I've neither read nor heard a discouraging word about the Fiat 500, the oh-so-cute retro mobile that has taken Europe by storm. I absolutely agree that the design is totally endearing; I'd jump at the chance to drive a 500; and I'd love to see this car come to the United States (possibly via a link-up with Chrysler). The discouraging word, therefore, is not for the 500 in general, but for the new 500C (convertible), just unveiled at the Geneva auto show. What a dud. I'm sorry, but a 1950s-style rollback canvas roof does not a convertible make, even if it is the way Fiat did it back in the day of the original 500. The car does not meet the minimum open-air standard for convertible-ness, and, as a second offense, the stacked canvas top effectively obliterates the view out the back. Happily, Fiat also offers a traditional sunroof for the 500, and that strikes me as a far superior solution for sunseekers in Europe's hottest supermini.
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