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HelfmanCars Take On The New FIAT.


Most people will be eager to compare the FIAT 500 to the Mini Cooper, and to be honest that’s exactly what I was going to do until I realized that these are two totally different vehicles. First off the 500 has a starting price of 15,500. I believe the Cooper starts at around $19,000. Secondly, the interiors are quite different. The 500 has a distinct modern italian design, smooth knobs,gauges, white accents, very much Italian. The Mini has very hard start and stops to it’s design, gauges protrude from the center console,dash,and cluster. It’s very how can I put it WWII Fighter Plane Cockpitish (if that’s a word). These cars appeal to two different people. The more fashionable person will go with the FIAT, while the Mini will attract a more nostalgic individual longing to capture a bit of English heritage. Neither bad just different. The representative on the show floor was quick to note that the FIAT competition in their eyes was something more akin to the Smart Car. But thats sort of Apple and Oranges as well. The smart car has nowhere near the beauty of the FIAT. Oh, and if you don’t know this, the 500 takes regular unleaded, and the Smart required premium. I’m not sure if I’m making any point, so I’ll move on.

In a nutshell the FIAT is a lovely car.  I love the subtle curving design inside and out. The color choice are beautifully made. I especially love the Lounge. It’s very elegant. The pearl white paint matches the two tone white and red interior perfectly. The car is small, but the inside feels roomy, not cramped. The build quality appears to be excellent. No creaking or loose interior or exterior pieces.

One more thing. The vehicle comes standard with 6 airbags, and has done quite well on crash tests. How well, I don’t know. The rep. just told me “very good”.

Helfman should have a car available for display within the next few weeks. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll let you know how it drives.

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