My 2012 Pop was a wonderful car and I enjoyed getting into it every day but I knew in the back of my mind that an Abarth would eventually end up in my garage. I waited for the 2013 model to arrive and then I went for a test drive - don't do this unless you are ready to buy one. The Abarth is everything I liked about the Pop raised to the tenth power. Comparing the Abarth to the Pop is like comparing an Alpina to a base 3 series BMW - you know the cars are related,
but so many components have been upgraded that it is a completely different car. If you appreciate what FIAT has accomplished with the 500 you are going to love the Abarth.
Responsive engine, great gearbox and clutch, taut ride and handling, secure brakes. The interior is great, but that is a subjective comment - this car isn't about luxury. My car is equipped with the upgraded Beats audio system and it too is a cut above the system in the Pop.
For all of the extreme goodness, you will give up a few things when you buy an Abarth. The turning circle is not as tight, and while the overall gearing is about perfect for cut-and-thrust town driving I can see where a sixth gear would be nice for extended highway cruising. The Beats subwoofer and amp reduce rear storage enough that you'll be dropping the rear seats more often for bulky cargo. Of course you will need to pay for your fun at the pump, so I've said goodbye to the consistent 38 mpg I got with my Pop. If you buy an Abarth, none of this will matter.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.