2014 Fiat 500 C Abarth Cabrio GQ Edition (1048)

Overview:

This week I had the opportunity to test the 2014 Fiat 500 C Abarth Cabrio GQ Edition. The Cabrio is a convertible in the easiest sense of the word. The soft top simply accordions to the back with a push of a button and reverse to close. No latches to disengage or re-engage. It is more like a full length moon roof but it is close to a full convertible and it is really cool.

General Information: Parts from the US / Canada 23%; Mexico 42%. It is assembled in Toluca, Mexico, Classification is Minicompact. Cars from Fiat: 500, 500e, 500L, Abarth, C Abarth, C Lounge, C Pop, Lounge, Sport and Turbo

Don’t you just love the multi-national make up of cars today! Above information about the cars origin should speak volumes of how global the auto industry has become. And this Italian company is not alone, of course, but joined by all other car companies in all countries. From the Big 3 in the US – only half a century ago for the vast majority of cars produced in the entire world we now see cars being made around the world.

China 25%, United States 13%, Japan 11%, Germany 7%, South Korea 5%, India 4.5%, Brazil 4%, Mexico 3.5%, Canada 3%, Russia 2.5% and others 21.2%.

Handling & Performance:

What a kick to drive around town and it is also a great commuter with close to the top for fuel economy of cars in this price range. It is very quick with turbo power that gets you in and out of traffic with ease and it is a very stable ride, albeit a little stiff suspension. So it will not be noticed on your commute other than if you drive in the truck lanes where you will feel the road imperfections.

Styling:

Design has left it a bit noisy inside and I didn’t expect that for the money. Its looks are very identifiable but I rather prefer the design of the 500L 4-door sedan, more so because it offers much more room. However if you are OK with smaller it’s cute and I’m guessing it will appeal especially to young girls.

As you may know one of my pet peeves is for a car to have sun visors that don’t extend to give adequate coverage of the side window. They are also narrow and that adds to the problem even for front windshield glare. I’d say about 75% of cars I test drive have the ability to extend or they have a plastic piece inside the visor that pulls out to give more coverage. Well, of course, this is one of those cars that irritates me in this regard.

Fit and Finish:

Very good and reminiscent of the VW Beetle.

Cost:

A point of departure for me as to cost is that it is more expensive than I would have guessed but the engineering and features including the Cabrio top and Turbo power give support for the higher than expected cost.

Conveniences and comfort:

It has all the usual bells and whistles and safety features you would expect for a car in this price range. But I was not thrilled with the ride characteristics as the seat is not as cushiony as I would expect.

Consumer Recommendation:

If I were considering the MINI or the VW Golf or even the VW Beetle, I would definitely include this in my list of cars to test drive.
Recognized Competition:
Fiat C Abarth $26,000, Chevrolet Cruze $24,000, Chrysler 200 $22,000, Honda Fit $17,000, Hyundai Azera $31,000, Kia Forte coupe $21,000, Mazda 2 $16,000, MINI Cooper $28,000, Nissan Versa Note $14,000, Volkswagen Golf $27,000.

Good News:

Very good fuel economy, well-engineered and turbocharger fast.

Bad News:

A little pricey and more importantly the sun visors don’t extend.

Standard Equipment:

1.4 liter 160 Horsepower inline 4-cylinder turbo engine, 5 speed manual transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags and driver knee airbag, LATCH system, stability control, torque transfer control, 4-wheel disc performance brakes, hill start assist, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power door locks, engine immobilizer, rear window defroster, rear park assist, turbo boos gauge, 12 volt aux power outlet, security alarm, air conditioning, rear 50/50 split fold down seat, power windows, AM/FM CD, MP3 audio system, Blue and Me hands free communication, USB/Auxiliary audio input jack, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, tilt steering column, 16” aluminum wheels, Nero black performance soft top, side sills ground effects, power heated mirrors and fog lights.

Gas Stats:

$3.65 / Gal avg. September 6, 2014

www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

28 City and 34 Highway MPG

Pricing:
MSRP $26,195.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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