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I just got back from a 2 week business trip to the UK, and being the cheapskate that I am, I rented the cheapest car they offered, not knowing beforehand what it would be. It turned out to be a 5-sp FIAT 500! When I first got there it was dark, there were 50 mph winds and it was raining like a mad dog. I was a little preoccupied trying to keep the car in the wrong lane, shifting with my left hand, and not killing anyone in the round-a-bouts to put it through the paces. However, over a 2 week period I came to enjoy it.

Though ultimately not as tiny-cute as the smart, it's certainly the next best thing to being there. I thought the transmission was well-sorted and crisp -- especially compared to one of my co-workers SEATs which had a particularly difficult-to-find 3rd gear. The engine was smooth, and the handling very nippy about town. There is not a lot of torque, but if the revs are kept up then it does fine -- even at freeway speeds (up to 80 mph anyway). In many ways it's much more refined than the smart, and though no Abarth, I thought is was pretty fun even when pushed a bit hard. Overall -- thumbs up!:cool:
 
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