Fiat 500C Review & Prices

The Fiat 500C is a funky supermini with a sliding soft-top that can help you enjoy sunny days, but don’t expect to carry four people in comfort

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RRP £19,450 - £23,950 Avg. Carwow saving £1,429 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Cool retro styling
  • Excellent manoeuvrability
  • Cheap to run

What's not so good

  • Not particularly practical
  • Lacks high-speed refinement
  • Poor cabin space

Find out more about the Fiat 500C

Is the Fiat 500C a good car?

Inspired by ‘La Dolce Vita’ of warm days in Tuscany or Rome, the Fiat 500C is a convertible small car that has a sliding soft-top and wonderfully retro styling.

With only the Mini Convertible and Toyota Aygo X (when it's fitted with a sliding roof) the only true alternatives, the 500C is part of a rare breed – but it’s not going the way of the dodo just yet, with the 500 Electric Convertible taking up the zero-emission mantle.

Its style is classic Fiat, with plenty of chrome trim around the main badge and lights matching the throwback looks. The short overhangs, which make it great in town, are matched with more chrome around the back, which has rectangular lights and shows the full extent of the sliding roof.

Inside, most of the dashboard features a body-coloured panel to match the outside. That hosts the 7.0-inch touchscreen, the climate controls and a high-mounted gear lever.

The steering wheel sits in front of the speedometer, which has the rev counter inside it as well as a small driver information display, which isn’t easy to navigate. Top versions get a 7.0-inch screen behind the wheel, although that isn’t the simplest to use either.

You won’t find a lot of cabin space in the 500C. Yes, the driver can get comfortable fairly easily, but if you’re tall you won’t find masses of headroom available.

Trying to squeeze adults into the back is very tricky, as you have to fold the front seat forward, then clamber into a space where you’ll find little room.

It’s worth splashing the cash and getting the Fiat 500C Top if you want this cute and stylish supermini – even if it’s not the best to live with

The boot isn’t particularly large either. At 185 litres, it seriously lags behind the boot in the Mini Convertible and Toyota Aygo X, while multiple other small cars top that if you’re not desperate for the sliding roof. Folding the back seats down does open more space, but the boot opening itself is too narrow to fit larger items in.

You only get one engine choice with the 500C – a 70hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a small generator and battery applied to help with fuel economy. That comes with a six-speed manual transmission. The sprint from 0-60mph is more of a jog, taking 13.8 seconds.

In town, the keenly revving engine helps you get up to urban speeds quickly enough, while the light steering can be made even lighter by pressing a button on the centre console to make the Fiat more manoeuvrable. The 500C is comfortable enough over bumps and you get a good view around you, but the rear view can be hindered with the roof rolled down.

That tiny engine does start to run out of puff when you’re on the motorway though. As it takes so long to get up to speed, you have to make the most out of every gear by revving it close to the red line. It is also quite noisy at higher speeds, with wind and road noise glaringly obvious.

If you’re in an Abarth 695C – a tricked-out Fiat 500 – twisty roads are a lot of fun. Not so much in the Fiat 500C. You feel like you might topple over if you take a corner too quickly, and the steering does not give you a great sense of how much grip your front tyres have.

While the Fiat 500C offers a lot for those wanting to enjoy sunnier weather when driving around town, there are sacrifices that need to be made –. it’s not that practical for its size and isn’t refined when you need to go on a longer journey, with a Mini Convertible or Toyota Aygo X being more accomplished overall.

If you want to see the best new deals on a Fiat 500C, check out carwow, where you can find used FIat 500C offers as well. You can look into other used Fiats here, and if you want to change your car the easy way, you can sell your car through carwow where our trusted dealers will get you the best price.

How much is the Fiat 500C?

The Fiat 500C has a RRP range of £19,450 to £23,950. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,429. Prices start at £18,161 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £163. The price of a used Fiat 500C on Carwow starts at £7,500.

Our most popular versions of the Fiat 500C are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.0 Mild Hybrid 2dr £18,161 Compare offers

The Fiat 500C is not the cheapest small car around, with the Toyota Aygo X uncutting it by a lot. There’s also the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto you could choose, although neither come with the option of a sliding roof.

It’s one of the smallest hybrids available, with the larger Suzuki Swift and Toyota Yaris being the closest alternatives in that respect.

Performance and drive comfort

While it’s a whizz around town, the 500C isn’t adept on faster roads

In town

Because of its short overhangs, the Fiat 500C is perfect for driving in town, because it’s so easy to place on tight streets. The light steering also makes it feel like a go-kart and if you press the button with the steering wheel icon above it, it makes it feel much lighter to make manoeuvring much easier.

The suspension feels settled over bumps by soaking up most smaller lumps. Only larger holes and cracks slightly unsettle it.

You only have the option of the 1.0-litre engine with the six-speed manual, and this combo works best when you rev highly and hold the gear a little longer than you normally would. It gets you up to speed quickly enough, while coasting with the hybrid setup helps you reduce fuel usage.

At urban speeds, you can fold the roof down as well. If it’s a nice day, it only takes a few seconds for the cloth roof to peel back and allow all the light in.

On the motorway

Being on the cheaper end of the scale, the Fiat 500C doesn’t have the best sound insulation. When you replace a solid roof panel with a cloth roof, that’s made even worse. You’ll notice a lot of wind and road noise at motorway speeds, making conversations difficult.

You also have to work the car quite hard to get up to speed. With a 0-60mph time of 13.8 seconds, you need to change gear at the top of the rev range to make that easier and when you’re sitting at 70mph, you can hear the engine a lot.

You’ll also notice that bumps are more noticeable at speed. With the suspension set up for more comfort in town, you’ll feel more bumps and shudders through the body.

If you want to take the roof down, you might not find it as enjoyable as you’re expecting. There’s a lot of turbulence at higher speeds, which makes the experience uncomfortable.

On a twisty road

Abarth takes a Fiat 500 and makes it feel like a B-road demon. But Fiat hasn’t taken the same direction with the 500, going more for a comfort angle. It rides fairly high and it does lean quite a bit when you’re driving at a higher rate around a corner.

While the light steering works well in town, it doesn’t inspire confidence when you’re driving quickly. You don’t get a great sense of grip from the front tyres and you’re much better off taking it easy.

The engine also doesn’t offer the most fun driving experience as it runs out of puff quickly and when the hybrid system kicks in to recoup energy, it slows you down a bit when you lift your foot off the accelerator.

Space and practicality

While average-sized drivers will be pretty comfortable, taller people could feel claustrophobic, while storage is also poor

Being quite a small vehicle, the Fiat 500C isn’t going to be great at lugging things around on a regular basis. There are two cupholders under the high-mounted gear lever and one behind the front row, so you can put your coffee down safely.

There isn’t much else room though, with limited door bin space and a modest glovebox. You don’t have a slot for your phone if you plug it in though, so you’ll need to use a cupholder for it.

While you can get comfortable in the driver’s seat with vertical and horizontal adjustment, you can’t move the steering column closer or further away. Taller drivers will also feel that the roof is a bit close.

Space in the back seats

With no rear door, it’s not very easy to get into the second row, and you only get two seats in there to ferry people around. You get two ISOFIX points so you can mount child seats, but getting a bulky one in there will be tricky.

If you’ve got two adults up front, rear legroom will not be good at all, while the curved roofline will limit headroom for taller people as well. If you’re taking people around in summer, taking the roof off will help with that though.

Boot space

The 500C’s boot is not what you’d call useful for most. The 185-litre space has a small opening below the level of the roof mechanism and it can be very tricky to put things in there. The Toyota Aygo X has a 225-litre boot, while the Mini Convertible has 215 litres (although that drops to 160 litres with the roof stowed away).

Folding the rear seats down opens up the space to 520 litres – the same as an Audi A6’s standard boot with the seats up. There is a lump between the seat backs and the boot floor but folding the roof back makes it a lot easier to load things into the back, which could be useful for some.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The interior does have a pop of colour and funky style hints, but the quality of most of the materials isn’t great

The retro styling of the exterior continues into the cabin, as you get a nice body-coloured metal panel across the dashboard. It adds a splash of colour in what can otherwise be quite a dark interior when the roof’s closed.

For the entry-level 500C, you get climate controls reminiscent of a car from the 90s because of the plastic adjustment dials, while the Top model gets air conditioning buttons with small displays showing the temperature and fan speed. It’s quite rudimentary but it works well.

Being on the cheaper end of the scale, the 500C’s cabin doesn’t have the best feeling materials. The doors have a scratchy plastic trim on them, while there’s lots of other lower quality plastics elsewhere too. You do get a leather steering wheel cover, but the buttons and stalks behind it don’t feel great.

The infotainment is on a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and while it’s pretty good for a car of this size, it can be unresponsive and the menus are limited. You’re better off using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, although they don’t utilise the full screen as there’s a menu bar across the bottom.

Behind the steering wheel on the Top model, you get a 7.0-inch display for your driver information. While there are different views for it and it’s fairly clear, it’s not the easiest to use. As standard there’s a smaller trip computer that’s not the simplest either.

You can choose from different interior and roof finishes depending on the body colour, and some of the lighter trim options can’t be paired with brighter body colour selections. There’s limited optional extras besides.

MPG, emissions and tax

You only get one engine choice – a 70hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a mild-hybrid setup. That allows for marginally better fuel economy over an engine without it, but it doesn’t make much of a performance difference.

With the six-speed manual transmission, you can get fuel economy up to 60.1mpg and emissions of 108g/km CO2 – with the latter meaning you’ll be paying a lower level of road tax. On our tests, the 500C got 49.7mpg across multiple conditions, which isn’t terrible.

When it comes to company car tax, the 500C will be at a lower level too, as it’s more affordable and lower-emitting than most cars.

Safety and security

With a three-star safety rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2017, the 500C isn’t the safest option around. It was average across most departments, but did particularly poorly with safety assists.

Safety systems are few and far between, with only rear parking sensors fitted on the Top trim. You do get cruise control, but there’s no emergency braking system or lane keep assist to help you – that makes the 500C feel quite dated.

There’s rear ISOFIX points to fit a child seat, as well as seven airbags, remote central locking and electronic stability control.

Reliability and problems

While it’s not the most complex car, the Fiat 500 has had some recalls. Most recently, a nut hasn’t been tightened enough in the steering column of some models, while the positive lead for the auxiliary battery might not be tightened properly.

As standard, you get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which doesn’t match up to the Toyota Aygo X’s 10-year/100,000-mile guarantee.

Buy or lease the Fiat 500C at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £19,450 - £23,950 Avg. Carwow saving £1,429 off RRP
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