2012 Fiat 500c to Start at $19,500


The 2012 Fiat 500c convertible will start at $19,500, the automaker announced today at the New York International Auto Show. That makes it the second least-expensive convertible on the market — the Smart ForTwo Cabriolet comes in first place at $17,690 — and the cheapest four-seat convertible period.

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The price excludes Fiat’s $500 destination fee, but it gets you into the 500c’s base Pop trim — or, as New Yorkers might call it, the 500 Soda (not really). The 500c Pop has all the standard features of the $15,500 500 Pop hardtop, including a six-speed manual transmission, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control and a CD stereo with an aux jack. Fiat claims the convertible’s $4,000 premium is the lowest of any convertible versus its hardtop counterpart. Besides a sliding canvas top, the 500c also gets sonar parking assist, which is optional on the hardtop 500.

A six-speed automatic runs $1,000. It’s standard on the 500c Lounge, which runs $23,500. There’s no midlevel Sport trim for the convertible, as there is on the hardtop. Load up the Lounge with heated leather seats and a TomTom navigation system and the 500c tops out around $25,500, said Fiat marketing manager Stephan Cloutier.

That’s not unreasonable. The ForTwo Cabriolet tops out around $22,000, while a Mini Cooper convertible starts at $24,850 and can spiral beyond $35,000 if you get carried away with the options.

The 500c goes on sale next month.

FIAT 500 FIAT 2011 New York Auto Show


Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey