2015 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio Automatic: Quick Spin

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Fiat's plucky little 500 Abarth has gained a reputation among performance enthusiasts as a fun, snorty, raucous little hot hatch. With its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping 160 horsepower out of a specially tuned, snapping, popping, rasping exhaust system and its go-kart-like handling, it's a monster on the track — and something of a monster on the street as well.

Why Your Neighbors Will Hate the Fiat 500 Abarth

It's mainly been an enthusiast's toy because it's only been available with a five-speed manual transmission. But stick shifts are falling out of favor with U.S. buyers, so in the interest of expanding the Abarth's appeal Fiat added a six-speed automatic transmission for 2015. I had an opportunity to drive the new automatic Abarth Cabrio at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan and it won't let enthusiasts down.

By Aaron Bragman | July 3, 2014 | Comments (1)

Porsche Flies, Fiat Flails in 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

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Porsche, Jaguar and Lexus topped J.D. Power's 2014 Initial Quality Study. Porsche and Lexus were among the top three brands in 2013, while Jaguar jumped seven spots to land at No. 2. And at the other end, Fiat, Jeep and Mitsubishi had the worst results. Two of those three — Mitsubishi and Fiat — were among 2013's bottom-feeders.

2011 Models Less Reliable Than 2010 Vehicles, J.D. Power Study Finds

IQS, one of several influential J.D. Power studies, is now in its 28th year. It expresses quality as problems per 100 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. A lower score is better. Among 32 brands surveyed this year, Porsche led with just 74 problems — and Fiat was last, at 206.

"Porsche has three vehicles that are best-in-segment," Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. auto quality at the company, told us. Those include the 911, Panamera and Boxster. Two others — the Cayenne and Cayman — were top nominated in their segments.

By Kelsey Mays | June 18, 2014 | Comments (8)

Fiat Chrysler Announces Alfa Romeo Dealer Network

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Alfa Romeo fans, warm up your credit cards: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced today the names of 86 dealers that will operate an Alfa Romeo franchise in the U.S. and Canada. We've known that the brand is on its way back to the U.S. for a while, but it's taken years for the specifics to be unveiled. After the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C's official launch in New York earlier this year, the details are finally becoming clear, including where shoppers can get their hands on the stunning new coupe.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C: First Look

The initial list of dealers was drawn from existing Fiat and Maserati dealers in 33 states — 82 dealers in the U.S. and four in Canada. Peter Grady, vice president of Chrysler Group Network Development, said he expects the dealer network to eventually exceed 300 franchises in North America.

The 2015 4C is set to go on sale later this year; the special 4C Launch Edition will be the first to go on sale. Check out the complete list of dealerships below.

By Jennifer Geiger | June 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Fiat 500e

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Vehicles Affected: About 4,141 model-year 2013-14 Fiat 500e electric vehicles manufactured between Sept. 24, 2012, and April 4, 2014

The Problem: Cooling plates for the Power Inverter module may leak coolant into areas of the high-voltage circuitry, resulting in a short circuit that could cause the related service fuse to blow. This could cause a loss of vehicle propulsion while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting this month, and dealers will replace the Power Inverter module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or visit www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

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By Matt Schmitz | June 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

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When I was 10, my dad set me and a go-kart loose in an abandoned parking lot, free to zip around the blacktop. At that age, you don't give a thought to how much gas costs; it's all about the fun. At this age, however, fuel economy is a big consideration when it comes to buying a car, but it doesn't have to trump the fun-to-drive factor.

More Top 10s

There are plenty of cars that offer both fun and fuel savings, from affordable subcompacts and gas-electric hybrids to pricier luxury cars and diesel-powered vehicles. To qualify for this list, a car has to have an EPA combined rating of 30 mpg, while bringing out the inner go-kart-loving kid in all of us:

By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (8)

Godzilla Bites Off a Mouthful in New Fiat 500L Ad

Remember those TV commercials back when the 1998 "Godzilla" movie came out featuring the King of Monsters himself opposite that annoying "Yo quiero Taco Bell"-spouting, gordita-hawking Chihuahua? Well as of Monday, the great lizard is back in the advertising game — sans lapdog — in time for the release of the latest "Godzilla" reboot, which stomps into theaters May 16. And this time, he's traded Mexican for Italian as he throws his considerable weight behind Fiat.

Kia Super Bowl Ad Takes 2015 Kia K900 for a Ride in 'The Matrix'

The just-released cross-marketing spot — boasting visual effects by the same team that brought Godzilla out of retirement for the new Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures production — features the eponymous creature rampaging through a chaotic cityscape, feasting on cars like the man from Mars in Blondie's "Rapture." The car cuisine of choice comes courtesy of the Italian automaker. When Godzilla attempts to devour a 500L, however, he soon learns he's bitten off more than he can chew, segueing into the ad's tagline, "The four-door Fiat 500L. It's a lot bigger than you think."

The all-new 2014 500L is longer and wider than the regular 500. The front-wheel-drive hatchback is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque, pushing it from zero to 60 mph in just less than 9 seconds. But rest assured 500L drivers, while you might not be fast enough to outrun gargantuan radioactive lizards, your supersized minicar will prove too hard to swallow.

Watch the commercial above.

By Matt Schmitz | May 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Fiat Chrysler

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Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles laid out its game plan for the future of its many brands.

  • The Chrysler brand will shed any pretension of being a premium offering and aim its crosshairs on the Fords and Hondas of the world. Full details.
  • Dodge will become a performance-oriented brand, even more so than today, as well as reabsorb the SRT moniker and halo Viper. Full details.
  • Jeep ... keeps being Jeep but a more global-friendly Jeep. Full details.
  • We now know when to expect the next-generation of Ram pickup trucks. Full details.
  • Fiat will be adding only a few models while a reinvigorated Alfa Romeo will inundate the U.S. with a handful of new cars and SUVs. Full details.
By David Thomas | May 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

Fiat's Italian Brands Plan Massive Assault

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The first name in the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is, of course, Fiat, but that doesn't mean there will be much news for the Italian brand in the U.S. over the next five years.

Dodge Means Performance: SRT Comes Back to the Fold

Only a couple of new Fiat models are coming to our market by 2018, but combined with the relaunch of the Alfa Romeo badge and the expansion of Maserati in the U.S., there will be some interesting new vehicles to see down at the Italian end of your FCA showroom:

By Aaron Bragman | May 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

Dodge Means Performance: SRT Comes Back to the Fold

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With the Chrysler brand headed for mainstream battle against the likes of Ford, Hyundai, Honda and Chevrolet, the Dodge brand is about to take a much more specialized route: performance, and lots of it.

The bigger news: The SRT brand is being folded into Dodge, ending the confusion of whether it was something separate and apart. The focus on performance and the new directive not to compete with Chrysler brand means that some models will be discontinued, namely the Avenger midsize sedan and Grand Caravan minivan.

What Jeep's Future Looks Like

High-performance variants of the Dart and Journey are on tap, with high-output turbocharged engines; the SRT versions of the Challenger and Charger will get supercharged Hemi V-8 engines. Here's what to expect from the Dodge brand over the next five years:

By Aaron Bragman | May 6, 2014 | Comments (4)

Chrysler's Future Aims at Mainstream

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Investor Day is rolling along, and the company has revealed a complete rethink of Chrysler's brand positioning as well as which brands it intends to view as competitors. Chrysler will now go head-to-head with mainstream brands in the U.S. such as Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota; it will no longer be considered a premium brand by the company, but rather its volume brand. Chrysler will be the only midsize sedan and minivan brand at FCA; the Dodge Grand Caravan and Avenger sedan will be discontinued, as the company finally decides to stop pitting Chrysler and Dodge brands against each other in its showrooms.

What Jeep's Future Looks Like

This means a rethink of the vehicle lineup at Chrysler as well, banking on North American-made vehicles and an American image that will be spread across more segments. Currently Chrysler participates in only three segments: minivans and full- and mid-size cars. The brand is set to expand by 2018 to include a compact car and mid- and full-size SUVs. Here's what to expect from Chrysler over the next five years:

By Aaron Bragman | May 6, 2014 | Comments (12)

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