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KBB Names Fiat 500 Coolest Cheap Car

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer June 2011

It's official: the Fiat 500 is cool. So says Kelley Blue Book, who recently gave the cheeky Italian hatchback the top spot in its annual listing of the ten coolest new cars under $18,000.

Starting at just $15,500 plus destination, the 500 easily snuck under the list's price cap to unseat last year's cool champ, the Ford Fiesta, for first place honors. The Fiesta took the number three spot behind the compact Mazda3. The Mazda3's second place finish marks its eighth consecutive appearance on the list – one for every year since its release. The Honda Fit, Kia Forte Koup, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Cube and Hyundai Elantra round out the rest of the list.

"We are extremely honored that Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com editors chose our new 2012 Fiat 500 as the Coolest New Car Under $18,000," said Laura Soave, Fiat's North American head. "With a starting price of just $15,500, along with unique Italian design and loads of standard features, the Fiat 500 is proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to have fun in a car."

In describing the 500 as the coolest car under $18,000, KBB noted that cute isn't always backed up by substance – but it is in the Italian hatchback, which measures just 139.6 inches in length, or around seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper.

"Spend a day driving Fiat's first US offering in 28 years," said KBB, "and you'll discover a comfortable, livable, well-built subcompact car that just happens to have 10 times the personality of some of its cookier-cutter competitors."

The award is more good news for Fiat, which recently announced the completion of its 70th US dealership – nearly double the number it had in April, and well on the way to its goal of 130 showrooms by the end of 2011. Undoubtedly, Fiat's growing dealer body has helped it reach more customers, with more than half of the automaker's 3,141 US sales coming just last month.

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KBB Names Fiat 500 Coolest Cheap Car - Autotrader