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Fiat 500: Is America Ready to Embrace Micro?

Making the case to buy Cinquecento revolves around the cuteness factor.

by on Apr.25, 2012

Fiat has returned to the U.S. market with the 500, a tiny, four-seat two-door hatchback.

There’s two ways to tell the story of the Fiat 500.

Story no. 1:

It seemed like a relatively simple trip. Two people, two duffel bags, one box of Easter flowers, a computer bag, one dog. But crammed inside the Fiat 500, no one was happy about the space allotted to them, the dog especially. Geez, there weren’t even kids tagging along for this trip.

Or, story no. 2

From Small to Big!

There’s this woman I know who loves tiny cars. She sees this little Fiat 500 and declares “This is a Rhonda car. Can I drive it?”

Look, there’s no denying the 500 is as cute as a teacup Italian greyhound. For many, that’s the appeal. And when it’s time to pack for a weekend up north? Well, pack light and bring gift cards to the local greenhouse.

Fiat has been gone from the U.S. market for 29 years. But when the company took control of Chrysler, it saw an opportunity to make its often-delayed return to the U.S. market. The car it decided to bring here first is the tiny 500, or Cinquecento in Italian.


Buick’s eAssist Delivers With Big Mileage Gains

Small car fuel economy, big car roominess.

by on Jul.21, 2011

Buick makes the eAssist system standard on the 2012 LaCrosse sedan.

There are plenty of small cars on the market now nudging into 40 mpg territory, but for those who want great mileage, the sacrifice is usually in the form of roominess and comfort.  Buick, with the debut of the new eAssist system – standard on the 2012 LaCrosse – aims to let buyers have their automotive cake and eat it, too.

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse with the now-standard eAssist system also demonstrates that smaller, hybridized powertrains can actually deliver a peppy, even more aggressive ride than the V-6s and V-8s Americans are used to.

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Using a variety of technology and exterior enhancements, the 2.4-liter, Ecotec 4-cylinder engine on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with e-Assist gets an estimated 36 miles per galon on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.  That represents a 20% improvement in highway mileage and a 32% boost in city mileage over the V-6 package of prior years.

How does it get there?