Fiat 500C review
The Fiat 500C comes with the same cheeky looks and economical engines as the standard 500 but adds a folding fabric roof. Alternatives are roomier and cheaper to buy, though.
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What's not so good
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The Fiat 500C is a cute city car that’s cheap to run and comes with eye-catching retro looks. The ‘C’ stands for convertible, but it’s better if you think of the 500C’s folding soft top as a massive fabric sunroof that you can flip down automatically whenever the sun starts shining.
In this respect, the Fiat 500C is quite similar to the Peugeot 108 TOP, Citroen C1 Airscape and Toyota Aygo X-Wave – all diminutive city cars with fabric roofs. But, what helps the 500C stand out is its funky retro charm. From almost any angle it looks like it’s just been pulled from a 1960s time capsule – especially if you pick one of the optional two-tone paint schemes.
In addition to plenty of zeitgeisty colours, you can further personalise your Fiat 500C with a bunch of chrome details, some eye-catching alloy wheels and a wide range of brightly-coloured graphics inside and out.
Unfortunately, while it might look lovely, the Fiat 500C’s cabin feels a bit cheap. Sure, the glossy wooden dashboard you get in high-spec Riva models looks great (if you’re into that sort of thing), but there are just too many hard plastics and flimsy-feeling buttons dotted about the place.
The basic infotainment system is another let-down, as is the fact you don’t get a height adjustable driver’s seat in entry-level cars. You’ll be better off paying extra for a mid-range model to get more seat adjustment alongside a much-improved touchscreen with built-in smartphone mirroring.
This convertible version of the adorable Fiat 500 is one of the most stylish ways to nip to the shops.
Unlike the Citroen, Peugeot and Toyota, you can’t get the Fiat 500C with front and rear doors so you have to hop out to let passengers climb in the back. There’s very little space for adults, but at least two kids will have room to stretch out.
Things don’t get much better when it comes to boot space. The Fiat 500C’s boot is smaller than the likes of the C1 Airscape, 108 TOP and Aygo X-Wave so you’ll only be able to carry a few small suitcases. Unlike the standard 500, you can’t fold the back seats down to carry larger items, either.
Not that you’ll ever be using the Fiat 500C to carry furniture. More likely, you’ll be nipping from boutique to beachfront – something the compact Fiat 500C is ideally suited for. Parking’s a doddle thanks to its small size, large windows and light steering and its economical petrol engines make it pretty cheap to run, too.
It’s not all good news, though. It’s not particularly comfortable on uneven roads and it’s pretty noisy at motorway speeds. Things improve slightly if you pick a mid-range car with a more powerful engine, six-speed manual gearbox and cruise control, at least, but you can’t get the Fiat 500C with automatic emergency braking like many other small cars.
But if you’re looking for a stylish city car that can lose its roof at the touch of a button and rarely carry rear passengers, the Fiat 500C is worth considering. Check out our Fiat 500C deals to see how much you can save on one.