2012 Fiat 500 Lounge: Introduction
The 2012 FIAT 500 arrived on U.S. shores to great fanfare, and the extremely stylish, entry-level hatchback was lauded as the cornerstone of the Italian automaker's return to the American market after years spent consolidating its empire in Europe. While the optimistic sales figures projected by Fiat executives didn't exactly materialize, close to 20,000 examples of the vehicle found their way into new homes during the course of the first model year, demonstrating that the diminutive two-door definitely had the cachet needed to lure in a fresh generation of owners.
Fiat's decision to position the Fiat 500 as a somewhat premium offering was brazen, but as attitudes across North America continue to change concerning the viability of ultra-small automobiles as daily drivers, it was only a matter of time before a subcompact test case was foisted on the public and given a chance to sink or swim on its own merits. The Fiat 500 might have been the first, but certainly won't be the last of a new breed of not-necessarily-affordable yet not-quite-luxury vehicles to be pushed into the deep end of the subcompact segment.