The Fiat 500 is a cool little city runabout. The Fiat 500 Abarth is a unique automobile solely. It’s nonetheless stuffed with enjoyable and funk, but it surely ups the ante with a punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a soulful exhaust be aware, and a tossable demeanor.
The Fiat 500 Abarth debuted in America for the 2012 mannequin yr (together with a well known Tremendous Bowl industrial that we’ll share under with out additional remark). It didn’t see many modifications over the course of its seven-year run, and we have been unhappy when it was pulled from the U.S. again in 2019. Fortunately, sufficient have been offered that they’re simple to seek out on the used market.
Why the Fiat 500 Abarth?
It’s a heck of a variety of enjoyable to drive. It’s not tremendous fast, however there’s sufficient energy to place a smile in your face. In spite of everything, 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque (fashions with automated transmissions supplied up 157 hp and 183 lb-ft) feels stable with simply over 2,500 kilos to haul round.
Maybe probably the most notable a part of the Abarth’s driving expertise is its burbly exhaust be aware. Right here’s how we described it again in 2019:
“The little turbo 1.Four-liter four-cylinder has a gnarly burble at idle that wouldn’t appear misplaced in a muscle automobile. It solely will get higher whenever you begin cruising round. The burble turns into a raging howl, and shifting proper at redline ends in a whiplike crack. It’s intoxicating.”
That was true then, and it’s nonetheless true in the present day.
Plus, whereas we’ll get again to pricing later, it’s fairly low-cost for a sporty little automobile.
Which Fiat 500 Abarth to decide on?
You’ve bought two main selections to make. First, automated or handbook. Second, mounted roof or sliding canvas high. We’re suckers for clutch pedals, so we’d be onerous pressed to suggest the automated over the shift-for-yourself model, however actually the six-speed auto isn’t all that unhealthy.
The roof is tougher to quantify — it’s by no means like a conventional droptop, as a substitute sporting a canvas panel that slides again like an enormous sunroof. We’d counsel each variations and take a look at driving them at metropolis and freeway speeds and hopefully even in various climate situations, earlier than making a choice.
The mannequin yr doesn’t matter all that a lot, besides that pre-2016 editions didn’t have any form of infotainment system in any respect. The final 4 mannequin years’ little 5-inch unit isn’t precisely as much as modern-day requirements, anyway.
Count on to pay beneath $10,000 for an early 500 Abarth with an inexpensive variety of miles. Later fashions clearly price extra, however even in in the present day’s at present inflated used market it’s best to be capable of discover a good instance with low miles for round $20,000.
Our used car listings will be useful to discover a whole lot close to you. Slender the choices down by a radius round your ZIP code, and take note of the deal ranking on every itemizing to see how a car compares with others in the same space.
What else to contemplate?
The 500 Abarth’s most blatant competitor is the Mini Cooper S or John Cooper Works. Each a small European hatchbacks with stable energy from their little turbocharged four-cylinder engines and restricted on a regular basis usability. Neither is thought for its reliability, although, so if that’s a serious shopping for choice we’d counsel taking an in depth have a look at the Honda Civic Si or probably the Ford Fiesta ST. The Volkswagen GTI stands out as the quintessential sizzling hatchback, but it surely’s additionally larger and extra sensible than the 500 Abarth.
If you happen to’re interested by utilizing a Fiat 500 Abarth as little greater than a second-car plaything, there are a variety of potentialities to contemplate. The Mazda Miata is a given, however $20,000 may rating an older Italian (together with the Alfa Romeo Spider or Fiat’s personal 124 in unique or reborn kind) or British sportscar (however make sure you avoid wasting further dough for restore work).