2017 Fiat 500 Pop Cabrio

The Fiat 500 is so small, it’s just not practical for most people – but there’s no doubting this little Italian’s style and flair.

Our review car is a base Pop convertible. The $1,000 Sport package adds bigger wheels and tires and other trim upgrades.

The convertible top operates easily enough, but the stacked canvas blocks rear vision when open.

Fiat 500 interiors are certainly different, but not always in a good way. Because the steering wheel does not telescope, finding a comfortable driving position was impossible for me.

Automatic climate is part of the $500 popular equipment group. Choosing this five-speed manual shift instead of an automatic adds fun, better performance, and better gas mileage. I averaged about 34 miles per gallon.

$700 gets you a crude TomTom-based navigation system and satellite radio.

Let’s not talk about the back seat because it’s too small to be usable. When you pop the trunk, be prepared to pack lightly.

Even in such a small car, 101 horsepower is just not enough, but the 1.4-liter four does sip benzina sparingly. Italians always have a way with suspension tuning and that makes the 500 fun to zip around town.

So for the 2017 Fiat 500 Pop Cabrio, I say thumbs up to the good gas mileage, Italian style and fun; thumbs down – it’s too slow, too small, and has an uncomfortable driving position.

The as-tested sticker is $20,365.

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