I want to own a manual transmission car. The next car I buy will, in fact, be of the stick shift variety. The fear in Chicago, however, is always getting stuck in traffic and the ensuing Charlie horse from all that clutch punching.
But I have to admit, I found absolutely nothing wrong with the MT in the 2012 Fiat 500. The clutch was great for an every-day driver ... and an every-day commute on the Kennedy. The gearing was smooth. And I could coast in traffic at 5 or 10 mph in second gear without any shuddering or fear of stalling. It was, in a word, perfect.
My other fave with this MT: Hill start assist. Not too many hills in Chicago, but I did get stuck on a couple of inclined on ramps. And the hill start assist was perfect. Take your foot off the clutch and no immediate backward roll occurred. Usually you don't see this feature until you start spending more than $30K on a car. Nice to see it on a car that bases at $15,500.
Yet another reason with the Fiat 500 rates a perfect 10 on the Chicago-worthy scale.