Fiat 500C Review 2024

Fiat 500C At A Glance

2/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The long-lived Fiat 500C offers fresh-air fun mixed with the same cabin space as its small hatchback sibling. But there’s just a single mild-hybrid engine option nowadays.

+Characterful and charismatic. Funky retro look inside and out.

-Cramped inside for six-footers. Not much room in the back, and rear visibility is poor with the roof retracted.

New prices start from £19,385
Insurance Groups are between 9–18
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

The Fiat 500C is unusual in lasting as long as it has without an all-new model. There have been updates along the way, and the current version is now only available with a 1.0-litre petrol engine with mild hybrid assistance. What’s kept the Fiat 500C ticking along are its neat retro looks and cute appeal, which is enhanced by the simple roll-back canvas roof. It’s not very spacious, but you can still buy this convertible for less than £20,000 new. Read on for our full Fiat 500C review.

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 Fiat 500 hatchback, but with the added bonus of top-down motoring in the summer and not too much impact on practicality. However, there is no all-electric version as there is with the MINI Electric Convertible.

The roll-back 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, although rearward visibility is obscured.

The roof can be operated on the move at up to 37mph, which is great around town. It does mean, though, that you can’t fold it up and down on national speed limit roads, but this is not exactly a hardship. With the roof up, the Fiat 500C is decently refined.

The engine range is identical to that of the non-electric hard-top, with a 1.0-litre petrol engine that comes with mild hybrid assistance to help it to deliver reasonable economy and emissions figures.

However, neither figure is as good as you’ll get with a lot of small cars that have been launched more recently than the Fiat.

If you like the Fiat 500 and want to enjoy soft-top motoring, it’s easy to recommend the Fiat 500C. The Citroen DS3 Cabriolet was a more accomplished driver’s car and feels more substantial, but it is now only available as a used car and doesn’t quite have the same charm.

The MINI Convertible is more expensive, as is the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet. For many, charm will be the deciding factor and the Fiat 500C has it in abundance.

Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar's Fiat 500 review.

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
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