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Fiat 500C 1.2 Lounge: Test Drive Review

Date: 21 July 2009   |   Author:

Category: City car
P11D price: £12,610
Key rival: Citroen C3 Pluriel

The Fiat 500 recently made it into the top 60 of BusinessCar's top 100 fleet models chart, so the fashion item of 2008 is certainly finding company car fans.

This year's addition to the range is the 500C, the letter on the end signifying the addition of a convertible model.

An eye-watering £3000, or about 30% more than the three-door hatchback, the C comes with the same engine choice as its sibling, namely 69PS 1.2 and 100PS 1.4 petrols and the 75PS 1.3 diesel.

The smallest petrol is possibly the pick of the range. Despite lacking in power compared to the 1.4, the little unit is just potent enough to carry the city car around, and is £1205 cheaper than the 1.4 and £1400 below the diesel. The 1.2 also gets into the 10% tax bracket, and even a 20% tax payer will find just £21 per month exiting their pay packet.

Although Fiat is calling it a convertible, it's also possible to view the 500C as having the world's biggest canvas sunroof. The roof pillars stay in place while the central section retracts to sit above the boot, blocking pretty much all rearward vision. It's a nod to the 1960s Fiat 500 and turns plenty of heads, but the loss of visibility is disappointing.

As the whole roof doesn't fold, the system is operable at up to 37mph. It also doesn't encroach on boot space too badly, with the C's 182 litres just three less than the hatchback. But like the hatch, the rear seats may just as well be seen as extra luggage space. Real human beings won't be very comfortable.

Near-40% RVs help the 500C to a respectable 30.2p per mile figure, making it an attractive summer proposition for low-mileage perk drivers looking for some fun.

Fiat 500C 1.2 Lounge
P11D price£12,610
Model price range£8300-£14,100
Fuel consumption55.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 119g/km (10%)
BIK 20/40%
per month
Service interval18,000mls
Insurancegroup 15
Boot space182 litres
Engine size/power1242cc/69PS
Top speed/0-62mph99mph/12.9secs
On sale July 2009
VerdictNot powerful and blocked
rear visibility is a shame,
but this attractive soft-top
city car will be cheap to run.


Not powerful and blocked rear visibility is a shame, but this attractive soft-top city car will be cheap to run.