Jul 17, 2012
Reviewed By Chad Tyson
Price as Tested $27,050
Likes

The power is appreciable. At full boost the horsepower is 160, which breaks down to an impressive 114 hp per liter (1.4-liter I4). Steering is tight and responsive at parking lot and highway speeds — impressive for an electric unit. Parking is easy given the car’s diminutive size. Bose Premium audio system is more than loud enough to drown wind and exhaust noise. Although I wouldn’t want it up too loud, as that exhaust note is really pleasing.

Dislikes

It’s still an economy car with plastic interior bits. The 17-inch Hyper Black wheels ($1k option) were extremely prone to scuffing and damage. Driver positioning can be awkward. Seating position is high, as I hit my head on the ceiling several times. Clutch pedal depresses much further than brake or accelerator, a good thing if your left leg is longer than your right. Steering wheel is adjustable only up and down, telescoping would be convenient. Rear visibility is obscured by thick B- and C-pillars.

Verdict

“A racing machine alive on the streets.” Tons of fun for the money. Watch out on the options — things will add up very quickly. This example went from $22k base to over $27k with just six ticks on the option list. (With a short option list, there were only a few left off of this particular car.) Taking advantage of the car’s quickness still yielded close to the 28 city mpgs, as I averaged 25 with a heavy foot. The only direct competition for the 500 Abarth is the MINI Cooper S, and the 500 starts at two grand less. The Fiat 500 Abarth is worth a look when you want a fun, quick way to commute.

Fun to Drive
4.5 rating
Fun to Look at
3.5 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating
Stats
Horsepower 160 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 170 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
Zero to Sixty Time 6.8 seconds
EPA Mileage 28 city/34 highway

For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.