2012 Fiat 500C Pop new car reviews

Better than: VW EOS
But not as good as: Fiat 500 Abarth
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 69.60

We've had our hands on a number of these Fiat 500s, and the little cinquecento is showing up on streets everywhere, too. This particular model was a silver cabrio, but the more lightly equipped Pop model. It's still no stripped-out penalty box though; it has Bluetooth connectivity, a zillion airbags, and, of course, we got ours with a stickshift.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

We're starting to see Fiats on the street, which is good for our team. Nice to see the general public embracing a small car that has some character. In fact, our local Fiat dealer is running some nicely done TV ads.

I still wish the 500 had a crisper shifter. I'm not saying it needs to replicate a Miata's, but the Fiat's just feels too rubbery. I wonder if it's something that the aftermarket can tighten up.

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

If you're not getting the Abarth, I contend that the hardtop Sport is the model to get. It has stiffer springs and it drives more like you'd expect from this little car. The 500C is still lively, but its suspension is tuned more to absorb impact than for driving excitement. If my mom wanted one, though, I'd definitely steer her toward the cabrio.

That top goes waaaay back, which can make for a fun late-night cruise with a couple friends. Or a double date. I do have a beef with its color, though: The center plastic dash cover is painted to match the body color. This looks fantastic on a pearl white car, but that silver clashes badly with the off-white steering wheel, HVAC controls, radio and so on in the interior.

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