December 8, 2013
500C LoungeMonday, September 30, 2013
Fiat’s fun and attractive cabrio
The Fiat 500C is a small convertible that is ideal for urban use, but has enough space for four adults to travel comfortably. In fact, the interior is about the same size as the coupé version of the Fiat 500, and only the trunk space has suffered a slight adjustment so passengers can fully enjoy the spring in this fun little cabrio.
I tested the Fiat 500C Lounge 1.4 on the first day of spring.
The soft top of the Fiat 500C folds up and out of the trunk, thereby not affecting loading or cabin space. Folding the top down gives the car a rather curious retro look.
The roof features three basic options that are selected by pressing an open-close button. The first choice option is to open the roof only slightly, resembling your average sunroof, the second is to open it completely and the third is to collapse the roof entirely along with the rear windows.
If you opt for the third option, you cannot open the trunk, as the folded roof interferes with the rear door. Therefore, for user comfort, if you press the button to open the trunk, the roof automatically unfolds.
The Fiat 500 is a small vehicle, and logically it’s trunk is also small, with a loading volume of 185 litres.
The cabin is suffienctly large for four occupants. Head room has not even been affected by the soft top. Accessing the back rows is as simple as reclining the seat with the top lever and bringing the seat forward by pulling a strip. There is enough space in the back row for two adult passengers and seats have generous adjustable headrests.
The driving position is slightly elevated which along with a slight front overhang helps the driver dominate the road. An elevated gearshift lever is also pleasant, as it allows for short movements to shift gears.
All necessary controls are handy on the circular instrument panel that includes an odometer and tachometer in the same circumference. It also includes information from the onboard computer on which you can check mileage, fuel consumption, range and adjust the set up.
The Fiat 500 Cabrio is available with a MultiAir 1.4 litre 16V engine that brings 105 HP at 6,250 rpm with a maximum torque of 133.5 Nm at 3,850rpm.
Developed with particular attention to performance and consumption, the engine comes with the MultiAir system, which controls the supply of torque and engine power, opening and closing admission valves at the optimum moment, thereby controlling the filling of the cylinders through the variation of the percentage of opening of the valves.
Moreover, thanks to its automatic six-speed gearbox, the Fiat 500 Cabrio develops a maximum speed of 180km/h, accelerating from zero to 100km/h in only 12.6 seconds, allowing for great agility in urban settings.
The 500 Cabrio is based structurally on the saloon version and maintains all its characteristics and active and passive security features, which made it the “Top Safety Pick 2011,” the most important prize awarded by the US IIHS institute.
Available with four airbags (two above and two side) as standard, more can be added at the knee and window levels for the driver, making a total of seven available in its safest version.
The vehicle is equipped with sophisticated technical solutions to ensure perfect control of the vehicle for the driver: from the ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) brake system, the sophisticated ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) with the Hill Holder mechanism that helps the driver start the car on a slope, and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance), which contributes to control in the event of emergency braking.
The 500C is a car with classical design and modern adaptations that has respected the memory of the traditional Cinquecento model. It has definitely adapted to modern times, giving Fiat’s potential clients a safe, modern car with a touch of exclusivity. The Fiat 500 Cabrio comes with a three year or 100,000 kilometres guarantee, and a five-year corrosion warranty.