The Fiat 500 has been reborn and it marks the Italian car maker's return to the US after close to 30 years. So does it stay true to the 55 year old spirit of the original Fiat 500? Let's find out.
In the looks department I really think they nailed it. Although it is much larger than the original, it still looks great and it is still quite small by today's standards. With so many cool color combinations and interior options, it's easy to find your favorite color. I actually wouldn't change a thing from my test car.
Not only do the leather seats look great, but they are really comfortable too. The body colored dash is also a nice touch. Fiat really made the interior not only comfortable and great looking, but they also have included plenty of technology too.
Navigation is available, as well as Sirius XM Satellite radio and bluetooth. The back seats are surprisingly useable, and if you don't need them, you can fold them down for even more room.
The 500 is powered by a 1.4 liter inline 4 cylinder which makes 101 hp and 98 lb. ft. of torque. Zero to 60 mph takes 9.5 seconds with either auto or manual transmission. The sporty Abarth version gets to 60 3 seconds quicker and I'll be testing that one soon so look for my review.
For the automatic 500, fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway. You can expect 29 mpg overall. If you choose to shift it yourself with the 5 speed manual, your mileage will improve to 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
The Fiat 500 comes in 3 different trim levels. Pop is the entry level model and comes with a manual transmission for $15,500. The Sport offers a firmer suspension and a slightly different look for $17,500, and the Lounge starts at $18,500 and comes with a 6 speed automatic. There is also a designer Gucci edition which starts at $22,500.
The convertible Fiat 500c starts at $19,500 for the Pop and $22,500 for my Lounge test car. The $1,250 luxury leather package cloaks the seats in nice soft leather, plus the fronts are heated. Add another $1,250 and you get a 6 speed automatic transmission with a leather shift knob.
The Tom Tom Navigation with Blue and Me adds $400, and the 15" aluminum wheels add $300. With destination you are out the door at $26,400. That's considerably more than the entry level 500, but this one really does have everything, including most importantly, that sliding convertible top!
There are cars in the 500's price range like the Mazda 2, Smart fortwo and the Scion IQ, but really none of them come with the Italian flair that the Cinquecento brings. While the Scion, Smart and Mazda are certainly cute cars, I don't think any of them make the statement that the Fiat 500 makes.
There's 55 years of Italian tradition on the side of the 500, and I really loved it. The highest complement that it could get is from my uncle who owned a Fiat Bianchini back in the 60's. He drove it with my aunt, and the smile on their faces made them seem like a teenagers in love.
Of course they are still really in love with each other, but they also both really loved the Fiat 500c and it really spurred memories from his classic Fiat! Job well done Fiat, and welcome back to America!
Here is Drivin' Ivan's complete video review of the Fiat 500c Convertible