My girlfriend just bought a new 2012 Fiat 500C Lounge.
She kept her last car, a Volvo 240 DL wagon for 20 years and figures she will keep the Fiat for 20 as well, making this the last car she will ever buy. We decided not to make compromises, she needed to get what she really wanted, including the different options.
She (with my support) told the dealer she didn't want a TomTom and would not pay the extra $1000 for something she didn't want. They found just the car she wanted, 200 miles away.
The leather seats in the Volvo held up so well that she got the leather interior package. That cloth seats were not as comfortable as these leather anyway, the shape is different.
It doesn't show well in these photos, but it has a retractable soft top. In a crash safety report, I read that this car can support six times it's weight in a roll-over.
She insisted on an automatic tranny, although I would have wanted a manual. It's her car not mine, I must remind myself. The six-speed auto has a built-in manual valve body so it can be used in drive or like a paddle shifter. Just tap the shifter (it's where a stick would be) and it shifts.
A sports car it's not, but it feels nice and responsive. I followed her home in the old Volvo, and she out accelerated me getting on the freeway. I had it floored and she wasn't even trying. On the freeway a Smart Car tried to pass her and she goosed it as if she was in some sort of race. The Smart Car couldn't overtake her. When I drive like that I get in trouble!
Fiat, and Alfa Romeo both, used to import cars to the USA years ago. In the 1970's they both stopped for the same reason, they would not compromise the performance of their cars to meet the USA EPA tailpipe emissions. This is the first car Fiat has sold in the US since then. Alfa is still in lets-talk-about-this mode.
The Fiat 500 is another "retro car". The original 500 was made in the 60's and had a 500cc engine. The new 500 has a 1400cc, 16 valve, computerized fuel injection engine with 100 hp. The retractable soft top was also popular at that time in Europe.