Say Goodbye to the Fiat 500

by Michael Satterfield

The Fiat 500 was first seen in March 2007 on the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the original 500, one of the most iconic people's cars ever produced. Following the trend of retro styling that swept the auto industry in the early 2000s the new 500 followed the design language of the original. The 500 would also be the first Fiat sold in the US market in nearly 30 years. The car, like the classic 500, fun, affordable, and offered Italian style for the masses.  
The new 500 became a pop-culture icon like its forbearer, with special editions by Gucci, Felipe Massa, Diesel, and even Ferrari. The in-house performance arm of Fiat, Abarth, even breathed on the little hatchback in 2008, giving the little Fiat a 133hp 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, performance exhaust, suspension, and lots of performance styling cues.
But despite selling millions of Fiat 500s around the world, winning 40 major awards, including the CAR Magazine Car of the Year, and the World's Most Beautiful Automobile, all good things must come to an end and 2019 will be the last production year of the Fiat 500 in North America.
With the loss of the 500, the US Fiat offerings will include the 500X, 500L, and the MX5 based 124 Spider. But with the possible merger of FCA and Peugeot new Fiats may be on the horizon for the US. The states have always been a hard place to sell small cars, the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Prius-C, and the entire Smart brand are all on the chopping block for 2020.
While the 500 will no longer be offered new, they are offering great deals on remaining inventory, and they are a steal as a pre-owned. I especially love the 500 Abarth, which I have enjoyed in the mountains of Southern California, the streets of Austin, and the road course at Cresson Motorsports Ranch, it is one of my favorite small cars ever sold in the US and one of the few sporty, performance offerings that was affordable. If you are hoping to get a 500, you better act fast, because once they are gone, they are gone.