As the summer brings the heat, we bring out our favourite toys. Although the Fiat 500C Dolcevita is quite sophisticated in it’s well considered design, it’s quite an enjoyable drive, even for a 1.85m tall dude.
We had it over one of the warm long weekends and have a lot to share about our time with it, climb inside!
The cabriolet we had the pleasure to zip through the city in was the Dolcevita trim, which is one of two trim levels for the 500 Cabriolet range, the other being Sport. With its third instalment of the 500, Fiat has defined the different personalities of this iconic car in four trim levels, being Cult, Connect, Dolcevita and Sport.
Beautiful both inside and out.
We marvel at the exterior of the 500C, with its Ice White colour, as I am introduced to it with its soft top closed. It welcomes me in its petit splendour, sporting chromed touches on the handles, front bumper and rear tailgate. The 16 inch alloy wheels provide some reassurance that it can fill big shoes, whilst the Dolcevita badge provides a stamp of authority, signifying the iconic style of the 2021 500C offering.
Entering the cosy front seat felt a bit tight at first, but was surprisingly snug and comfortable in no time. The dash and interior came in an Ice White colour, which matched the striking exterior. I already feel like speeding up the hills and down the valleys of Sicily to grab the creamiest cappuccino, but I digress.
A disappointing feature of any car range that seeks to appeal to the young and sexy market, such as myself, is not having a keyless start function, and unfortunately, this is the case with the 500C. Worry not, because it does pack some new technology, including Apple CarPlay, allowing us to extend our phone experience to the Uconnect™ 7’’ display. The full spec of the infotainment system includes: radio with Navigation, DAB, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and Android Auto integration. We must note that in order to access the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto function, you must connect via USB cable. The 500C also has bluetooth compatibility for a simpler less immersive entertainment experience.
As we get ready to rev up the engine, we revel at the splendour with which the interior was designed one last time, taking time to notice the multifunction steering wheel with chromed details featuring 8 buttons, giving us full control of this atomic 500C at our fingertips. Skipping to our favourite song on the steering wheel buttons, we also take note of the 7” TFT DISPLAY. For those of you who might not know what that is, it’s the screen that you can see in front of your steering wheel, showing your odometer and rev count.
Now we’re ready to go.
Although compact, the 500C comes with 7 airbags to ensure that impact is minimised during a collision, we pull off having engaged the automatic gears and notice a slight pullback effect with every gear change as the car speeds along the road. This jerklike motion can be a bit frustrating at times, but was reduced as our driving style became more adapted to the 500C’s transmission.
At our first traffic light, the hill hold function kicked in, allowing us to feel safe and relaxed, knowing that the cool technology is keeping us from holding back. We speed off onto the highway, zipping through the traffic like an Olympic gold medallist on ice, swift, sophisticated and safe. It’s a noticeable pleasure to drive the 500C, even though it’s not the fastest car out there, it carries a number of pleasures. The “Capote” or cabriolet top, can open whilst driving, only under speeds of 50km/h and can close within the same speed range.
The standard engine details are: a 0.9-litre 2-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, delivering 62.5 kW and 145 Nm and an impressive fuel consumption of 4l per 100 km.
Hills and Valleys
The oxford definition of Dolce Vita is “a life of heedless pleasure and luxury”, and the Fiat 500C definitely fits that definition in many ways, with it’s impressive:
- Bold exterior and interior designs and striking colour;
- Beautiful dash with a luxury finish and up to date technology display;
- Easy and fun driving experience with the right technology to help you feel safe;
- The soft top cabriolet allows for enjoyment of the long South African summer days.
Although it’s designed to be compact, it does create room for flaws that can’t be ignored, such as:
- Limited rear seat space;
- Almost impractical boot size;
- Turbulent gear shift on the automatic model;
- No keyless start button function.
You can get the Dolcevita Cabriolet 0.9L for R324 900, with other models starting at R219 900.
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