CC Outtakes: Three FIAT 500s, Three Compelling Reasons

A car sized like the current FIAT 500, introduced to the U.S. market for model year 2011, makes so much sense for city-dwelling residents of a somewhat densely populated neighborhood like mine.  Have you ever spent close to an hour circling a nine-block area looking for parking after a five hour drive?  I have.  I don’t own a car, and many rental car agencies close their doors at 6:00 PM.  What this means is that unless I’ve cut my weekend trip short(er) in the hope of getting the car back on time, I’ve simply scheduled to turn it in the next day if there’s no drop-box for the keys…which then means street-parking.

These due Cinquecenti make it look deceptively easy to fit into any, old spot – in this picture, anyway.  I’ve had to pass up a spot in something as little as a 2009 Ford Focus 2-door because it wouldn’t fit.  That’s when a car like a 500 becomes your hero – especially at the end of a long weekend when all the students from the nearby university are returning by car from their adventures and joining in the great, metropolitan parking game of automotive “musical chairs” that takes place here in Edgewater.  Sometimes, after squeezing into that perfectly parallel-parked spot with other cars creeping forward behind me, I’ve almost felt like lighting a cigarette out of relieved, accomplished satisfaction.

So help you, if you’re coming home to this neighborhood late at night and have to park on the street.  Whereas these two examples have their butts sticking out only slightly, a driver of any car even slightly longer would have to give up.  Even a modern MINI Cooper hatch would be a little too maxi to pull off what’s been squeaked-in here.  At the end of a long day, when all you want to do is be done with driving and enter the comfort of your own home, the ease of parking your FIAT 500 on the street could make owning a car this size make a lot of sense.

Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
February 2017.