Each offer comparable performance and arguably better levels of refinement, as well as altogether more interior space. After a while it can become a bit uncomfortable, but the overall space is wide enough so you won't be bumping shoulders with your fellow occupants. If you will transport more than two adults on a regular basis, we'd suggest a larger 4-door alternative. With the new 135-horsepower Fiat 500 Turbo joining the fold for 2013, and the 160-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth at the apex of the range, there are options with more pep should you want it. On second thought, maybe not.
The five-speed manual shifter is nicely located on a pedestal at the base of the center stack, located in such a way that it almost offered a comfortable rest. And the aural assault sounded extra glorious bouncing off the rock-faced walls that lined our route. For some reason, the unique top arrangement appealed even to people who shun full convertibles or sunroofs. Once you're used to the 500's cramped cockpit, the colorful trim lightens the mood and the seats earn valuable feel-good points. Fuse was blown, replaced many times, still not working. The largely identical 2012 Fiat 500 scored three stars overall, however. The forward-slanting rear glass, the button-like headlights, the up-kicked side surfacing, even the mustache bar across the nose--the combination of these details with the essence of the classic Cinquecento shape just works.
Fiat, now firmly a part of America, hopes to change all that. On a long drive through the Nevada desert, my driving partner and I noticed some wind noise coming into the cabin, but no tire noise, which is more annoying than the wind. The 500's layers of color and detail draw your hand to touch them and your eyes to linger on them. The Fiat Abarth was probably his greatest hit. The are quicker and larger, but the feisty Abarth outmatches them in maneuverability. Laid out in a very driver-centric fashion with a slightly cramped gauge binnacle, the Abarth isn't much different than its siblings.
But when mid-size hybrid family sedans are beating the pint-sized Fiat at the pump, you realize the trade-off required to get the 500's low price tag. Nimble handling and a free-revving engine make the funky, retro-styled Fiat 500 microcar engaging to drive. The interior is actually a bit quieter with the top all the way back, so that's where it lived for most of our drive, rearward vision be damned. They're much better shaped and fitted than the barstools in the Fiesta--and the 500 makes the best of cheap headrests by molding the plastic pieces into clever circles. Unfortunately, traveling on a coarse road surface manages to combine with the engine's snarl as well. The turning radius is increased quite a bit. He then worked at CarAdvice.
Inside the 500 Abarth you will be greeted with surprisingly comfortable seats and plenty of headroom for the tall folks out there. Thankfully, that appears to have been remedied for the 500 in all its various guises. Even with a full year of sales under its belt in the U. In crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 500 earned four out of five stars overall. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. Clearly there's something special here. The Abarth has lots going for it, but one thing that keeps coming front and center is the raspy sound from its exhaust.
Service technician said suspension is functioning normally. Launched just last year, the Fiat 500 hatchback was soon joined by the slide-open-top 500c cabriolet, followed by the up-power Abarth version late last year. Still, I absolutely love this car; I honestly cannot think of another hot hatch that has as much character and attitude as the Abarth. A flat bottomed steering wheel with all of the redundant controls is right in front. Okay, so the Abarth Esseesse has a few niggles, and there are some things that may take some getting used to.
Moving to the Fiat 500c, you get, naturally, a retractable soft top roof. While it's not the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can buy today in America, the Italian-bred Fiat 500 is pretty darn close to it, with fuel economy approaching 40 mpg for some versions. It is awkwardly placed and reduces vision a bit, since it sits so high atop the dash. The Abarths are made for quick, characterful blasts through a canyon or around town, not precision hot-lapping. As in other 500s—and old Ferraris! Well, many Australians might not recognise, or appreciate, the Abarth badge.
Shoulder, hip, and knee room are also more limited than you'd expect, or than you'd find in the Fiesta. Show full review The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo is the best chapter in an otherwise forgettable book — a compelling version of a flawed car. Electricity is sent from a five speed manual gearbox to a collection of 17inch low profile meats. The steering, brake and shift controls all have a quality feel, and the optional 6-speed automatic surprised us with its responsiveness. The 2013 Fiat 500 maxes out its interior space, but the passenger package isn't quite as roomy as a Ford Fiesta--which means all kinds of compromises on whom and what you bring along for the ride.
The Abarth is somewhat more confident all around thanks to slightly more tire contact patch, while its suspension upgrades increase nimbleness by limiting body roll. When the brand was last in the American market, build quality and reliability were notoriously poor. A puller rather than pusher, the front wheels deliver all the oomph while the rear with its twist axle setup offers wide track stability. There are only two negatives. While not the kind of car for road trips unless, of course, you are a masochist, it provided even a hardened driver enough excitement to remain engaging. With pert, upright styling that wraps a compact passenger compartment in simple, yet somehow characterful lines, the Fiat 500 manages to look upscale in a budget segment. The lightweight, 101-horsepower Fiat is definitely fun, just not in a car-chase kind of way.