Searching for a Fiat 500 manual/stick 'Plague' car

Walter Kittel

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Since Canada is part of the original members of the British Commonwealth, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car. :)

And yeah, I do know Canada (or at least parts of Canada) used to conform to left-side driving and switched.

- Walter.
 

Francois Caron

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I'm sure it's not the correct answer, but I'll go with it being a bit too close in size to a Matchbox car, lol.
Jeremy Clarkson once described the 500 as being the size of a shoe! :D

Here's a hint. This is the kind of problem that would make almost every car shopper run away from this purchase even though there's absolutely nothing mechanically wrong with the vehicle.
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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Since Canada is part of the original members of the British Commonwealth, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car. :)

And yeah, I do know Canada (or at least parts of Canada) used to conform to left-side driving and switched.
There's actually part of the US where you drive on the left - a great trivia question. It's the US Virgin Islands, formerly the Danish Virgin Islands.
 
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TJPC

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I’m almost 70 and Canadian. I never even heard of anywhere here where there was British style steering here. I guess it’s possible for Newfoundland which didn't become part of CND until after WW II.
 

Francois Caron

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There's actually part of the US where you drive on the left - a great trivia question. It's the US Virgin Islands, formerly the Danish Virgin Islands.
Samoa went from right side to left side back in 2009 to be in line with the other neighbouring Pacific nations, and to get cheaper used cars from Australia and New Zealand. American cars were too expensive. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8243110.stm

This is the last picture of the game.

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Francois Caron

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The yellow Fiat is out for now, they weren't comfortable with a possible offer under $10,000 CAD ($7,266 USD). However, they did lower their list price today from $12,700 CAD ($9,228 USD) to $11,900 CAD ($8,647 USD). This isn't entirely a coincidence since it's in sync with their first price drop four months ago, four months after the car was put up for sale.

I'll contact them again during a business trip in June. By then, maybe they'll be willing to meet me halfway. I could live with spending an extra grand.

In the meantime, the search goes on. Maybe I can find a decent Abarth for the same price...
 

Jeffrey D

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THE ANSWER IS:

No air conditioning.
Yikes! That’s definitely a deal breaker.

As far as the manual vs. automatic topic is concerned, I’m on my 12th vehicle (I read somewhere that the average person owns 12 vehicles in their lifetime), and all of them have been automatics. I have driven a bunch of miles in a tractor trailer with manual transmissions, but I know I’d have a problem driving a stick shift car
(I have heard you can’t float the gears in a car).
 

Francois Caron

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Yikes! That’s definitely a deal breaker.
Yep. It's too bad too. It's basically a new car, but you can't "fix" this particular problem.

Even if it were "fixed," I still wouldn't buy it at that price. I want the 16 inch wheels for better comfort, and it'll cost two grand just to get those.
 

Francois Caron

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Cute car. It is a four-door, right?
Nope. That's the 500X. Too conventional. The 500 is a very tiny two door model where the rear seats are merely a suggestion. :D

There's also a 500L minivan/SUV model which I've rented once. Wretched vehicle. It's the third worst vehicle I've ever ridden.

The second worst vehicle is all Kia cars except for one model.

The worst vehicle is the Kia Soul because that's what it sucks out of you whenever you drive it.

Dishonorable mention goes to the Chevy Cruze for stranding me in a parking lot when the key fob system in the car had failed. I quickly discovered this was a very common problem.
 
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Francois Caron

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Found another Abarth, this time a 2013 model with 91,290 km (56,725 mi) for a firm $9,688 CAD ($7,036 USD).

It's a bit used, and I would have to get it delivered from Toronto to Ottawa, but it might still be perfectly serviceable for my needs. Plus, the insurance might be less expensive for this older model. I don't care much about the sunroof or the Beats audio system, but I do prefer manual climate controls over automated ones because I know when I'm too hot or too cold.

I'm seeing quite a few Abarths pop up for sale these days with prices slowly dropping. The yellow Fiat I originally had my eyes on might be in serious trouble.

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EDIT:

Just to show you what I'm encountering, here's what I found on one used car site. They're both the same style with just a few equivalently priced differences with the accessories that end up cancelling each other out. They younger car is still relatively new, but the warranty has expired. The older car might still be in good working order now that it's very likely had all of its required maintenance and expected defects sorted out.

TwoAbarths.png
 
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Francois Caron

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Update on the previous post: no delivery to Ottawa, so it's out.

The white Abarth I posted a while back is still a contender, but only barely. I still need to figure out how to inspect and test drive it, and that's only if the price drops far enough to become a worthwhile purchase. At 20 grand, the Abarth will lose up to 10 grand of its value within the next three years. The yellow Fiat turbo model however will only lose up to 6 grand in the same three year period while, at the same time, potentially offer a much more quiet and comfortable ride.

As for insurance rates, the price difference between the regular turbo and the Abarth model is minimal. This surprised me because I would figure that the Abarth, being a "performance" class of car, would be more expensive to insure. My final choice will pretty much come down to which car I feel most comfortable driving around.

In the meantime, I'll keep looking. There are still a lot of Fiats hitting the market these days. That should bring down prices a bit more.

EDIT:

The yellow Fiat has been sold!
 
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Francois Caron

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Found a white 2018 Fiat 500 Pop locally. 7,000 km (4,350 mi) for $14,900 CAD ($11,045 USD) It's basically a rebadged Fiat 500 Sport Turbo. But it's completely white with no detailing whatsoever, and the interior is incredibly dull just like the previous year's Pop models!

If I can get the Abarth for $17,000 CAD ($12,600 USD), I might just swallow the price difference and get the better car! This pandemic has demonstrated that life's too short and we need to enjoy it as much as possible.

At least that's what my friends and family keep telling me.

EDIT:

The exterior of the car. Some red vinyl stripes at the bottom should make this car look a little better. Maybe I can also replace the rear view mirror covers with red ones as well.

2018-Fiat-500-2979284-6-sm.jpg 2018-Fiat-500-2979284-5-sm.jpg

I have no idea what I can do with the interior. It's just plain hideous!

2018-Fiat-500-2979284-8-sm.jpg 2018-Fiat-500-2979284-10-sm.jpg

The Abarth is expensive, but at least I won't throw up in it.

Worst case is that I offer only twelve grand for the ugly car and they accept it. I'll use the money I've saved to buy some heavily tinted glasses to keep this interior of this car from driving me completely insane! :D

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Francois Caron

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The white Fiat is out. The dealer has a very bad reputation of selling defective cars. It's highly probable the Fiat was damaged by a wreck or a flood and should have been scrapped.

In hindsight, I should have bought the yellow Fiat for $11,900 when I had the chance, or at the very least test driven it. It was still the best deal out there in the last month and a half once the price dropped a second time, at which it was sold within a week. Then again, it's still a dead-end car that will eventually break down, and the repair costs will be pricey.

I started to look for other options for a plague car. In a way, this could be a blessing in disguise. I might find something else I could like just as much.

Here's the first candidate: a blue 2016 Scion tC with 100,477 km (62,433 mi), 2,5 lire 4 cylinder engine with 179 HP, leather interior and automatic transmission. Lowest asking price is $12,990 CAD ($9,674 USD) on the ontariocars site.

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Essentially, it's a Toyota Camry in a cheap dress. :D At least there won't be any problems maintaining the car since it's made from readily available Toyota Camry parts. And with a 179 HP engine under the hood, there definitely won't be a lack of power even with the automatic transmission (the difference between automatic and manual is negligible), unlike the Fiat which requires a turbo and a manual transmission just to push its tiny 1.4 litre engine into decent driving specifications.

The Fiat does have one big advantage: built-in SiriusXM. The Scion doesn't have that option.

The car does have one collision claim of $2,156 CAD ($1,606 USD), which would probably explain why the various used car sites claim it's priced nearly $3,000 CAD ($2,234 USD) under the average. I'll need to find out exactly what happened and become a drama queen over it just to push the price down even lower. :D

And while the mileage is somewhat high, it is a Camry engine and transmission. They should last for a very long time. Heck, the body will probably rust out long before the engine finally dies. I know that's what happened to my dad's old 1970s Toyota Corolla. We could see the road through the floor.

The other local candidate is the Hyundai Veloster.

2016_hyundai_veloster-pic-3827641989988323260-1024x768.jpeg

This is just one of many Velosters available locally, with highly varying prices and mileage, with a few 2016 models available at slightly less than the Scion tC.

I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of Korean cars. And the dash of the Veloster is a bit gaudy to say the least. There's also unanswered questions about their reliability and resale value. But from what I saw online locally, they don't hold their value all that well. It's been an ongoing problem with Korean made cars for decades.

The Scion will very likely have a "Made in Japan" sticker on it. "Made in Canada" would also be acceptable. In both cases, Toyota cars will have been built to last a very long time.

Any other suggestions out there for something "fun" to drive? I'll still keep an eye out for any new Fiat 500s that may come on the market, but it might be time for me to move on to alternate prospects.
 

LeoA

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I think you're wise to be thinking of alternate options. I'm pretty sure you'd of been buying a $12,000 hangar queen if you had gotten the yellow Fiat. I'm no expert and never driven one, but haven't heard flattering things where their reliability is concerned.
 

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