Fiat 500 getting ready to launch across Canada

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Do you like the way this little city car looks? If you do, you're not alone, as the Fiat 500 has been the darling of Europe for years now. Soon you'll be able to drop by your local Fiat store and take one home.

If you're wondering where you're going to find a Fiat dealer, look no further than your local Chrysler Dodge Jeep retailer, where Fiats will be sold in a special section of the showroom similarly to how Mercedes-Benz displays smart cars and Toyota now sells Scion.

In Canada, Fiat will initially be offering three trim levels, starting with the Pop, at $15,995, and followed up by the $18,500 Sport model and the $19,500 Lounge version.

If you're thinking that $16k doesn't buy you much these days, you might be right when factoring in size (unless you're interested in a new 2010 Dodge Avenger that can be had for less and, at that price, might just be the best deal in Canada), but when loading up the 500's features even the Pop model is surprisingly rich in content. Powered locks with remote keyless entry is on the standard list, as are powered and heated side mirrors, powered windows, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, and a vehicle information centre. Optional Pop features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio buttons and Bluetooth connectivity via Fiat's "Blue & Me" interface, Sirius satellite radio, plus a panoramic power sunroof and 15-inch alloy wheels, although optional air conditioning and cruise control are normally standard features in North America.

Fiat didn't skimp out on standard safety features though, with four-wheel disc brakes enhanced by ABS and electronic stability control, very unusual for the class, plus active front head restraints, multistage airbags for the front, side, side curtain and even driver's knees, plus hill start assist and tire pressure monitoring.

The 500 Sport adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, red brake calipers, fog lamps, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, and standard air conditioning plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The options list reads similarly to the Pop.

The top-line Lounge trim level includes 15-inch alloy wheels, a fixed glass roof, leather seats, steering wheel and shift knob, plus an audio upgrade with six premium speakers and a subwoofer, Sirius satellite radio with a one-year subscription, fog lamps, body side mouldings with the "500" logo, and chrome end cap mouldings. Many of the same options offered with the other 500s that aren't already standard on the Lounge are available, plus heated front seats and rear parking assist.

The 500 comes with a fuel-friendly 1.4-litre engine featuring Fiat's exclusive and much revered MultiAir technology for maximizing efficiency and minimizing harmful emissions.

The new 500 is already showing up at Canadian auto shows and will continue doing so before arriving at dealerships later this year. See for more details.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hatchback, Fiat, 2012, 500, $10,000 - $19,999, Subcompact,

Geographic location: Canada

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