we found that it only ran out of puff when...
The new Fiat 500 was launched in the UK in 2008 and its Convertible sibling arrived in July 2009.
The new 500C pays homage to the stylish original 1957 fabric roof Fiat 500 and while the new car is undeniably cute it also combines all the attributes of a modern vehicle.
We tested the Fiat 500C 1.2 Pop priced at £12,960 on the road (our test car £13,790 including the following options - metallic paint £450, leather steering wheel with audio controls £110 and Blue & Me hands free system with USB port £270.
There is a choice of three engines: the 1.2 litre, 69bhp, 8v and 1.4 litre, 100bhp, 16v petrol engines and a 1.3 litre, 75bhp, 16v MultiJet turbodiesel with DPF. All engines are combined with either a five or six speed manual gearbox. A dualogic semi-automatic sequential gearbox is also available with the petrol engines (steering wheel paddle shift on the 1.4 version).
Our test car was fitted with the 1.2 litre petrol engine coupled to the 5-speed manual transmission which is capable of 0-62mph in 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 99mph. The 1.2 litre engine is very good around town and we found that it only ran out of puff when fully laden and going uphill. However, if you are prepared to work the 5-speed manual gearbox it is perfectly capable of keeping up with A-road and motorway traffic. Of course an Abarth version is available for those who require more performance.
The 5-speed manual gearbox is slick and easy to operate and the ball design gear knob is very tactile.
The NEDC official combined fuel consumption figure is 58.9mpg, CO2 emissions are rated at 113 g/km and the insurance group rating is 9. On a mixed test route we were achieving 45-47mph which we could increase to 52mph with careful driving.
Fiats Start & Stop technology stops the engine when at traffic lights or in queuing traffic and starts it up again as you drive away. It recognises stop start traffic and is automatically deactivated.