My hand is still sore but I am able to ride my caged Honda civic. So yesterday I took a ride to Ottawa to get to know the Fiat 500C. After all it is Italian and they offer it in espresso brown to match my Vespa GTV – 300.
Getting to know a fiat is much like getting to know a Vespa. I would say yesterday was my first dance with the little Italian car. I was interested in the cabriolet fully loaded. The dealer had one ready for me to test drive when I arrived. Although there’s nothing wrong with my Honda Civic EXL which also is fully loaded with additional add-ons such as wood dash, winter tires with original Honda wheels and hub caps, but there is just something alluring about the fiat that is calling my name.
I would like to talk about the fiat 500 C and give you my opinion of this sexy little car. However, before I get started I would like to say that the Italians can bring Fiats to North America to be sold by Chrysler but what they cannot do is get the Chrysler out of the Fiat!
Chrysler dealers simply do not understand the difference between the fiat and any other car that they have sold. I had called to arrange for a test ride. I had told a salesperson that I just wanted to sit in a car, get to know it, and take for a test ride. What they do not understand is that like a Vespa, a Fiat is something special that grows on you. It is something that you start to think about before you go to sleep at night. You start to watch videos on YouTube, you read articles in automotive magazines, you review the specifications, and slowly but surely you make a spot in your driveway for this sexy little car. However, the Chrysler dealer does not understand this. While I was there they told me that they had to meet sales quotas for the month and that they can give me an extra special deal if I bought today or within the next three days. Their discussions with me was not about falling in love with a fiat but rather agreeing to signing a sales document with terms of payment that would meet my needs.
I continually told them that I was here to get to know the car. I told them I was not interested in buying a car today. So the salesperson then brought out the big guns, her manager who again tried to explain to me how it would be to my benefit to buy it today because of the sales quotas and that they have the car I want in stock. The more they talked the more I wanted to leave the dealership and forego my first dance with a Fiat 500 C.
Well enough of that, let’s talk about the car. I fell in love with it after just sitting in the leather seats. Trust me on this, the car looks very small from the outside but it has a tremendous amount of room on the inside. The seats are tight and wrap around you providing support in areas that I did not know I even had. The leather seats were by far the most comfortable seats I have sat in. Furthermore the two-tone leather matched with the interior and exterior colors was spectacular.
With the roof down the car blends the interior and exterior together as a piece of art much like my Vespa GTV – 300. Here are some features about the Fiat 500 C that are quite interesting. You can raise or lower the convertible roof while traveling as fast as 90 kilometers per hour. I found that rather unique. The car’s safety includes air bags in areas such as protecting the drivers feet and legs. In fact you’re surrounded by air bags.
The speedometer is combined with a tachometer with a digital information center in the middle. Rather than a multitude of gauges, there’s one gauge that does it all right in front of you. Notice in the picture how the needles circle around with his speed on the exterior and the RPMs inside that. Additional information is presented in the center in digital format. I liked it very much.
When you look at the rest of the dash it is color coordinated with the exterior and interior. The style is stunning much like the Vespa. The Gauges work with voice command and integrate with my windows phone. So I can change music on my phone, answer calls and so on, hands free.
I took a quick video with my phone which is a bit jerky and it is of a brand new car that still has the papers on it. They wanted to show me and espresso colored car with all the features I wanted but it just came off the boat. So that is why the car has papers stuck in places and is not perfectly clean. However, would a fiat dealer in Italy present this car for a test drive knowing in advance that I was coming?
Now that you see the car I want to talk about my test ride. When I started the engine it had a nice little growl. It brought me back to the days in the 1970s when I used to race Austin Minis. Fiat it must have spent a lot of time tuning this exhaust system because it sounds perfect. When you sit in a car it feels solid. All the controls are at your fingertips and look really cool. As I drove away I could feel the stiffness in the steering that would make the handling exceptional. To my surprise that actually provided a quite ride. The salesperson said that with the top down and the windows up and the wind deflector opened on top of the front of the roof that there’s no wind noise. The beats sound system was incredible and far better than the premium sound system that I have in my Honda Civic.
The car was nimble, comfortable, and a pleasure to drive. I have to say that I like this car and that it would look spectacular side by side with my Vespa. The first dance was a pleasure but will I drop my Honda for a Fiat? Perhaps I could start another blog in the winter named 500C Adventures Dot Ca.
One last note: I dictated this blog entry using Windows Speech Recognition.