Surprises come in small packages. The Fiat 500C Lounge Cabrio, priced at $22,495 fully loaded, drives like a kart racer and looks like an oversized ladybug. No other car in recent memory elicited quite so many smiles. People stopped, pointed, looked perplexed, and even laughed when we drove by, in a good way.
“Is that a Buick?” asked one confused bystander.
Not quite. One of the most popular European cars — the Italian automaker can’t piece the cars together fast enough — the Fiat 500 is a hard-top precursor with similar specs. On the 500C, the top folds back toward the boot with the press of a button. Curiously, you can fold most of the top back while driving but if you keep pushing the button the canvas will retract back behind the rear passengers. Once you pull it back that far, you can’t push the button again until you come to a stop.