By Cars.com EditorsOctober 28, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2012 Fiat 500C. It competes with the Smart ForTwo and Scion iQ.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com, and this is a 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio or 500C. We've done a video on the regular hard top version.
So let's take a look at what makes this one sort of a convertible. (top clicking) (upbeat music) At least initially, because the rails stay where they are, it feels like a moon roof, a big moon roof. It stops about here. You don't get that open feeling you have in a regular convertible. You can hit the button one more time, and that brings it back even farther. It opens it up more, at least for your passengers, if you want to stick someone in the back seat. But then the problems also start. (upbeat music) With the top in this position, it blocks your rear view. Whether you're looking over your shoulder or into the rear view mirror, it actually blocks your view of the cars. Even when the top is in the intermediate position or all the way up, the pillars here are actually pretty thick too. Both for looking over that shoulder, and this one, when you're looking over your left shoulder. Now I drove a hard top 500 before, and I found the driver's seat a little uncomfortable because of the up tilt to the cushion. It's not adjustable. That was a manual. I thought it would be better in this automatic. I'm still not super comfortable. Here's part of the problem. With it back far enough for me and my height, the steering wheel tilts, but it doesn't telescope. Then what happens is I turn and look and realize I'm staring right at the rear view mirror. I am too high. So I got to go lower. Then I'm even more uncomfortable. It gets worse. In terms of visibility, they have as an option, a little TomTom, portable GPS device, and it mounts and gets its power from the dashboard. That's great, right? Until you realize, I have this much space to look through between the TomTom and the rear view mirror. (upbeat music) Do you notice how all these little things are starting to build up and become big? Maybe bigger than the car? Here's a kind of a big thing. The automatic transmission, it's a six speed. I find that it shifts kind of hard. In 2012, most cars shift more smoothly than this one. So I don't want you to think there's nothing I like about the car. I like its size. I actually like small cars. I like Fiats. I owned one. It's great in the city. It's easy to park. The ride quality is actually quite good, better than the Mini Cooper, and way better than the Smart Fortwo, whose names should not be mentioned. (upbeat music) Other things I like in this particular trim level, the lounge, which is a higher trim level, really, really nice leather on the seats. And there's more. (upbeat music) Here's a clever little provision. If you have the roof in this bottom most position, when you go to open the trunk, it'll move up on its own to clear, just so the door opens. Trunk is not very large, frankly, but the back seats fold down and that's still not a given in a convertible. (upbeat music) It's been a while since I mentioned something that bothers me. I'm sitting in the back. Even if I wanted to crunch in here, at my height, I couldn't 'cause this thing is jabbing me in the neck. I also noticed, I can't tell which button is lock and which is unlock on the key. This car annoys me. I'm sorry, just too many things add up. The Cabrio adds $4,000 to the price of the regular 500. That's a lot for a not really a convertible. That brings it to 19,500 to start. If you want to get the lounge trim level, which is what we're sitting in, that's another $4,000. I'm thinking, if you want the car, get the car. But if you want to convertible, find another one. (upbeat music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.