My 2012 Fiat L was purchased new from dealer in late 2012. Very glad it came with a 50,000 4 yr warranty as it spends a lot of time at the dealer getting "fixed." After 3 attempts to correct issue with tire pressure light staying on, gave up on it and just disregard the light. My car shut off while I was on the highway doing 55 so I felt blessed to have been able to get it to the shoulder. I was an hour from home in Feb on a freezing day with an infant in the car, but when I my husband arrived the car started and he drove it home like nothing had happened. Sixteen months later, the car died dead again while driving near the beach, this time I had AAA and had it towed to the dealer. Gone nearly 2 weeks and they just replaced the alternator & battery. After that the car would no longer start on first turn of ignition but roared to life on second try... but six weeks later would not start at all. Almost 2 weeks at dealer as they replaced the starter. Two months later, it still won't start on first turn of ignition and it has randomly refused to start at all 3 times in the past month. If I move the shift, open/close door, step on brake and go thru antics it starts, usually after I have called AAA to come get me and have to call them back to cancel the tow. I have had it. Hope to have enough equity to trade by this coming Fall as the negatives are outdoing the positives at this point. I do love the look, the size and the gas mileage but once my warranty is over, this is NOT a car I want to keep due to scary maintenance costs.
Easily the best decision I've ever made on an impulse. While looking at the Sport model, this Abarth was left behind by the original buyer. I snapped it up as I overheard him declining to buy it after ordering it. Let's see, this car goes like stink, gets phenomenal gas mileage (I'm averaging 38 on the highway at 75 mph), looks like nothing else, is built well, is very uncommon, is surprisingly comfortable on any sort of trip, has standard options that most cars would not in this price range, has an exhaust that makes a Ferrari jealous, and it's priced perfectly. Abarth is like the Carroll Shelby of the 500 world. They took something that was nearly perfect and made it perfect.
This is a niche car and not for everyone, and that's why it's a special. A Camry or an Accord are for everyone, and when you make something to please as many people as possible you end up with middle of the road blandness. That's great for some, not for Abarth owners.
This is a performance car based on a relatively humble small European city car, originally designed for dense urban areas. So, yeah, if you have 5 kids and two dogs, guess what? It's not a car for you. If you like space, fuel and technological efficiency, are concerned of your footprint on the planet but really like to drive, then an Abarth may be for you. It oozes character, it sounds fantastic and I love that it doesn't look like it's angry and wants to kill you, like so many other cars on the market.
It's actually pretty comfortable for long trips, and despite its compact exterior dimensions, it has a lot of space, more than a Mini. I'm 5'-10" and 190lbs and I can sit comfortably in the rear seat behind myself. It's easy to park and cheap to fill the tank, and no one get s annoyed at you when you pass them. Try doing that in a BMW or Mercedes.
I considered a Ford Fiesta ST, but was turned off by the four door-only bodystyle, and although objectively it was a tad more refined than the Abarth in some areas, it just didn't feel special, and certainly wasn't as much fun to drive.
The quality of materials is not on par with say, a Lexus, but then it doesn't cost Lexus money. I've had mine for two years and the only issues I've had were a burned out light bulb in the cruise control switch and a faulty tire pressure monitoring sensor. Nothing squeaks or rattles. Overall, I've been very very happy with this car.
3 Vent knobs came off under warranty. Driver arm rest came apart under warranty but the first repair disabled the seats ability to move forward by pulling on seat back release handle and it took them several months and 4 returns for repair until they figured it out. The original battery suddenly went dead with no warning just past warranty leaving us stranded and in need of a road side service call and new battery. Most costly was main computer malfunction at 62,000 miles out of warranty at a cost of over $700.00 and still making payments on original car loan and this major problem, the problems was the headlights would not turn off, not even with switched to off nor by shutting off car, had to unplug headlights. The new computer is warrantied for just one year. At the same time as the computer going out the service department stated the steering was in need of repair at a cost of nearly $300, at this time I have yet to repair the steering and am driving it as is since the service person said it wouldn't keep me from safe driving.
I purchased this car from a dealer within 5 miles of my home. Within one year of purchasing this car the dealer went out of business. I then started to take the car to a dealer near to where I work but they are no longer providing any service that is under warranty for Fiat as they have a dispute with Fiat. My check engine light is on and I am now told that I can have the car towed to a dealer that is a 90 minute drive from my home but it is my responsibility to pick it up. Calls to and emails to Fiat go unanswered.
It is a great car and I loved it but don't buy a Fiat. You cannot count on their relationships with their dealers.