The FIAT 500 series has a lot to offer the Fresno County drivers served by FIAT of Fresno. Its small size is great for handling city traffic. Its sense of style is endearingly quirky. Perhaps best of all, it crams a lot of value into its diminutive footprint. And it’s about to offer something characteristically small-yet-huge in the model year ahead. 

The news comes from the website Jalopnik, which reports that the entire FIAT 500 lineup is getting the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines currently found in the FIAT 500 Abarth and the FIAT 124 Spider. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually big news on a number of levels.

Part of that has to do with the advantages conferred by turbocharging engines. Old-school gear heads swear by natural aspiration (that is, engines without turbochargers). However, even though they’re sentimental favorites, they don’t do as well on emissions, they’re bulkier, and in many cases they’re just not as economical. And the biggest knock against forced-aspiration engines — turbo lag — has been drastically reduced by better designs that have emerged in recent years.

Turbocharging, on the other hand, has a lot going for it. That includes lower emissions, better fuel efficiency, and a much-improved ratio of power to displacement. This is a huge change for most of the lineup, with the exception of the FIAT 500 Abarth (where turbocharged engines were already standard), and also represents a jump in horsepower over the older naturally aspirated engine.

They say good things come to those who wait. If you’ve waited ’til now to buy a new FIAT car from FIAT of Fresno, or if your old one is coming off lease, your timing couldn’t be better. Make way to your Fresno FIAT dealership at 6150 N Blackstone Ave.