Fiat 500C (2009) Review

Fiat 500C (2009) At A Glance

3/5

+Characterful and charismatic. Funky retro look inside and out. Fun TwinAir engine.

-Cramped inside for 6 footers. Not much room in the back. TwinAir struggles to match official economy. Rear visibility poor with the roof retracted.

New prices start from £13,690, brokers can source from £13,667
Contract hire deals from £150.56 per month
Insurance Groups are between 9–18
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

The Fiat 500C is exactly what you expect it to be – it’s a Fiat 500 with a convertible roof. That means it packs in all the charisma of the regular 500 hatchback but with the added bonus of top-down motoring in the summer, without too much impact on practicality.

The roof mechanism is simple enough. It folds electronically and can be stopped wherever you like, so you can have a little bit of a breeze or the proper experience with it retracted fully. Obviously this isn’t a true cabriolet, but on the go with the roof back and the windows down you get almost the same experience, though rearward visibility is obscured.

The roof can be operated on the go at up to 37mph, which is great around town. It does mean that you can’t fold it up and down on national speed limit roads, though – something that you can do with a Citroen DS3 Cabrio. On that car the roof can be folded at up to 70mph.

The engine range is similar to that for the hard top, with an entry-level 1.2-litre petrol, a fun little 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol with 85PS or 105PS power outputs and a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel. The TwinAir suits the 500C perfectly thanks to its characterful exhaust note and sprightly performance, though its real world economy doesn’t match official figures.

If you like the Fiat 500 and want to enjoy soft-top motoring it’s easy to recommend the 500C. The Citroen DS3 Cabriolet is more accomplished as a driver’s car and feels more substantial, but it costs more than the 500C and doesn’t quite have the same charm. For many, charm will be the deciding factor and the Fiat 500C has it in abundance.

FIAT 500 2015 Facelift Road Test

Real MPG average for a Fiat 500C (2009)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

77%

Real MPG

32–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

127

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I bought a Fiat 500C for £9995 in April and now they'll only give me £7000 to trade it in - what do I do?
"I bought a 2014 Fiat 500C in April for £9995, but soon realised the little boot opening is not good enough for me. I enquired about exchanging it for hatchback version but only got offered £7000 for mine, after only a few months of having it and with hardly any added mileage. I feel very much ripped off."
Nothing much you can do about that other than try to sell it yourself while it's still summer and while buyers crave convertibles. See what WeWantAnyCar and WeBuyAnyCar will offer you on the basis of your reg, mileage and description.
Answered by Honest John
What small cars come with a sliding or panoramic sunroof?
"I am looking at a Ford Fiesta, DS 3 and a Renault Twingo as I'm after a small to medium car with an economical engine that's about one year old. I would like a sunroof or panoramic view if possible and sat nav. Can you suggest a car with these features?"
Citroen C1 Airscape, Peugeot 108 Airscape, Toyota Aygo equivalent, Renault Twingo with full length sunroof, Smart Forfour with full length sunroof, Fiat 500C, Fiat 500 with optional glass opening sunroof (Lounge pan roof doesn't open), DS 3 Cabrio.
Answered by Honest John
What compact convertibles would be a suitable replacement for a Fiat 500C?
"Is there another small convertible to rival my ageing Fiat 500C? I want something that is just as compact, has a back seat to take a dog or small people and, unlike the MINI convertible, looks nice! Budget flexible."
You can get a Citroen C1 Airscape, a Peugeot 108 Airscape and a Renault Twingo with a full length canvas sunroof. All significantly cheaper new than a FIAT 500C.
Answered by Honest John
Why does my Fiat 500 keep stopping suddenly?
"I own a 1.2-litre 2009 Fiat 500 Sport. The head gasket went in six months ago I had the head skimmed and the engine rebuilt. An hour after I picked it up from the garage the car stopped and has been stopping ever since. There is no pattern to it and no warning. Driving along and it stops instantly, lights radio everything goes off. But it starts again immediately. It has been to Fiat dealership and they say they cannot replicate the fault. It's very worrying for me as the car is not safe to drive."
I've got a 1.2-litre. When I had the timing belt, tensioner and water-pump replaced the water-pump was found to be leaking slightly so I wonder if this is what caused your head to fail. But the sudden stopping and loss of all electrics could be nothing more than a poor earth from the battery to the car body, or a breach in the earth between the engine and the body. I think this might be easily fixed.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Fiat 500C (2009) cost?

Buy new from £13,667 (list price from £15,605)
Contract hire from £150.56 per month