Chicago Auto Show – I Want A Fiat 500

Fiat 500 11As I mentioned before, the Chicago Auto Show has a number of ride-alongs and tracks for attendees to try out some of the vehicles. The Prius track was fantastic, but Jo Borras and I also rode in a Jeep Rubicon, a massive Dodge Ram, a Dodge Challenger, and the Fiat 500. In short, we rode in pretty much every car that let us into the passenger seat.

The discerning reader will note that most of these are not particularly green cars – and just riding in them, the amount of fuel burning is nearly tangible. (Also the Ram was bizarrely stiff and bouncy, despite talk from the Dodge rep about how smooth the ride was supposed to be.)

Jo was super excited for the Fiat (our second to last track of the day), and I did have to agree that it’s super cute. I was, however, expecting to be cramped and bounced around. I was so very wrong.

The Fiat, as has been said on Gas2 before, has the MultiAir engine. It controls the valves in order to regulate how much fuel is injected into the engine; mileage goes up, fuel consumption goes down, and everyone wins. The EPA rated the 2012 automatic model at 30mpg combined, which is somewhat short of what Fiat’s initial estimates were, but still respectable for a small car.

It was actually a fairly smooth and quiet ride. Admittedly, there’s not much opportunity to test how the car handles when driving at 2mph, but by the time the ride was over I really wanted to take it out onto the street and try to have some fun. The bucket seats in front were even really comfortable.

I can now blame both Jo and Fiat for adding to the list of cars I want to buy (and it’s not a long list).

Questions or opinions? Let us know in the comments below the gallery.

Source: 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.