Ask the folks at Chrysler if they'd choose to repeat 2009's bankruptcy process, and we're betting you'd get an unmistakingly definitive "No. " There might even be an evil eye mixed in there for good measure. But, as is the case with most unwelcome situations, there's something positive to be found, and in this case that would be the company's new relationship with Fiat.
Nearly thirty years after bowing out of the American car market due to quality issues and poor sales, Fiat acquired a significant stake in beleaguered Chrysler, and in the process secured a path for re-entry into the USA.
The first model being offered to buyers here in the States is the Fiat 500, a two-door, front-wheel-drive compact that's called the Cinquecento in its native Italy, and has enjoyed tremendous success in other parts of the world. Fiat is determined to elicit the same response in the USA with its little 500, a car that delivers fun - if not sporty - driving dynamics and plenty of standard features with an attractive, economy-car price. Shoppers can choose between Pop, Sport and Lounge trim levels, or wait a bit longer for the Fiat 500 Convertible (called Spider in Fiat lingo) or the performance-oriented Fiat 500 Abarth.