The Fiat 500C Convertible is unashamedly retro, but that’s no bad thing. Rather than following the herd and trying to squeeze a folding hardtop into the little car Fiat have instead kept the door pillars in the same style as the cult classic 1950’s Nuova, and fitted a soft top in between. The original managed to combine a movie star chic with mass market practicality. The new car looks to repeat this and with its super efficient engines appeals to the bank account as well as the heart.
The eager Fiat 500C TwinAir combines great green credentials with everyday usability. It is a wonderfully characterful engine with an unusual sound. It makes the little Fiat great fun to drive while being particularly economical. It does struggle to match the official economy figures however, partly because the TwinAir engine begs you to put your foot down. For pure driving enjoyment however it rivals the 500C Abarth.
The entry level Fiat 500C 1.2 litre lacks the extra power of the 1.4 or the character of the TwinAir but it is has great real-world economy and a low purchase cost. Perfectly suited to town driving where it is smooth and quiet. The standard equipment level is surprisingly good and it doesn't have a budget car feel at all.
With the 1.3 litre diesel engine this Fiat 500 Convertible is made with economy in mind. It has enough power to feel flexible around town without needing too many gear changes while it will happily cruise along at higher speeds. The uprated engine now has more power and even better fuel economy than when it was first launched. The downside of the diesel engine is the noise which is all the more noticeable with the roof open.
The 1.4 Fiat 500C was the most powerful and mature of the engines in the range and yet didn't drink too much fuel either. It is better suited for high mileage driving when compared to the TwinAir but not nearly as much fun around town or along windy country lanes. This model was discontinued, perhaps due to the success of the newer TwinAir.