By Colin Bird on February 25, 2011
What’s the difference between a fad and a trend? When it comes to cars sold here, the Smart ForTwo could be considered a fad — met with initial hysteria, followed by a dearth of sales. On the other hand, the Mini Cooper has been a sales success for more than eight years going. Fiat hopes the Mini characterizes a trend in the U.S. for stylish compact vehicles, like the 2012 Fiat 500. The 500 certainly has the stiff-yet-sporty handling of the Cooper, but fuel economy and cargo space may disappoint some, according to Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays. At the end of the day, does the Fiat hatch make sense over more conventional — and affordable — models like the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta? Continue reading to find out.