Saturday, March 03, 2012
Third Car Shopping Weekend
We went back to Fields Fiat to take a second look at the 500C. I believe my I know what lurks in my wife's lusting heart, and it's a strong desire to own the 500C. The desire is now so strong that she does something quite remarkable for her; she can spot every 500C on the road, even before I do. The primary reason for today's trip was to check the seating in the vehicle again, both on the driver's side as well as the front passenger's side. We'd tried it the first time in the moon-roof version and the inside roof was too close to my head for comfort. We tried both hardtop and convertible this time and found both to be quite roomy for me. In spite of checking to see if I fit properly, there's no doubt in my mind that we're shopping for my wife's car, not mine.
When we arrived today at the dealership they'd changed up the cars on display. In particular they had this white 500C with crimson trim. We'd seen a moon-roof version several weekends back, but the red topped convertible looked really sweet. The convertible top does not fold like other convertibles but slides forward and back between the sides of the 500C. The high-point center stop light is always in a proper position, regardless of the position of the top.
Looking down from the rear shows how airy the interior is with the top completely back.
With the seats folded down there's plenty of room for luggage and (we hope) a pair of yellow Labs.
With the convertible you don't get the standard hatchback. Instead you get a high-lift trunk that automatically shifts the convertible top up a bit for it to open completely.
This blue 500C hardtop shows what the hatch looks like. It also shows how much easier it is to reach the interior through the back.
This green 500C, which is also a convertible, has its bonnet up displaying the engine. It is tightly packed as you can see. Our next step is to bring the Labs with us and do a test drive. We literally need to see how we all fit inside. And it's going to be interesting if somebody at the dealership insists on being with us, because that means that one of us has to stay behind while the other drives.
We stopped off by a local Nissan dealership to look at the Versa. We checked the mileage and looked at the exterior of the vehicle. It took less than five minutes for us to realize the Versa wasn't for us. I didn't even bother to photograph any of the vehicles for further analysis.
The white 500C convertible has a sticker price of $21,000. That's with leather interior and alloy wheels. The blue standard hardtop has a sticker price of $16,000, and that's with cloth interior and wheel covers. By way of reference the 2012 Prius' we've been shown start at $26,000 and go up from there.
The 500C mileage is 30/38 for the base model, and goes down the more stuff you add. So the question now is how to balance creature comforts with practical considerations. And how much down payment to save up for.
Right now, in my wife's mind, it appears that she prefers the Fiat, followed closely by the Ford Focus. She feels both are the best built, and quality wise they're tied. At a close third is Hyundai, followed in forth place by the Toyota Yaris. All of these are 2012 models.