The Fiat Cinquecento was a tiny car produced in Italy for almost 20 years, from the 1950s to the 1970s. Because it was extremely popular for Fiat, the company brought the nameplate back for a larger model that evokes the style of the original.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The new Fiat 500C has roved the roads of Europe for the past few years, and is now heralding the return of Fiat to the U.S. Although using the same sort of retro styling as the Mini Cooper, it's much cheaper, albeit with less performance.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The little curved front shows very little air intake capability, which is fine for the 875cc two-cylinder engine in European models, but might stifle the 1.4-liter four-cylinder of U.S. models, especially in hot climates.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The little 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine uses variable valve timing to help it pump out its 101 horsepower and 89 pound-feet of torque.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The 500C is very short, making it fit well in urban environments. The rear seat is roomy enough for passengers.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
An economy car suspension leads to an occasionally rough ride.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The trunk is, as expected, on the small side. Don't expect to get a weekend's worth of luggage in here.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The cloth top on the 500C rolls back in three positions. It can uncover the front seats, or the entire cabin, or roll back entirely to really open up the interior.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
When all the way back, the top obscures rear visibility.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The interior of the 500C is filled with hard plastics, which are only somewhat offset by nice seat materials and some metal parts.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
An electric power-steering unit reduces strain on the engine, and is well-tuned for driving feel.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The Blue&Me system has a voice command element for Bluetooth phone and MP3 player integration, but in our testing it did not work as well as Ford Sync, with which it shares core technology.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The instrument cluster stacks the speedometer and tachometer, and includes a monochrome display in the middle.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The base transmission is a five-speed manual, with a six-speed automatic available optionally. The manual transmission gets about 5 mpg better than the automatic.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Along with satellite radio, a USB port in the glovebox supplies iPod and USB drive connectivity.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The optional seven-speaker Bose audio system sounds surprisingly good.

Back to review.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.

Hot Products