For the Fiat 500, tough and tiny may not seem like two words that would naturally go together, and yet is very much is the case. Which maybe a surprise for some because these new cars for sale have all the cuteness and softness of the old VW Beatle, while being no bigger than the size of a Mini Cooper. And toughness? It's now an IIHS top safety pick.
This accolade is certainly praiseworthy given the 500's price and size. Most cars priced near the new cars under 15000 mark are known for much beyond their economy cost. In an increasingly competitive market, being able to separate yourself as safe, affordable, and with a fuel economy just under that of other 40 mpg cars is a pretty good formula.
The safety factor also cannot be downplayed enough given the cars cute looks. A styling look that is very reminiscent of the last VW Beetle which was hugely popular with the female crowd. It has a look that compared to other new cars for sale, you just want to walk up to and give it a hug. Knowing you are going to be as safe in it as other cars under 20k can definitely ease some of the worries of moving to a smaller vehicle.
It still remains to be seen however if those cute looks transitions to stealing hearts the way the Mini Cooper has. And if it does, price will be a huge reason why. A new Mini starts just below other cars under 20k with its Cooper Hardtop base model, and generally is going to cost you more than that. Meanwhile the 500 starts near the cost floor of other best new car prices at just over $15000. Evening out the equipment to be more Cooper-like will probably be moving towards the price of a Fiat 500 Sport and a price point just over $17.5k. Certainly some value there.
If there is one slight point of contention however, it might be that at 38 mpg highway the Fiat 500 is a point or two behind other 40 mpg cars in its price range. Not by a wide margin, but just enough to keep it out of any eco debates you might have with your friends about which new car has the best mpg. Still the price is attractive, even if its cuteness may work against some. If you happen to be shopping for a smaller affordable car the 500 is a contender.