The Fiat 500 is a great small car. It is a great car to mark the return of Fiat to America. Now, Fiat has cut off the roof and replaced it with a retractable soft top. Fiat calls this version the 500c.

I saw the 500c at the September 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. A representative from Northside Fiat of Houston exhibited this car. He joked that it is a four-door car by pretending to climb into the back seats through the open top. You could actually get into the backseats by climbing through the open top. The 500 is one of the best looking subcompacts on the road and the style is not ruined by the retractable roof. Also, the 500c still has a nice interior that does not feel cheap.

The 500c uses the same 1.4L 16v multiair I4 engine found in the Fiat 500. It can either come with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. It gets 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. The 500c goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of  9.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 105 mph. The 500c comes in two trim levels. A 500c Pop starts at $19,500 and a 500c Lounge starts at $23,500. That is cheap for a car that is stylish and has an interior that people took the time to work on. Other subcompact cars have cheap interiors.

The Fiat 500c has been reviewed by Motorweek. Richard Hammonds drove a Fiat 500c Abarth through Italy during Top Gear Series 17, Episode 2.

Final Thoughts: This is a great little convertible. It is inexpensive, but it does not feel cheap inside. There is not a lot of room in the back. It is a little bit under power and slow, but there is a more powerful 500c Abarth version coming soon. It is better than the Smart ForTwo Cabrio. I would take the 500c over the Mini Cooper Cabriolet.


Photo taken from a camera phone

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Originally written on September 10, 2011

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