By Clive Funziwe
Fun in a car isn’t always about raw power and hardcore racing dynamics – and the Fiat 500 C Dolcevita is a good case in point. With the Dolcevita, excitement starts from how the car looks. The quirky looks and unique design give you hints that you are in for something special – and the Dolcevita doesn’t disappoint, well, for the most part.
The good. As previously mentioned, it looks good, has a well damped suspension that is both compliant on rough roads and doesn’t fall apart around bends. The seats also follow suit with being comfortable, supportive and keep you in check around bends too.
The leather covered steering has decent feel that communicates with the driver on what the wheels are doing. This may sound like we are describing a hot hatch, not even. It is hot aesthetically, but it is powered by a modest 0.9l 2-Cylinder turbo charged motor. It produces 62.5kW/145Nm which is surprisingly satisfying with a bit of grunt in how the engine sounds and performs.
This is where we deliver the devilish, but. The gearbox hampers on the experience of piloting the Dolcevita. It has a “manual gearbox” sensation in that it does not seamlessly change between gears. There is a jolt of a pause between gears, and this almost feels like something is wrong. It is more apparent at low gears and relatively smoothens out as the gears go higher. It is something you need to experience to understand.
Notwithstanding that potential deal breaker, the 500C Dolcevita is one of the most fun cars to drive. It is easy to use on the daily, has great connectivity through its intuitive HD 7-inch display that is Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatible. There are also 2 USB ports and a 12V socket, plus 4 cupholders and decent but narrow door pockets.
All in all, the Dolcevita is adequately spec’d and offers okay value for its R324,900 asking price for those who are not after archers for space. Entry into the range starts at R223,900 and while you get a 5 Year/100 000km warranty, there is no service plan.
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