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Fiat's return to the US market hasn't been as triumphant as the Italian automaker had hoped. Sales of the iconic 500 and the convertible 500C have been weak. But the stylish subcompact soldiers on in hopes of attracting more American attention.
The 2013 500C year is a carryover, no surprise since it is only entering its second year here in the States. The 500C continues with two trim levels: Pop and Lounge. Pop serves as the base trim and includes a six-speaker audio system, cloth seating and power mirrors; Lounge offers a step up to premium cloth seating and an upgraded audio system. A 1.4-liter four-cylinder powers both, generating 101 horsepower and 98 foot-pounds of torque. The engine links up to a standard five-speed manual transmission. Performance isn't sizzling, but the 500C delivers impressive fuel economy.
A trio of option groups enhance the 500C experience. A Luxury Leather Package adds leather seats, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a ParkSense rear parking system. The Convenience Group includes everything in the Luxury Leather Package, except for the leather seats. Finally, for you smokers out there, Fiat offers its Smokers Package with a cigar lighter and ashtray.
The Pop trim level is the lowest level for the subcompact 2013 Fiat 500C. On the outside, this petite drop top comes standard with auto-off headlights to avoid you mistakenly leaving the headlights on, daytime running lights for additional safety during daytime driving, power exterior mirrors for quick adjusting, 15-inch steel wheels to keep the price economical and body-colored front and rear bumpers to give the body a smooth look. On the inside, the 500C Pop includes power windows and door locks, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control for more comfortable long journeys, cloth seating to help keep the overall cost low, a leather-wrapped steering wheel for a luxurious feel, and AM/FM/CD radio with MP3 decoder, steering-wheel controls, voice activation and six speakers for great sounding audio.
The Lounge trim level on the 2013 500C is the peak level that you can purchase. On the outside, the Lounge trim level adds in 15-inch aluminum wheels for added style, a security system to help prevent theft and front fog lights for additional safety when driving in foggy conditions. On the inside, the Lounge trim level adds in automatic climate control to help keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature, premium cloth seating for some added comfort during those long drives, and an AM/FM/CD/Sirius XM audio system with seven Alpine-brand speakers for optimal listening enjoyment.
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Huge city mpg, compact size and low base price, but poor base audio system, seats two and underpowered
Peppy engine, stylish body and standard leatherette, but more expensive and relatively low mpg
Powerful five-cylinder, refreshed body and iconic car, but low mpg and more expensive
More powerful, stylish body and optional panoramic sunroof, but lacks convertible option and rough ride