I'd Buy the Convertible - 2012 FIAT 500 Long-Term Road Test

2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test

2012 Fiat 500 Sport: I'd Buy the Convertible

November 08, 2011

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I'm a sunroof guy though and through. I use it every day. It's the one option box I'd tick on any new car I was thinking about buying. If I were having a tough time deciding between two cars, I'd probably pick the one with the sunroof.

Not so with our 2012 Fiat 500. Sure, it has the $850 sunroof option, it's just that it's not very good.

The first problem, as we've talked about before is the little curtain that acts as a makeshift sunshade. It's not very attractive and it lets the heat from the big dark glass thing on the roof bleed straight onto the top of your head. Fun.

Next, the sunroof takes up a lot of space. Riswick barely fits and if I try to drive it down Wilshire, I'm hitting my head on the roof at every bump.

Finally, when you open it, the pop-up air deflector makes more noise at city speeds than it prevents. Annoying.

Thankfully, the convertible fixes all of these problems.

There's headroom. Lots of it.

The roof is made of a thick canvas that doesn't let light or head in.

When you retract the roof, the pop-up air deflector has a small latch so you can attach it in the down position for low-speed motoring, or pop it up for highway stuff.

And finally, it's not really a convertible. The roof rails still stay fixed so this is more like a $3,000 giant panoramic sunroof. I like panoramic sunroofs.

Sure, removing most of the roof has some downsides: It's a little less stiff, a little creakier, rear visibility isn't great and doesn't quite have as much storage space. For what I'd want this little car for, that won't bother me.



Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com @ 9,500 miles

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