Cute is usually reserved for your granddaughter or a new puppy. Well, now you can add the Fiat 500c Lounge to this category. It is beautiful.
The Celeste Blu (light blue) exterior color and Avorio (ivory) interior make you want to give it a hug before you get in.
The 1.4-liter MultiAir 16-valve inline-four engine with a six-speed automatic transmission delivers 34 mpg on the highway and a respectable 27 mpg in the city.
The leather-trimmed, heated bucket seats add to the ambience of the interior, even though the bottom of the front seats is a little fitted.
The premium 7-inch customizable full-color, in-cluster display anchors the information visibility of the car’s information center. Essential information is quickly and clearly conveyed through sensible design and placement. The vehicle speed is displayed in large numbers and items like time, travel mileage, temperature, and fuel were clear and legible as well.
The 5-inch touchscreen display houses the Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system, with integrated voice command and Bluetooth. There is a media hub with USB and AUX inputs in the center console, and another USB charging port in the glove box—both are easily accessible. GPS Navigation is offered as an optional feature for $495.
For a car costing just under $21,000 for the model with automatic transmission, and about $1,000 less for the model with the standard five-speed manual transmission, I was surprised at some of the features. The Alpine premium audio system produced a great sound, and the SiriusXM Satellite Radio offered an army of channels. The leather-wrapped steering wheel gives the Fiat 500c Lounge a premium feel. There were also power windows with a front one-touch up-and-down feature, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and A/C with auto temperature control and a micron filter.
The exterior is just as stylish and trendy as the interior. The 15-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, chrome power-adjustable heated side mirrors, tinted glass windows, and chrome exhaust tips all seem coordinated to give a lasting impression.
Driving a cute car doesn’t mean you aren’t concerned about safety. The 2017 Fiat 500c has hill-start assist, all-speed traction control, tire pressure monitor, and standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist. Additional features include rear park assist, airbags that appear to completely cover occupants, and reactive front head restraints.
The security of the 2017 Fiat 500c has not been overlooked, with items like security alarm, remote keyless entry, and anti-theft engine immobilizer.
The Fiat 500c Lounge is fun to drive, easy to park, and quite comfortable for its size. It has a 50/50-split fold-down rear seat to provide more flexibility when it comes to hauling cargo.
There is no backup camera, which surprised me, nor could I find the cost should you want one.
My driveway has a slight incline, and it was difficult for the doors to remain open without being held open for an entrance or exit. The door catch that should keep the door open was not strong enough to do that.
Of course, driving a convertible made the driving experience all the more enjoyable. Sunny weather with moderate temperatures in the 80s encouraged me to drop the “black top” most of the time. Simply reach for the mechanism just above the driver to get the top to move down and come back up. Oh so simple!
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this youthful, exciting package of adventure, but in a short amount of time, I was cruising down city streets and country lanes and enjoying myself immensely. The 2017 Fiat 500c Lounge responded quickly and with vigor—just enough to make this old man feel not quite so old.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at [email protected]