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Fiat 500L: The Rich Inner Life
of a Gutless Clown Car

Wall Street Journal, by Dan Neil

Original Article

Posted By:nhchemist, 3/22/2014 1:32:49 PM

LAST YEAR, somewhere deep in the bowels of Fiat´s Ufficio Stampa in Turin, Italy, an employee had a problem. On the screen was a news release about the first load of Serbia-built Fiat 500Ls arriving from Montenegro to the Port of Baltimore. He or she was obliged to write something pleasant about the car´s driving. The "North American Fiat 500L delivers excellent performance and great driving pleasure," this person perjured blandly. "These enviable characteristics are made even more interesting by typical European handling and precise, responsive steering."

Comments:
Ouch. I guess the WSJ won´t see much ad revenue from Chrysler-Fiat in the near future.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: voxpopuli, 3/22/2014 1:55:15 PM     (No. 9779944)

i concur with the article about these little "city cars"..
the only thing is see worse is the Smart Car..
which i officially owned for 20 minutes..
had waited a year to get it and gave it back to them after a twenty minute test drive..

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Reply 2 - Posted by: mc squared, 3/22/2014 2:09:00 PM     (No. 9779954)

If the Fiat is for the ´driving-agnostic´, how on earth do we define people who drive those itty-bitty city cars?

At least they´re easy to pass.


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Reply 3 - Posted by: DaddyO, 3/22/2014 2:09:53 PM     (No. 9779957)

But you can drive the car underwater, and Diddy Combs and pretty girls in bikinis drive them.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Not your typical New Yorker, 3/22/2014 2:29:16 PM     (No. 9779972)

FTA: "You hit the gas and time stands still, a la "The Matrix." And the six-speed manual gearbox is the vaguest, wobbliest such mechanism I´ve encountered since I was winning dance contests in my three-piece suit. This thing isn´t a transmission. It is an intermission."

Heh...

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Reply 5 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 3/22/2014 2:54:45 PM     (No. 9779992)

Catchy headline, but TLDR...

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Maggie2u, 3/22/2014 3:03:31 PM     (No. 9780003)

How could any sane person buy one of those teeny, tiny cars. My dining room table wouldn´t even fit in one. We call them carfins.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: mackrand, 3/22/2014 3:19:27 PM     (No. 9780013)

Au Contraire. Not every Fiat 500 was a gutless wonder. In the early sixties I had a much older friend who had a Deriac Abarth version that was anything but gutless. Now some fifty years later there is a vacuum which would be a perfect fit for a little powerhouse of a twelve inch tire engineering marvel that would amaze your friends and confound your enemies. Come on Fiat, you "can" do it again!!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: MTGardenerview, 3/22/2014 3:50:02 PM     (No. 9780037)

Brightly painted, wheeled coffins

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Crashnburn, 3/22/2014 3:51:13 PM     (No. 9780038)

After reading the article, I decided the ´L´ stands lethargic.

So, what is the gas mileage?

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Reply 10 - Posted by: plex, 3/22/2014 3:55:22 PM     (No. 9780044)

#7, The car you want was the Ford Fiesta!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: KTWO, 3/22/2014 4:03:36 PM     (No. 9780052)

Clever writing. But what does that amount to?

Not much.

And a press release wasn´t very accurate?

We don´t expect bulldogs to stalk birds. Similarly, every car is a compromise. This Fiat is too. After the lead Neil is pretty fair about its flaws and merits.



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Reply 12 - Posted by: stevendm, 3/22/2014 4:17:22 PM     (No. 9780067)

The gas mileage is 27-30 (combined). Terrible for that size of car.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: jdmii, 3/22/2014 5:47:02 PM     (No. 9780126)

Fiat = Fix It Again Tony

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Reply 14 - Posted by: franq, 3/22/2014 7:36:17 PM     (No. 9780177)

"perjured..." That´s funny.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: 1976Ag, 3/22/2014 8:34:15 PM     (No. 9780203)

I see one of these clown cars on the freeway and I have to admit I try to get a look at the driver, if it´s safe. I have to know what sort of person would buy one in Houston? We have wide streets, decent roads and this is the oil & gas capital of the world. Are they trying to make some sort of statement about how they are smarter and more environmentally conscious than the rest of us?

What they are is cannon fodder for the next Navigator, Silverado or Suburban they try to do battle with.

Thursday I saw one of those mini coopers that had apparently tried to run up under a semi rig. I concluded that since it was so low it saw open space to change lanes while it was really just looking at the space underneath the trailer. There are some places where these little cars just don´t belong.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: harper, 3/22/2014 10:57:43 PM     (No. 9780254)

The worst part, as with the Schmart Car, is that you have to wind down a window before the air bag deploys or you get to re-enact the bug on the windshield thing.

OTOH I understand a fully loaded one has a pop up gravestone that deploys with the air bag, so they just dump the whole thing straight into the grave, saving thousands.

Getting taken to the cemetery behind a wrecker is also so much cheaper than in a hearse. If you´re real lucky, Lizard Lick Towing will do the job and you get a punch up at the cemetery thrown in for free.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 3/23/2014 1:56:24 AM     (No. 9780339)

Last week seemed like National Mini Car Week in this area. Then I realized they must have gotten their tax refunds.

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