Fiat, Jeep Popemobiles Reflect Pontiff's Modest Style

Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Pope Francis in Fiat 500L

A humble Fiat 500L and Jeep Wrangler serve as Francis's official rides for his U.S. papal visit.

Pope Francis has famously shunned the luxury trappings of his office, but many were stunned to see the pontiff riding in a Fiat 500L during his papal visit to Washington D.C. this week.

In a publicity bonanza for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the pontiff travels not only in the 500L, a roomier version of Fiat's tiny 500, but in a modified Jeep Wrangler, also manufactured by FCA, seen in the pope's motorcade at the National Mall in Washington on Wednesday.

Francis' motor pool includes a Mercedes M-Class SUV, but he prefers to roll in the Fiat and Jeep, as well as a similarly proletarian Hyundai Santa Fe, Isuzu D-Max and Kia Sedona. His personal car is 1984 Renault 4 with a stick shift and 186,000 miles on the clock, a gift from a priest in Verona, Italy.

"A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one," Francis admonished young priests in 2013. "If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world."

Pope Francis travels to New York on Thursday.

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