Living in a big city can create all kinds of transportation nightmares — packed buses, expensive cabs, and traffic everywhere. And while you should always try to reduce your carbon footprint where you can (riding a bike or walking is ideal!), having a small car when you need it is a lifesaver. The good news is, you don't have to join the Mini or Smart Car masses — break away from the crowd and check out the 2012 Fiat 500 instead. Making its debut in the US this year, the Fiat 500 (and cabriolet version, the 500c) is the perfect city car. I should know — I recently bought one!
The Fiat 500 is small enough to fit in those tiny "in-between driveway spaces" that regular cars are too big for, but is big enough to hold four adults and is incredibly fun to drive (especially with the top down!). This little car is easy on gas (up to 38mpg), adorable, and — wouldn't you know it — tech savvy, too. Check out these geeky facts about the Fiat 500 below.
- EcoDrive — The Fiat comes with a cool feature called EcoDrive that lets you download your driving information via USB, analyzes it, and then gives you tips on how to conserve gas the next time you hit the road.
- Blue&Me — Fiat teamed up with Microsoft to bring you a new way to make calls and listen to music while you're driving. Using your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, Blue&Me lets you use a series of voice commands to make calls, listen to incoming texts, navigate the road, and listen to MP3s stored on your phone without taking your hands off the wheel.
- MobileTrace — Better than LoJack, MobileTrace can track your Fiat in real time if it happens to get stolen and send you text alerts if someone's trying to break in, but you can also open and lock the car with your smartphone, and get alerted if your bro — who's borrowing it for the weekend — is going over the speed limit.
- MultiAir Engine — Fiat's patented MultiAir engine cuts down on gas consumption and emissions while at the same time, increasing power by controlling the air intake of your car. It's a revolutionary design that earned the title of International Engine of the Year in 2010.
Intrigued? Check out more images of the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500c in the gallery.