Fun. Fun. Fun is what you should know about this car. It feels fun, sounds fun, looks fun, and can be used practically as well. I've had mine since February, and have put almost nine thousand miles on it in those three months. I'm someone who usually puts less than a thousand miles a month on my car, but this little monster keeps humming to me to drive more, drive faster, drive farther. It's simply the most fun I've ever had on tires. My one complaint as a driver is the manual shifter has a long throw, more like an old tractor than a sporty car, but there are several inexpensive (~$120) aftermarket adapters available that fix that nicely. So go try one. My car's not the quickest, or the fastest, but roll the roof down, blip the throttle, and you'll be caught too. If you aren't, call the undertaker.
Update 10/2017: This car has about 40k miles on it now at 3 years old. It has had no maintenance or breakdown issues. Shows no signs of mechanical issues. Some things that do show the wear are the paint. It chips rather easy and is somewhat discolored on the bumper areas, not too noticeable unless your washing it. Resale value of the fiat is still in the tank, even though this is one of the special editions of abarth, which is a bummer and the biggest reason I can not recommend buying this car at any price new. Resale is ATROCIOUSLY low. If you buy it new, you are stuck until the car is 3/4 paid off at least. So the value just isn't there on the financial side and I have had way better value in, well, every other car I have ever owned. Better off with a mini cooper, honda, kia, hyundai or toyota by far.
Original review I've owned this car for over 2 years when writing this review. The good: This car is fun to drive, its eye catching , and people always comments on the sound of the exhaust. If your looking for something fun to drive this is a good catch. The cabrio top is great on non rainy days, really enjoy the air and blasting the sound system, which is ample to blast through any wind noise. The steering and response is there,, it wont disappoint on the steering and grippiness of the road. Once the stock tires wore down I replaced them with Michelen Y rated tires which will last longer. The stick shift is this car is super easy,, you wont have a problem even if your a novice. And the hill assist is money. If your on a hill and need to go from 1st gear, no need to rev the engine and grind the clutch, the car holds break for you for about 3-4 seconds which is plenty to get going (really nice feature) and if its not your thing, you can turn it off in the settings. Interior: its a unique design for Fiat so theres not much in the Fiat line to compare it to,, its a nice leather finish to the seats and really compliments the white exterior. I get lots of compliments on the interior design. Gas milage will vary depending on how you drive it,, if your enjoying that punchy turbo motor,, expect gas milage to suffer,, if your easy on it,, it'll realistically be in the mid to high twenties maybe get into 30s. Parking assist is money and works as advertised All the controls are easy to use, reach and understand.
If you want to know some cons: Might second biggest gripe would be the stock radio head unit. Its really cheap garbage. Which is sad because this car is priced high when compared to what you get in other brands for mid-high 20k range. I replaced it with a Kenwood KVT7012BT, which is the best thing you can do. Not only does it allow you to adjust the EQ the fidelity, apps, screen size and capability is just better. Sound is well improved. The Beats system is junk and is pure marketing for beats, the consumer is benefiting nothing from this system. Second gripe would be the headlight power,, the illumination is underwhelming and in many cases will have you wondering if your seeing everything you need to be. There are some blind spots with the front windshield pillars which when in a lengthy turn scenario have blinded me to cars that were there so you have to have your head on a swivel when taking corners to ensure there is no one coming head on. Resale value on these cars is terrible!!! The number 1 reason I wont purchase again. If you buy it be prepared to keep it for many years. I do find myself wishing for some illumination around the interior at night. Even grabbing a drink from a cupholder can be difficult when its pitch black in the car, so some subtle illumination like the mini has would be stellar. Especially since this car isnt too far off the pricing of a mini.
It really is a decent car I wish I could recommend. I have had zero issue with it mechanically. I had a family of four in it without issue cruising around. And taken several trips with 2-3 people in it.
Purchased a 2014 Fiat 500 Lounge April 2015 about 1 week after purchase I was going up a hill had stopped at a stop sign, after the stop I accelerated and the car although in drive would not go forward and just drifted back. I had to wait for traffic to go around me and then drift backward down the hill until i drifted backward into a driveway then drifted forward in drive down the hill until the transmission engaged back into drive. Over the next 2 months the transmission failed to engage 3 more times each a under different circumstances and each of those times when the transmission did engage the car lunged forward. Each time this happened there was someone in the car with me and once someone else was driving. I took my car to the dealer and was told they could find no issues. The problem continued so I called Fiat who advised I take it back to the dealer which I did and the dealer advised again no issues and had a tech from Fiat come into look at it and again they found nothing. Fiat said there was nothing they could do. The car is DANGEROUS, I also called Chrysler and got the same results. Neither FIAT or CHRYSLER was of any assistance and offered no solution perhaps replacing with another car or something, anything ..not that I want another but at least an offer to rectify the situation. DO NOT PURCHASE A FIAT car is unsafe and Fiat & Chrysler customer service is the worst I have ever had to deal with.
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth 2dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Update October 1, 2018 - I"m still loving my Fiat 500 Abarth! The car is reliable and economical while still being a ton of fun to drive. Perfect car for weekend getaways. Plenty of room for two 6' tall adults up front and lots (relatively speaking of course) of luggage space if you fold down the rear seats. The lack of a spare tire on the Abarth is a bit worrisome at times, but there is a fix a flat/compressor under the drivers seat and I also keep a tire repair plug kit in the car. Great car and you can get a low mileage used one for a very good price.