Pope Francis started his big American trip with a little Italian style.
After the Pontiff landed at Joint Base Andrews and was greeted by President Obama, he slipped into the backseat of a Fiat 500L sporting the Vatican’s SCV 1 license plates, for Stato della Città del Vaticano, or State of Vatican City.
It was not immediately clear if the Serbian-made vehicle was supplied by the Vatican Embassy's motor pool, but they sell for as little as $20,325 in the United States.
Consumer Reports once named it the least-reliable car you could buy.
Francis is known for eschewing luxury cars for more humble rides. When he visited South Korea last year “The People’s Pope” was chauffeured around in a funky Kia Soul, which has a base price of $16,515, and the covered Popemobile he used in Cuba was a converted Peugeot.
Of course, when he starts making his public appearances in the USA, he’ll be trading in the 500L for another, more locally appropriate product from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: a modified Jeep Wrangler.
Test Drive: Fiat 500L