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Automated System
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Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com has named the 2013 Dodge Dart and the 2013 Fiat 500 to its list of the “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.” The Dodge Dart took the No. 5 spot, making it

two in a row for the smallest Dodge. KBB.com editors said, “An American car with Italian roots, the Dodge Dart is a product of the Chrysler Group and parent company Fiat. This multi-national compact sedan offers its own unique combination of personalization and performance, including all the tech you need.” The Fiat 500 is becoming a fixture on the list, coming in at No. 7 in its third appearance.

“The Fiat 500 may be seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper, but it’s equally big on personality," said the editors. "True cool is more than skin deep, and underneath all that adorable is a pleasant little subcompact car.” “Making KBB.com’s list of the 10 Coolest..

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Automated System
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Discussion Starter #2

Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com has named the 2013 Dodge Dart and the 2013 Fiat 500 to its list of the “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000.” The Dodge Dart took the No. 5 spot, making it two in a row for the smallest Dodge. KBB.com editors said, “An American car with Italian roots, the Dodge Dart is a product of the Chrysler Group and parent company Fiat. This multi-national compact sedan offers its own unique combination of personalization and performance, including all the tech you need.” The Fiat 500 is becoming a fixture on the list, coming in at No. 7 in its third appearance.

“The Fiat 500 may be seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper, but it’s equally big on personality," said the editors. "True cool is more than skin deep, and underneath all that adorable is a pleasant little subcompact car.” “Making KBB.com’s list of the 10..

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Good news, now if Chrysler could just fix the advertising for the Dodge Dart. Is it just me or does the "time traveler ad" just not work? The Dart appears to be more than a competent car but I think something is lacking in the advertising communicating properly with the consumer. I'm hoping they do a lot better with the ads for the Jeep Cherokee this fall.
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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willy said:
I'm not sure I'd want any vehicle that's on a list with a Fiat!
Wow, just wow. I assume, by your comment, that the Dodge Journey is junk then because it is built along side the North American Fiat 500 at the Chrysler Toluca Assembly Plant,

Seriously, let go of the ridiculous misconceptions from thirty years ago. The North American Fiat 500 is a Chrysler vehicle, just like any other Chrysler vehicle.

The Fiat 500 is made on the same line that built Neon's and PT Cruisers.

Mike
 

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The Fiat 500 doesn't seem to have the quality issues sorted out. The JD Power findings on initial quality aren't good for the Fiat line.
Sadly my friend's Fiat 500 was bought back for quality issues (mostly seat/air bag issues). I'm glad the car wasn't bought on my recommendation or I'd have egg on my face. The sad part is he really liked the 500 and wasn't too upset the first couple of trips back to the dealer. However, the third trip which resulted in a Jeep Compass rental for 2 weeks pretty much sealed the deal on the 500.
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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valiant67 said:
The Fiat 500 doesn't seem to have the quality issues sorted out. The JD Power findings on initial quality aren't good for the Fiat line.
Sadly my friend's Fiat 500 was bought back for quality issues (mostly seat/air bag issues). I'm glad the car wasn't bought on my recommendation or I'd have egg on my face. The sad part is he really liked the 500 and wasn't too upset the first couple of trips back to the dealer. However, the third trip which resulted in a Jeep Compass rental for 2 weeks pretty much sealed the deal on the 500.
Careful though, the numbers are not accurate because that study includes everything from "I can't figure out how to use my radio" to "my transmission broke".

The study’s broad definition of “quality” to include annoyances may mislead some who expect it to focus solely on manufacturing defects and breakdowns. The 90-day range makes it good for fast feedback to automakers, but a poor indication of the overall quality of the vehicles; the 14-month study is a better indication of long-term reliability. Generally, luxury brands have tended to dominate the 90 day edition, due to their dealers’ superior vetting of cars before they are passed on to customers.
I am sorry that your friend had a bad experience, something's just don't work out. But, the 90 day study is not a good representation of overall quality. It is good for manufacturers to use for quick fixes of annoyances though.

Mike
 

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Misconceptions or opinions based on 30 years ago notwithstanding, the Fiat is at the bottom of the new JD Power survey, and just about anyone who has driven one will not be surprised by that. I also fail to see the "cool" factor for an Italian-branded car built by an American manufacturer in Mexico. :rolleyes:

There may be better things coming for the Fiat brand in the US, but right now just about anything else Chrysler builds is superior.
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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FreeLantz said:
Misconceptions or opinions based on 30 years ago notwithstanding, the Fiat is at the bottom of the new JD Power survey, and just about anyone who has driven one will not be surprised by that. I also fail to see the "cool" factor for an Italian-branded car built by an American manufacturer in Mexico. :rolleyes:

There may be better things coming for the Fiat brand in the US, but right now just about anything else Chrysler builds is superior.
Interesting, everyone I know with one loves it. Most owners have little to no problems and the service at the studios is typically good. See my comment above on the JD Power survey and how it can be very misleading.

I don't quite understand how anyone can say the build quality is bad for the 500, but not the Journey!?!?

I'll admit the 500 is not for everyone, but the car has its niche. Some people will get it, some people won't.

Mike
 

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Mike V. said:
Careful though, the numbers are not accurate because that study includes everything from "I can't figure out how to use my radio" to "my transmission broke".


I am sorry that your friend had a bad experience, something's just don't work out. But, the 90 day study is not a good representation of overall quality. It is good for manufacturers to use for quick fixes of annoyances though.

Mike
Despite the spin, the numbers indicate there are issues that need addressed, even if they are as simple as confusing controls. Issues that should have already been addressed given the time the 500 has spent in the US market. It all plays right into the old Fix It Again Tony stereotype. Like I said, my friend thought it was a really fun car (it was a manual transmission) until the issues exceeded the fun factor.
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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valiant67 said:
Despite the spin, the numbers indicate there are issues that need addressed, even if they are as simple as confusing controls. Issues that should have already been addressed given the time the 500 has spent in the US market. It all plays right into the old Fix It Again Tony stereotype. Like I said, my friend thought it was a really fun car (it was a manual transmission) until the issues exceeded the fun factor.
Spin? Why even go there? I'm just stating the facts that even JD Powers disclaims about the survey. In the article posted on Allpar, the top five complaints were listed...

Top problem areas on 2013 new models
1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located

The majority of those problems have little to do with long term quality of the vehicles. Does the Microsoft powered radio in the 500 have issues? Yes, and I will be the first to admit it.

The 90 day survey is not a good representation of overall quality. It is great for fast feedback for the manufacturers though.

It's sad that some are beating up on a car that just received good recognition.

Mike
 

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Mike V. said:
Top problem areas on 2013 new models
1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located

The majority of those problems have little to do with long term quality of the vehicles. Does the Microsoft powered radio in the 500 have issues? Yes, and I will be the first to admit it.
A radio software update might fix 1, 2, and part of 5 but the rest show problems with the basic design or material selection. The 500 needs a bit of polish to be a real contender as those issues won't disappear after 90 days.
 

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Admittedly all of our comments are primarily anecdotal, so I'll just add, in the last 30 days I've seen two 500's on the side of the road, waiting for assistance.
There was no way to know if they simply ran out of fuel, or had some mechanical failure, but it's probably a good guess that they weren't parked on the medium because of connectivity issues. ;)

I will add that I was pleasantly surprised when I first sat in and inspected the 500 at the LA Auto Show two years ago.
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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valiant67 said:
A radio software update might fix 1, 2, and part of 5 but the rest show problems with the basic design or material selection. The 500 needs a bit of polish to be a real contender as those issues won't disappear after 90 days.
Those five were not specific to the 500. I just don't understand the hatred towards this car, obviously it received an award, a good accolade and all anybody can do is just talk bad about it.

It's it's sad

Mike
 

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Hmmm. With regard to Fiat 500, I'd say it definitely suffers from #1, #2, #3, and #5.

Also, the seat belts are really hard to reach!

That said, notice that Toyota's Scion brand is dead last, below Fiat. Does that mean all Toyotas are rubbish?

1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located
 

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Dr. Z said:
That said, notice that Toyota's Scion brand is dead last, below Fiat. Does that mean all Toyotas are rubbish?
Yes.... ;)
 

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Mopar-nac The Moderator
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Dr. Z said:
Hmmm. With regard to Fiat 500, I'd say it definitely suffers from #1, #2, #3, and #5.

Also, the seat belts are really hard to reach!

That said, notice that Toyota's Scion brand is dead last, below Fiat. Does that mean all Toyotas are rubbish?

1. Built-in voice recognition frequently doesn't recognize or misinterprets commands
2. Built-in Bluetooth mobile phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues
3. Excessive wind noise
4. Materials scuff and/or soil easily
5. Navigation system is difficult to use or poorly located
I agree, I was simply stating that the list was a top 5 overall and not completely specific to any one car.

Mike
 

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Say no to kool-aid
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MoparNorm said:
No. THAT doesn't mean all Toyotas are rubbish. All Toyotas are rubbish because they are subpar vehicles from the get go. Completely overrated and overpraised..lol

But serious moment here. This survey to me, has always done one thing better than demonstrating the real quality. It demonstrates the nature of the demographics buying said vehicles. Are Scions actually that much worse than Toyotas? OR, are the buyers of Scions more prone to causing and finding problems? Is Lexus actually better than Toyota? Or is the dealer experience offsetting some would be issues?

Alas, Fiat being at the bottom isn't GOOD, but it's not very telling. It's a new entry, prone to a lot of fluidity in customer opinion.
Do I personally want a 500? No. Do I think SM and Co overestimated it's reach? Yes. But, it has otherwise done reasonably well, is a likeable car, and has attracted positive attention from critics and people alike. The car does exactly what it sets out to do. It's more loyal to it's itself than the Jeeps are becoming. So let us not needlessly sully perfectly good news. Go check one out, if you truly dislike it. Make your case against the car with more first hand info. Not 3rd hand anecdotal insights or a single study that doesn't carry much weight.
 

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bumonbox has nailed one major issue of these surveys... well, that's all part of our Consumer Reports discussion.

Fiat at the bottom is not good regardless. I think they need to really address the weak points of the user interface — stereo (in progress?), seat belt reach, ... that's all they can reasonably fix at the moment, though the new smaller nav systems will help.

If you haven't driven a Fiat 500, as bumonbox said, you probably shouldn't be slamming it.
 
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