Fiat 500: An affordable Mini?

There’s no denying that many consumers like the fuel economy, compact nature and sleek styling of BMW’s Mini Cooper brand. While the Mini is a European export by way of Britain, there isn’t a true car in the U.S. market that emulates what the Mini does.

Enter the Fiat 500. After the Italian automaker’s purchase of Chrysler, Fiat is planning on a return to the U.S. market on the back of its subcompact Fiat 500. The automaker hopes that drivers will see the vehicle as an affordable alternative to the higher-priced Mini.

The cars are somewhat similar in that Fiat brought on Frank Stephenson to design the vehicle, the man behind the 2002 Mini relaunch. Fiat also plans to offer the 500 in convertible and long wheelbase styles, much like the Mini does in the U.S. Yet most expect that the 500 will be a fair bit cheaper than its British rival.

Subcompacts are a great choice for those with a bad credit auto loan, as they are reliable cars that can often be bought new rather than used. If a driver doesn’t need the extra space, a subcompact can save them quite a bit of money.

While Fiat has yet to announce pricing for the vehicle, it is priced just north of €10,000 in Italy, which would put it at close to $15,000 in the U.S, depending on the exchange rate. The Fiat is also slotted below the Mini Cooper, price-wise, in every market where the vehicles compete. The 500 is expected to be introduced later this year.ADNFCR-3500-ID-19930346-ADNFCR