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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
The dimensions may be compact but the car offers pretty much everything you can get in any modern compact car.
The exterior styling is just right and will be augmented by an unusually large selection of colors, fourteen in all, as well as various graphics packages.
...The redundant volume control on the backside of the steering wheel works well.
Option highlights include rear parking sensors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a sunroof and a navigation system.
The 2014 Fiat 500 is again expected to be offered in three major variants, each with their own flavors: the 500, the 500C, and the 500 Abarth.The base Fiat 500 Pop sports the five-speed manual transmission, 15-inch wheels, air conditioning, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, power windows/locks/mirrors, and cruise control. The 500 Sport sizes up to 16-inch wheels, adds a fixed glass roof, and gets a sport-tuned suspension and sport-bolstered seats. It also wears specific side cladding and a spoiler on its hatchback, even painted brake calipers. On the Sport, Fiat includes standard Bluetooth and USB hardware.
Priced above that, the 500 Lounge moves back down to 500 Pop spec; it reverts to 15-inch wheels and hangs on to the glass roof, although it adds the six-speed automatic and rear park assist, along with satellite radio, premium speakers and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Moving to the Fiat 500c, you get, naturally, a retractable soft top roof. Unlike other convertibles, however, the 500c's roof retracts just the center section, leaving the metal sides and pillars of the standard 500. It's a unique arrangement, and a nod to the 500 cabrios of the past. The 500c is offered in Pop and Lounge variants, with the same equipment as standard coupe versions.
The major options on the Pop models include the Bluetooth system and Bose speakers; on the Sport, automatic climate control and satellite radio are available. The Lounge editions can be fitted with a TomTom navigation system that can be mounted on a dash bracket; leather seats with heating and rear parking sensors are available, too. There's also a new Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio system.
The 500T slots between the 500 Abarth and the standard 500, it gets a 135-horsepower turbocharged engine, some sportier exterior details, and a "sport influenced" interior.
With the Fiat 500 Abarth, this little hatchback becomes a performance car and includes a much more potent 160-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder engine, and a range of bodywork and interior cues to suit it. On the equipment side, the Abarth comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, performance cloth seats, 16x6.5-inch wheels, and Abarth logos inside and out.
Once you've picked the model you'll use as your canvas, there are all kinds of choices for customization: 15 exterior colors, 15 different seat color and materials options, and 50 accessories. There are so many choices for customization, and they've become even more extensive for 2014, adding new Avorio (ivory) interior trim and a new Hyper Nero (black) 16-inch wheel option With a long list of exterior colors, different seat color and materials options, as well as accessories, the chances of seeing the same 500 as yours out on the street are very, very low.
The Fiat 500 isn't the most feature-packed; but it's low-priced and there's plenty of room for customization.