The hot new Fiat 500 has been announced as the Coolest Car for under $18,000 by the editors of the online edition of Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com, best known for their knowledge in used-car values. The list is comprised of vehicles that, in their opinion, are not only well-equipped quality vehicles for the price, but that are also fun to drive and have a certain degree of style.
The Fiat 500 is the Italian automaker's first offering in the United States market in nearly 30 years, thanks to Fiat S.p.A gaining a majority interest in Chrysler LLC and using its existing infrastructure for marketing and distribution. The 500 is available in either a three-door hatchback or a convertible, with a 1.4L 101hp 'MultiAir' 4cyl engine. Its retro styling (actually a reincarnation of the rear-engined 500 built by Fiat in the 50s through the 70s) and massive list of personalization options are what make the new 500 cool.
The Fiat 500 is offered in 14 different exterior colors, with 12 different interior color combinations, and 3 exterior soft-top colors for the convertible version, which is called the 500C. In addition, there are several trim options, from the base Pop, to the Sport, with bigger wheels and available body add-ons, to the more luxurious Lounge. A hot turbocharged Abarth version is also on its way.
On the Fiat 500, the KBB editors remarked "Cute isn't cool. Not usually, anyway. But that's because cute is rarely backed up by substance, as it is in the 2012 Fiat 500." Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America, said "The Fiat 500 is proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to have fun in a car."
Other cars on kbb.com's list of 10 Coolest Cars for under $18,000 include the 2012 Ford Focus, the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, and the 2011 Hyundai Elantra. For the complete list, visit the kbb.com website.