Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Fiat 500 Convertible is Cute and Fun



fiat_500.jpg

This is a cute foreign car that gets even cuter in convertible mode. Truth be told, the new Fiat 500 may be billed as a convertible, but it actually employs a power-sliding roof that many car owners may prefer over the traditional fold-back model.

The gas-saving 2012 Fiat 500 is a two-door, subcompact hatchback that is available as a hardtop or convertible. Both are offered in Pop and Lounge trim levels, and the hatchback has a Sport option as well.

2012 Fiat 500 Convertible

  • Performance: 1.4-liter, four-cylinder, 101 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 30-38 mpg
  • Price: $15,00 to $22,000
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 4 years/50,000 miles; corrosion 4 years/50,000; 
  • roadside assistance 4 years/unlimited

What's really cool about the sliding cloth roof is it can be utilized as a sun roof and opened at various lengths, or taken to its full distance and reveal as much of the sky as most convertibles. The sliding roof is controlled by an easy-to-reach knob. Pushing it is the lone chore one has to perform to get in convertible mode.

The one drawback to the Fiat 500 convertible is at its full open position the rear view is partially blocked, creating a bit of a safety issue.

Knowledgeable car folks will know that the Fiat had a decent U.S. run in the late 1960s and mid-70s. But the Italian automaker disappeared for more than 30 years. A year ago, Fiat bought Chrysler and the 500 model was picked as the vehicle that would reintroduce the U.S. market to the Fiat brand.

The Fiat 500 is one of the smallest cars sold in this country. Even the popular four-door Mini Cooper is larger than the Fiat, measuring 7 inches more in overall length. The Fiat is 4 inches taller than the Mini Cooper and weighs just over 200 pounds less at 2,350 pounds. The Fiat 500 owns a small edge in gas mileage - 30-38 mpg.

Note that the Fiat 500 base model costs approximately $15,500 and the Mini Cooper is priced $4,000 higher. Other competitors like the Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit, Mazda 2 and Ford Fiesta all provide more room than the Fiat 500 and are priced a bit lower. However, they don't possess Fiat's female-approving personality or its 14 color choices.

All 500s, with the exception of the Abarth, share the 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. The Fiat can be a plodder, especially uphill, evidenced by its 12.4 seconds acceleration time going from 0-60 mph. The five-speed manual, which is standard in the Pop and Sport models, goes about 1.5 seconds faster from 0-60 mph.

If getting there in a hurry is a big issue, the Abarth could be the answer. It has a turbo-charged, 160-horsepower engine and possesses a sport-tuned suspension, sporty seats and upgraded brakes. The Abarth goes for around $22,000.

Even with a lack of performance, the Fiat 500 can be fun to drive in manual mode. The steering provides a good feel for the road and the Fiat absorbs small bumps fairly well, while larger ones are more problematic. The Sport mode will improve the overall driving experience.

With any small vehicle, interior space is typically a problem. That is definitely true with the Fiat 500, which has a back seat that no one, not even small kids, will want to reside. Up front, the high-mounted seats allow for good leg room and the comfort level is acceptable. Cargo space is lacking in all models.

The unique European styling and the appealing J.Lo commercials should sell a few Fiats. But once the buzz halts, it could be tough for the Fiat 500 to take on some established rivals in the subcompact class.





Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.



Placer County News Headlines

Buick Cascada: Stylish and Fun-loving ConvertibleRoseville, CA- The 2016 Buick Cascada is a stylish, compact soft-top convertible that has many strong qualities.

Memorial Day: A Time to ReflectMemorial Day is time to take a moment to reflect on the purpose of this holiday-to pay tribute to those who have served us in the military-especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

South Yuba River State Park: Summer CooldownSouth Yuba River State Park provides a scenic adventure and summer escape with pricing that's hard to beat.

Estate Planning Workshop in Granite Bay June 2Roseville, CA- Come out for an informative seminar with Bill Walker to learn how about smart estate planning on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Roseville Ride: Miner's Ravine Trail Roseville, CA- A great place to go solo or bring the family, Miner's Ravine Trail offers a great escape for those looking to get away without the hassle or cost of a more time consuming adventure.

3 Arrested in West Roseville Vehicle TheftsRoseville, CA- Kevin Patrick McFarland, Maksim Mishchenko, and Stanislav M. Taran, were arrested on suspicion of stealing from numerous vehicles in Roseville.

Annual Marysville Stampede Memorial Day WeekendMarysville, CA- An annual celebration of California Western and rodeo heritage, in the heart of California's cowboy country, the 83rd Annual Marysville Stampede

Downtown Woodland: Unexpected TreasureWoodland, CA- On a recent Sunday afternoon, I grabbed my wife and headed off on a rather short drive to Woodland to catch an afternoon show at the Blue Note Brewing Company.

Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.23.16)Roseville police crime report digest update for May 23, 2016.

Local Team Wins Spirit CUP at SMUD Solar RegattaRocklin, CA- The Sierra College Solar Energy program Team competed last Saturday May 14th in the Northern California SMUD Solar Regatta

Roseville Area Organization Helps Guardian Scholars ProgramRoseville, CA- Sierra College Guardian Scholars Program thanks the ALPHA DELTA KAPPA Organization for their generous donation to our Former Foster Youth

Placer County Water Agency Master Plan UpdateAUBURN, Calif. - At its May 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors received an update on the PCWA County-wide Master Plan.


NEWS: In Case You Missed It