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Fiat 500C 1.3 MultiJet Lounge

Road Test

Fiat 500 Convertible 1.3 MultiJet Lounge

Driven October 2009

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The 500C is a warm breeze on your face. It's a snog behind the bike sheds and a moonlight skinny dip. It's a feel good car. But does it feel the same with a diesel engine?

Of course it does. Diesels are no longer the sooty rattleboxes they used to be, and it will take more than a faint clatter to divert our gaze from a magnificent 67+ mpg.

The 1.3-litre MultiJet here is good but, with only 107lb ft, not hugely torquey. Instead, it has a broader spread of power and prefers to rev like a petrol. The throttle is a bit squidgy but who's going to drive this like an Abarth? You'd just ruin that fuel economy.

With the roof rolled back, the engine noise trails harmlessly over the car, rather than pouring in and polluting your ears. And that leaves you free to enjoy all the pleasures of open-top driving. The sounds of screaming school kids. Head-boring sirens. A well-aimed pigeon crap.

The only twist in this positive tale is the price. At £14,100 for the poshest Lounge version, the recession-friendly effects of 67mpg are quickly slapped down. The core appeal of the 500C is its simple pleasures, so for the ultimate cheap thrill, stick with the entry-level petrol. It's £2,800 less.

Dan Read

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