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The Fiat 500 will be a MINI fighter, but it will probably be priced lower than the MINI. I imagine that Fiat's ambitions go well beyond winning over MINI buyers, to expanding the market for this niche of car in the U.S. The 500 will also compete with the Scion iQ, Chevy Spark, Smart Car, and others.
Much has been written in the press about the 500. For example, there will be a performance oriented Abarth version, to battle the MINI Cooper S, and versions for those looking for high fuel economy. Based on the limited information you now have, and assuming you'd even consider a car this small, would you consider buying a Fiat 500? What if one engine option were a diesel version? Which car appeals to you more, the 500 or the MINI?