  70. Budda-Boom says:

    What’s missing here is that ol’ Serge wanted the FCA dealers to “invest” $1,000,000 in a new, standalone showroom for Fiat.
    Many of them couldn’t/wouldn’t justify a million bucks on an unknown commodity being peddled by a CEO whose integrity was already being called into question. Who could blame those who questioned…lotta overpromising and underdelivering.
    Here in Pittsburgh, #1 Cochran and Baierl – both longtime multi-line, multi location companies – took a chance on Fiat when no FCA dealer would touch it. Cochran, for example, put theirs in a vacant Saturn (I think) building. Even though the cars were heavily advertised by both companies, neither sell them now.
    Three FCA dealers have stepped in, but only one – Jim Shorkey – is as aggressive with their marketing/brand visibility as Baierl & Cochran.
    I blame Serge even more than I do the cars themselves. And don’t think this isn’t gonna rub off on Alfa-Romeo. I understand more ridiculous promises/demands have been made and an increasing number of FCA dealers are angry.

  71. Tstag says:

    Before people harp on about reliability consider this. Toyota now has to spend over 3 billion USD to fix trucks with rusty frames. Yet Toyota nearly always come out about top for reliability…..
    This isn’t the first time that I’ve notice people criticise brand like Fiat and Jaguar for making unreliable cars. In Fiats case there may/ may not be some truth in this. In Jaguar’s case I really don’t believe it, because I own one, it never breaks down, actually they do quite well these days in surveys, the door always open ( Tesla you know who that’s aimed at), the cars don’t rust (Toyota) and the cars don’t catch fire because an engineer put the fuel tank in the wrong place (was that GM or Ford?).
    Point is we aren’t in the 70s any more, does anyone make an unreliable car really? And if they do are surveys picking it up correctly?

  72. Caboose says:

    How many times have we all heard that reliability studies are skewed these days because of unintuitive or slow or feature-skimpy infotainment systems? How often has it been reported that CR (as one example) will count as a “problem” something that really resolves to a PEBCAK failure or an ID10T error.
    I think your last question is instructive. The surveys are picking up all manner of legitimate issues in ease of operation areas that nevertheless do not resolve to operability problems with the car as such.

  73. bluegoose says:

    They sell very very small cars. Small cars are not selling well. The 500 is incredibly small in comparison to most of the cars on the road today. Then you add the horrible reputation of the dealers and the fears of mechanical failure and you have a recipe for low sales.

  74. Vulpine says:

    Small, yes. But they’re ideal as an urban commuter with great fuel mileage and surprising performance and handling for their size. They’re simply fun to drive and far more capable than you might think. Two years of owning one (and I was highly critical of it when the wife first suggested one) taught me that the old reputation simply doesn’t hold up any more.
    As for the dealers; don’t forget that most of them, if not all of them, are spin-offs or otherwise attached to previously-existing JCP dealerships and not all of them have the greatest reputation for customer service before or after the sale. I have four such dealerships within a 15-mile radius and honestly I’d rather trust the one that’s 45 miles away.
    As for “fears of mechanical failure”, I suggest you learn the truth rather than trusting word of mouth from people who don’t own one. Too many people are relying on obsolete data when they make their commentary about new models. Are Fiats perfect? No. But they’re far, far better than those three popular reviewing sites make them out to be on average. I’ve had no issues with my Fiat 500 Pop and so far I’ve had no issues with my Jeep Renegade. Both have far more going for them than the popular review sites suggest.
    My only recommendation is that you drive one for yourself before making any opinion on its capabilities.

  75. Higheriq says:

    Driving one around the block is one thing (reliability issues don’t normally show themselves in a ten-minute test drive). Actually plunking down hard-earned cash on cars which consistently rank at (or very close to) the bottom of ALL respected reliability/quality survey is quite another.
    Nice try, but some things never change.

  76. Vulpine says:

    @higheriq: Honestly, you’re not living up to your username. All you have to do is look at the independent review sites (there are dozens) where owners of Fiat 500s have already posted their appreciation for the car that completely contradicts the many commercial reviews saying otherwise.
    And yes, I do agree that you can’t get a feel for its reliability in a short drive around the block. But you CAN get an idea of its performance and handling and the 500 is a remarkably agile little car that WILL exceed 80mph handily and still have a lot of engine left. I’ve taken mine (a ’14 model) over 85 in passing on the freeway and know the rev counter was still rising when I finally let off the gas (having passed a much slower car in average 75mph traffic.)
    Things change. Problem is, people don’t.

  77. whynot says:

    All this talk about whether Fiat is actually unreliable or not is irrelevant. As the saying goes perception is reality. Many perceive Fiat as unreliable due to their past, whether that is true now a days or not I don’t know and in the end doesn’t matter.
    But sitting there whining about how Fiat is being unfairly portrayed is not the way to fix about it. People think you are unreliable but you in reality are just as reliable as everyone else? Then follow the Korean lead: put your money where your mouth is and offer incredible warranties, standard, on your cars and advertise the hell out of it.
    After all if Fiat was truly reliable it shouldn’t cost FCA all that much…

  78. Vulpine says:

    I gather you haven’t even noticed all the ads and commercials shown and seen on television over the last five years. And Fiat’s warranties aren’t any worse than anybody else’s–and are transferrable should you sell or trade the car before the warranty expires.
    Fiat’s problem literally is their 40-year-old reputation in the US. You go to Europe and you’ll find out it’s more popular there and the brand now holds roughly 10% of the market, against some pretty solid competitors. Yet they’re barely covering 1% of the US market simply because Americans refuse to consider them. Why? Because they’ve been told for 40 years that Fiats are junk.

  79. WalterRohrl says:

    Fiat does NOT hold anywhere near a 10% share of the overall market in Europe. Neither does FCA as a whole.
    I am curious as to where you got that figure?

  80. Vulpine says:

    Your reference, Walter?
    Ok, I’ll give you that one; I was recalling their growth numbers. However:
    • http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fiat-chrysler-eu-market-share-121544821.html
    — Fiat Chrysler EU market share tops GM and closes in on Ford
    Fiat as a brand isn’t moving all that much, but FCA as a corporation is moving upwards rapidly. Jeep alone is seeing 20% growth in Europe and FCA with primarily Fiat itself is very visible in South and Central America. Other models are coming but it appears they’ll be carrying a Jeep, Ram, Chrysler or Dodge brand in the US, with the exception of certain upper-level badges like Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

  81. WalterRohrl says:

    Normally when you state a figure as fact and someone calls you out on it, the onus is on YOU to provide YOUR source.
    But OK, whatever, I’ll play anyway this time.
    Here is my source, found by googling FCA Europe Market Share, wasn’t too difficult. Shows Jan ’16 through Aug ’16 total FCA European market share of 6.8%. By definition, Fiat by itself would have to be less than that.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/263421/market-share-of-selected-car-maunfacturers-in-europe/
    And here is another one from Morningstar that states Fiat market share is around 5.1% for the first 8 months TOTAL. You have to scroll down about half way to find that nugget hidden in the July/August sales paragraph starting with “Fiat Brand Sales…”.
    http://www.morningstar.com/news/pr-news-wire/PRNews_20160915enUK201609146138/july-and-august-2016-fiat-chrysler-automobiles-sales-in-europe.print.html
    Now please provide YOUR reference, Vulpine.

  82. Pch101 says:

    The only source that Vulpine ever uses is his backside.
    The ACEA says that FCA has 6.6% YTD market share in Europe, while the Fiat brand has 5.0%. As usual, Vulpine is a great source of disinformation; he thinks that he can turn a lie into a fact by repeating it and writing a 1,000 post that shows his devotion to it.

  83. Vulpine says:

    About that load of straw, Pch…
    Where did you say you wanted it?

  84. WalterRohrl says:

    If you’re going to edit your post, it would be nice to make note of it for others that come later.
    To wit, this was added to your post AFTER I answered your query:
    “Ok, I’ll give you that one; I was recalling their growth numbers. However:
    • http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fiat-chrysler-eu-market-share-121544821.html
    — Fiat Chrysler EU market share tops GM and closes in on Ford
    Fiat as a brand isn’t moving all that much, but FCA as a corporation is moving upwards rapidly. Jeep alone is seeing 20% growth in Europe and FCA with primarily Fiat itself is very visible in South and Central America. Other models are coming but it appears they’ll be carrying a Jeep, Ram, Chrysler or Dodge brand in the US, with the exception of certain upper-level badges like Maserati and Alfa Romeo.”
    I don’t think anybody cares if Jeep or FCA or Fiat is improving in Europe in regard to selling more Fiats in the US. And throwing out percentages means nothing without the actual figures. If I sell one car this year and two the next year, that’s a 100% gain. Sounds impressive without the actual sales numbers. In fact, Jeep has sold around 70,000 vehicles in Europe this year, of which 51,000 were Renegade, not selling much that wasn’t a Fiat to begin with already. I wonder if they are cannibalizing Fiat. Either way 70,000 sales is not a huge deal and if Jeep is up 20% as you state, then that’s only an extra 13,000 or so sales total.

  85. Vulpine says:

    Aye? So? What, you don’t look back to see what you’re responding to?

  86. Pch101 says:

    Fiat has half of the market share in Europe that you claimed.
    This stuff can be looked up in 30 seconds. But I suppose that you wouldn’t know how to do that.

  87. GeneralMalaise says:

    Wait a minute. I thought I’d read that the obnoxious posters/ad hominem honchos had been shown the door at TTAC? Ongoing snit/meltdown stand clear.

  88. Pch101 says:

    Apparently not, because you’re still here.
    Given your addiction to inaccuracy, I can see why would want to be an enabler for some other poster who is utterly incapable of getting even simple facts right.

  89. GeneralMalaise says:

    You seem to have great difficulty separating facts from opinion, PCH.

  90. Pch101 says:

    Only an uneducated half-wit would think that sales and market share data are a matter of opinion.

  91. Vulpine says:

    What is a matter of opinion is the reliability of the Fiat product. People who actually own the product seem to be saying it’s far better than what supposedly impartial reviewers are claiming.

  92. OldManPants says:

    It’s the pathological need for belonging behind his compulsive apologia that outcreeps me.

  93. Asdf says:

    FCA is doing its utmost to ensure that it’s not going to be around for much longer, by axing and bad-mouthing new models in key segments (Dart, 200), selling old product at a massive discount and not bothering to renew its lineup. Perhaps only a Trump presidency stands in the way of Jeep and Ram becoming Chinese eventually…

  94. VoGo says:

    You do realize that FCA is Dutch-British, right?

  95. Lou_BC says:

    Tax centre: Great Britain , Head office: Netherlands, stock exchange: New York.
    reliability: Cellar

  96. tjh8402 says:

    Welp as if the depreciation on my Abarth wasn’t bad enough. Still, probably a smart move. Looking at my car specifically, the primary reason I got it over a Fiesta ST was price. I know the FiST is the better car, but with my car available used and ST’s only available new at the time, the Ford wasn’t $4k better. That being said, it’s generally treated me well. I wish the dealer network was better, it didn’t need so many bespoke parts and service, and I had more room (all of which the Fiesta would’ve been better at), but it’s done well enough and it’s certainly been reliable as I’ve put 24k miles/year on it.

  97. GeneralMalaise says:

    I’ve driven the Fiesta ST after buying the Abarth, and I prefer the Abarth. I just can’t handle that interior. The Abarth is about as engaging a car as I’ve driven in that price range and my experience has been very positive. My experience with Ford in the mid-to-late 90s put me off that brand, though I do have to say the Ecoboost Mustang convertible we rented in Hawaii earlier this year was a blast, except for the auto trans.

  98. kogashiwa says:

    This is for US prices; Canadian prices will go down by a similar amount I wonder? Because if so I’d have to take a careful look at a 500 Abarth.

  99. ajla says:

    “only to steal potential sales from the 500L”
    LOL. Potential sales for the 500L don’t exist. It gets outsold by the Lincoln MKT and Kia Cadenza. It has broken 500 units in one month since June 2015. It is an epic failure nearly on par with the ZDX and ELR. I’m guessing it’s continued existence *hurts* Fiat.

  100. VoGo says:

    Yes, but the 500L is stealing sales from the Mitsubishi i-Miev, so it’s a success from that perspective.

  101. WalterRohrl says:

    And the Suzuki Kizashi…

  102. OldManPants says:

    Junk priced as junk is still junk.

  103. Vulpine says:

    It has to BE junk to be junk. Since you simply don’t know and refuse to learn, you will never know for sure, now will you?

  104. Lou_BC says:

    I’d rather rely on statistics and not take the chance.

  105. OldManPants says:

    I don’t know… I’m now kind of leaning toward trusting Vulpy on this.
    AAGH! My face wants to crack! Ima snot all over my new computer!

  106. Big Al From 'Murica says:

    FIAT dealers: “We need a volume seller to get people in the showroom…our lineup is to niche”
    FCA Corporate: “I know, well tweak the body a bit and shove a FIAT motor in a Miata in a package that addresses all of those claiming The Miata is just too light and needs a worse power to weight ratio”. That’ll pack em’ in!

  107. indi500fan says:

    C’mon down folks to Big Serge’s Dollar Dealin’ Days.
    Fiat name has no brand equity in the US, may actually be toxic. FCA would be far better off calling these Jeepsters or something.
    You can see that in the Renegade vs 500x.

  108. GeneralMalaise says:

    Fiesta ST may be a good car, but that Rodan vs. Mothra interior left me retching.

  109. geozinger says:

    Let’s hope FCA gets it’s act together on trim lines and pricing finally. I think the idea to try to ape MINI’s success in the NA market by pricing them as high as MINIs hasn’t worked. Try using Fiat’s on-line configurator to build a car; the choices and prices are dizzying. One thing the Japanese have ingrained in us is that we like simple choices when optioning cars. The capability for customization “euro-style” is fairly confusing. We’re no longer used to that.
    That said, I think that FCA needs to do a couple of other things, including making parts and service available through all FCA outlets. While I live 10 miles away from a big FCA multi-line dealer, my local CDJ dealer is 4 miles away. It would be great to have more choices for repairs and even sales. In addition they should add Fiat to the CDJ dealers who want to sell them. The million dollar Fiat Studio idea was poorly conceived and timed. If the people can actually see the cars (and see them being serviced) they may actually want to try them.
    I would like to get my hands on a nice 500 Abarth, it just looks like fun. My wife actually likes the looks and roominess of the 500L. I have to agree on the roominess and utility of the little beast. Maybe with the right pricing I will finally sign up for car payments again.

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