Twenty-seven-years ago, Fiat had cars in showrooms here in the United States. Well now with a lot of changes, a lot of ownership changes and a whole lot of style, the Fiat is back as a convertible.

This convertible is an Italian design and style comes back at a very reasonable price. A small car that s quite fuel efficient at 38-miles to the gallon. I noticed the Chinkqa-Chento -500 Cabriolet doesn’t compromise any of the space that a hatchback might, which is typical of convertibles where the top takes all of the trunk. The power top retracts and goes up in just 15-seconds with the push of one button. The top will even go up or down while the car is driving in case you get caught in the rain. It’s a very quiet vehicle even with the top up.

There are two models the pop and the lounge. The Pop Cabriolet convertible is a five speed, blue and me that is a Blue Tooth package. It starts at $19,500.

The lounge cab-has 15-inch wheels, automatic transmission, and satellite radio and fog lights. There are 14 exterior colors so you can uniquely order your car with 500,000 ways to build it, which includes graphic and different tops in either black Bordeaux or tan.

There’s also eco-drive, which will help you with fuel costs, show your driving patterns, and show you your eco-index thru a website to help you save on your gas bill. It does not have tilt wheel and the windows do not offer one touch control. And I thought the brakes were kind of touchy during my test drive. It did have a tight turning radius and I liked the progressive rate steering. However, there was a blind spot on the left with the convex mirror on the driver’s side.

The headliner was made of jersey material, which was quite similar to a tee shirt. However, the rear screen I found to be obtrusive in the vision and the steering wheel controls were easy to use. I test-drove the 2011 Fiat 500c with the lounge package.

The vehicle competes with the Mini Cooper in this market as it is the only other small convertible available however, they both can be fun to drive.

Courtesy of YNN/Time Warner Cable
Aired: 6/30/2011

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