Let it rain

So, as I prepare for the little Fiat 500C Twin Air’s return, I consider whether it is a serious player or more of a novelty.

Having just done a three night dash to France – in the Golf – I know the Fiat would have made the long haul very tedious – the autoroute slog is not the 500’s forte.  (An 80 mile trip was enough – but strangely more restful in the Twin Air than the 1.3 Multijet diesel).

On the commute, the stop-start mechanism required an additional change to my mindset – which is starting to take place but which makes journeys less restful.  No longer do I sit in gear with the clutch down; neutral and clutch raised allows the little engine to shut down to save fuel.  Still, that’s my problem not the car’s; stop-start is becoming an increasingly standard feature across the industry.  Only once did I confuse the thing totally and have to revert to turning the ignition key.

Other quibbles?  Not many.  The indicator and wiper stalks are too far away from the steering wheel (even for my large hands) and both must be moved too many degrees between the individual operations but that’s about it.

Otherwise, the 500 provided a solid service – which any convertible must do given the weeks of rain we enjoy on our damp island.  What this particular car and its colour scheme do bring are a little blue sky to even the rainiest of days – the white instruments are clouds scudding along the cheery, vivid blue dashboard.  Beige is to be avoided.

In summary, for a car boasting such strong eco credentials, the 500C Twin Air’s place is on the open road, eco button firmly off. This is where there’s fun to be had, roof up or down.  It is a successful antidote to the many cars which just take themselves far too seriously.

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