“There are imperfections that drive me crazy but I can’t seem to dislike it…”
The top is down. The sun is shining. It’s not a bad day to be stuck in downtown traffic.
John Legend’s “All of Me” comes on the radio while behind the wheel of the 2014 Fiat 500C. As I wait in the Georgia Street parking lot, I listen intently to the song. Some lyrics of the song are: “Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.”
As I contemplate this, it applies directly to the pint-sized Fiat I’m captaining.
In fact, there are imperfections about this four-seater that drive me crazy but I can’t seem to dislike it.
One example is the sound that greets you as you enter its cabin. There is nothing melodic about it. No mellifluous ding-dong ding-done; just a harsh monotone noise that seems to stay longer than an uninvited party guest. Even passengers commented on how annoying it is.
The volume buttons on the dash really should be knobs. You should be able to crank up The awesome Beats premium audio system in a hurry, not push by push. (It’s worth the additional $495 price tag.)
Visibility is mediocre at best, especially with the top up. The canvas roof doesn’t allow for great visibility when backing up – top up or down – but thankfully there are backup sensors that help guide you into the spot you want to be in.
The trunk only hosts 269 L. Unless you’re packing light, or just ditching the bags and merely bringing a debit card with you on a road trip, fitting four people inside and their luggage will be a challenge. On the plus side, the drop top doesn’t take away any precious space when open.
Then there’s the optional TomTom navigation that sits atop the dash and cuts into one’s forward visibility. An awkward spot for GPS system. Pairing a Bluetooth device isn’t that straightforward either.
Not to mention, the 500C, with its 1.4L engine and humble 101 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque isn’t a stable stallion. Despite its lack of power, pressing the Sport button helps it feel a little peppier. The 5-speed manual transmission is hardly a chore, even when I’m just inching along at a snail’s pace.
While its imperfections should cause me to think about ever wanting to drive or own one, I still can’t seem to stop loving this little car. I like its quirkiness and the fact that it’s not perfect.
I love the exterior colour: Espresso. It sparkles in the sun and has a warm richness to it.
When matched with the two-toned leather-trimmed bucket seats, it looks stylish and chic.
Bringing the outside in, the espresso paint also colours to life the dash. Combined with ivory touches, it has an upscale ambiance.
The tester, being the Lounge trim of 500C, it has an MSRP of $23,995.
That comes with keyless entry, a chrome shift knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel (and the aforementioned leather seating surfaces with heated front seats), 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS, hill start assist and more.
When not stuck in traffic, the 500C actually remains quiet on the open road, with the top up, of course. It certainly doesn’t handle like its race-primed sibling, the Abarth, but still manages to turn on a dime when required.
It’s also a lovely road companion because imperfections on the road aren’t felt with abrasion or discomfort.
Furthermore, if you want to shed some light on the cabin, there are three settings you can use at the push of a button. One is a sunroof-like option, the next goes about 2/3 of the way down, and the last is all the way down. Either way, you have options on how much Vitamin D you’d like to consume.
I feel like I’m back in grade school, sitting on the grass field at lunch, plucking the petals of a dandelion, one by one, saying, “I love it, I don’t love it, I love it, I don’t love… I LOVE IT!”
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