2012 FIAT 500 - Edmunds Ratings

2012 FIAT 500 C Lounge (1.4L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)
Date Driven: 8/16/2011
Performance This is one of the slowest vehicles we've tested. Its 101-hp 4-cylinder requires 12.1 seconds to deliver 60 mph, although the 6-speed automatic did it no favors. EPA combined fuel economy estimates are 29 mpg. We averaged 32 mpg overall.
Driving Dynamics Electric-assist steering is precise and communicates what the 15-inch tires are doing reasonably well. The key to dynamic transitions is maintaining momentum. It completed the slalom at 65.1 mph. Brakes are firm and consistent.
Ride Comfort Irony plays a part in naming this 500 C trim level. At low speeds, 'lounge' is the right word. At highway speed, the small tires respond to the road surface so you must pay attention. The car fidgets, reacting to road variations and bumps.
Quietness With only a soft convertible top for insulation, road and tire noise are noticeable, though not excessive. The 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder is quiet at lower rpm, then announces itself as the tachometer needle approaches redline.
Ergonomics The interior layout is unique, though not exactly more usable. As with any international car, the window controls are in the center (on the shift console here). Digital instruments. Pushbutton-type secondary controls.
Visibility An unusually high seating position produces good visibility. Side windows are large but wide B-pillars create a significant blindspot. The convertible top's rear window of the 500 C is far smaller than the hatch of its coupe counterpart.
Seat Access & Space Front and rear headroom can be a problem for taller people. The drivers seat has a vertical seat adjuster but it doesn't move very far in either direction.
Cargo & Storage The C trades the hatchback versatility of the coupe for a small trunk. Door pockets offer moderate amounts of storage. Plenty of cupholders for all occupants. No center console storage.
Build Quality No excessive panel gaps on our test vehicle. Our tester had a white color scheme inside, although there were different shades in different places. Some creaks. Hard plastic feels cheap.
Convertible This should not be considered a convertible. It is more like a panoramic sunroof. The top can be opened to various positions. One touch open makes lowering the top easy, and it can be done on the fly.

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