Fiat’s tiny 500c gets a huge price drop for 2017, making the fun subcompact convertible more attractive than ever. A simplified model lineup and more flexible option package structure make it far easier for buyers to order a unique, personalized vehicle.
The roof of the 500c doesn’t fold back and away like most convertible tops. Instead, a cloth panel powers back along the roof rails at speeds up to 60 mph and bunches up at the rear of the car. It’s a sunroof look reminiscent of the original 500 and other European cars from the 1950s. It offers most of the benefits of open-air motoring while keeping the overall design and engineering simple, and costs down.
As always, its charming and funky personality makes the 500c shine. The interior is innovative and a happy place to be. Once seated, drivers may never want to leave.
What's New for 2017
Instead of five, there are now three trim levels: the base Pop model, the upscale Lounge, and the track-day-ready Abarth.
MSRP has dropped for the Pop from $20,395 to $16,490. The Lounge has a similar price drop to $19,890, and the Abarth to $21,490 (there's an additional $995 destination charge on all vehicles).
Options are no longer lumped together, so customers can now mix and match the featuress they desire instead of having to purchase a whole group.
Up to 15 exterior colors are available for 2017.
Choosing Your Fiat 500c
As stated, the 500c is fun and fashionable. It’s not fast in Pop and Lounge forms, but it’s cheerful and entertaining. The tiny design limits cargo space, but makes it an excellent vehicle for city driving and parking in tights spaces.
Then there is the powerful Abarth model, which makes furious noises, gobbles up curves, and is an absolute hoot to drive hard.
The Pop and Lounge models deliver 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway with the manual transmission; the Abarth offers 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with the manual.
All models feature Fiat’s Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and integrated voice commands. A Beats premium sound system and navigation are available.
The Abarth burbles when it idles, daring you to hit the gas. It likes to be driven with gusto. Is it worth the extra cash? Absolutely. Should you buy it? Only if you’re actually going to do track days. In normal driving, the ride is harsh and the handling is twitchy. Some of the inherent fun is lost. It might be better to buy a non-Abarth model and drive it spiritedly when the mood strikes.