When we buy a car, we want it to make us feel special. Now that the Fiat 500C has hit our shores, it’s easy to see that this convertible has excelled in this aspect. It combines the fun of a convertible and the ease of use of a compact car. You feel so happy when driving the 500C it should be categorized as an anti depressant. With such a cheap and cheerful car, you would expect it be made of plastic and have the same cosmetic qualities as an outhouse. As soon as you peek inside and out, you are amazed.
The 2012 Fiat 500C promises all the fun and style of the Fiat 500 with a convertible drop top that lets you soak up the glorious sunshine. The amazing thing is a fully loaded 2012 Fiat 500 C is the same price as a base model MINI convertible. We just looked up thew word value in the dictionary and not surprisingly, it showed a picture of the 2012 Fiat 500C.
Details on the Fiat 500C after the jump.
The Fiat 500C is extremely warm and inviting. As you get closer, the presence of a convertible top serves to heighten your excitement. The model we tested came with very stylish 15 inch aluminum wheels and, combined with “rosso” red paint, they make the FIAT as flamboyant as a Ferrari. The thing we adore about the little FIAT is the fact that it stays true to its roots. Whereas small cars like the MINI have gotten larger, making it harder to see the lineage, the FIAT genealogy is as clear as day as the shape of the original 500 has made the jump to the 21st century. This exterior invites you to venture inside; like a cafe in the piazza, you know it will be a place of relaxation and revelry .
The interior is the crown jewel of the 500C, absolutely stunning. The model we tested was the top of the range - the Lounge-Luxury model - and comes standard with Bluetooth Connectivity, as well as heated front seats. Our favorite piece of equipment, however, was the integrated tachometer/thermometer/speedometer and calender. We especially loved watching the revs match the speed. The Bose speaker sound system was also phenomenal.
This interior is one of the brightest and most joyful places to be on the planet. It gets even better... As soon as you retract that cloth top it becomes simply sensational. You never want to stop driving and it truly makes any journey a festival of merriment.
The Fiat 500C isn’t powered by some big burly engine. Instead, it has a 1.6 liter Inline-4 that has variable valve timing and 4 valves per cylinder. This engines develops 101 horsepower and 98 lbs/ft of torque. In our Lounge Model, this engine was mated to a magnificent 6 speed automatic. This power train pushed the little FIAT to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds. This engine reminds us of a peppy little terrier and while it may not be a greyhound, it still loves to run and scamper about. The underpinnings of this little terrier consist of MacPherson struts as well a stabilizer bar in the front and in the rear lies a twist beam axle with coil springs. The suspension combined with a 63/37 front to rear weight distribution will ensure it will be lively in the corners. In addition to this, the Fiat has bequeathed the 500C with phenomenal brakes (10.1" in the front, 9.4" in the rear). These brakes will let you use the rambunctious little engine all the way to the apex . When you do hit the brakes, they respond so quickly it feels like braking by telepathy. The performance of this car is very enjoyable. The vigorous engine combined with the pleasurable handling make this a complete car.
We sincerely enjoy the 2012 Fiat 500C. We found that it is not flummoxed by any situation and it trumps the competition from MINI in the style department. Although you may look at the engine and think psshaw... “my Roomba has more power than the little FIAT.” The engine in this car is so vibrant and full of life that we can’t help but smile. This car is superb and firmly resides at the intersection of functional and fun.
Engine feels somewhat lethargic
Rear seat can be a bit cramped