I've had this for around 8-10 months, so I can't really say much on long term reliability, but its a fun little car. No parking aids on my, but then again whats the point. just aiming it in the general direction is good enough. It's small enough where i can just go "Eh, good enough" and it is. It's a quick car, and still has decent acceleration at 60+ mph. It handles and grips well, is a lot of fun as a daily driver, well at least when there isn't too much traffic. The driving position is quite high, coming from my 98' BMW, but it somehow just adds to the fun. I've seen people complain about the lack of space, and granted, the rear seats kinda suck, but there's more than enough room if you only need to drive yourself or one other person around, not to mention it just is a physically smaller car which I like. If I'm careful, I can get 36-37 mpg between city and highway with traffic, could probably get 38-39 if there wasn't any traffic, but I generally don't bother with it. More fun not worrying about mileage, and even when being rather liberal with the gas it still gets decent mileage. Get's about the same range as my BMW did, I use a higher grade gas, and it still costs ~15$ less to fill up the tank. I think the ride is quite good, though my dad said the BMW felt like a rock (never really noticed myself). It makes a nice sound making it somewhat ridiculous, but not over the top. It's not super loud or anything, but it's enough to put a smile on my face. I couldn't be happier with it, Edit ~2 years later, been reliable enough, it can go through a bit of oil, not a leak, just keep an eye on it. Also fairly easy to modus probably hit the gas more than I should, and I'm almost always in sport mode I get a combined of about 30-31mpg.
I really love this little car! It is super fun to drive. Not in a super-car kind of way, in a goofy, balls to the wall, don't give a damn kind of way. It's always "on" meaning it's always ready to play, like a puppy dog. It is comfortable enough for long hauls and with the standard 16" wheels it tracks like a little freight train down the freeway, really! On highway trips I'm getting around 33-35 mpg which is exactly the EPA rating and around town probably more like 22-26 mpg (much more dependent on how you drive it). The only thing I'd change would be to redesign the center vertical tunnel stack thing because it does interfere a bit with my knees (I'm a big guy, weighing in at 300 lbs and 5'10").
I've had my Abarth about 6 weeks now. I park in a crowded parking lot at work, as far as I can tell its the only one on the lot. It stands out. Mine is red with the upgraded $500 sixteen inch wheels. The best feature of this car is its compelling value and its unbeatable fun factor. I was originally shopping for the Sport which I test drove and loved, probably should have bought for the gas mileage alone and almost equally cool in appearance and appeal as the Abarth. But I loved the Abarth too, particularly the exhaust, badging, and leather seats. Keep in mind the exhaust is great, exhaust porn to the extreme, great at drive thru's and underpasses, will put a smile on you face every day, best described as a friendly companion and not at all intrusive. Its absolutely fab! If I'm careful I can average around 35 MPG on a tank with 60% of that a suburban commute to work. I keep it out of sport mode for the most part just to save on fuel. The Beats audio system is good, very good, but I can't imagine the base system also not being very good. I did not do the comparison before I purchased. Seems all the 500s I was interested in had the Beats so I just went with it. Also, no backup camera, but it does have the backup warning feature, a $250 option that I feel is very useful and well worth it. Driving this car with the stick is easy and fun. I think it's is the only way to go because of the gain in MPG and the fun factor. Also, the fit and finish is perfect. I examined it with a magnifying glass, no paint blemishes of any kind, no gaps in the panels or doors (as compared to my 2005 Maxima purchased new, a Nissan embarrassment for which I will never give them a second chance. Shame, shame, shame on Nissan). The ride quality is also great, no rattles at all, a little bouncy because of the small wheel base, but an able and compliant suspension as well as a handling marvel. Road noise is minimal, this is a small car from the outside but doesn't sound like it from the inside. I test drove a Honda Fit, didn't like it but was willing to buy based alone on Honda reliability. The front suspension gave the impression of the wheels trying to come thru the wheel wells let alone the road noise. This car may be reliable and have great reviews, but I don't see why. It's a cheap car with a cheap price that will make you feel cheap as long as you own it. Also, the dealer played the online bait and switch despite having the online quote in their very hands. This happened at two dealerships within a week. Done with arrogant Honda... forever! Thank you Honda for being rotten, I think I've gotten a better car for a better price. Also, the electronics are all that. Perhaps all new cars now come with sophisticated electronics, but please be aware, this was an inexpensive car where the fun, price, and appearance are its strengths. The electronics are a bonus that bring it up to the standards of much more expensive cars. Also, the interior and electronics are intuitive and easy to use. This is no accident, it is well thought out design. It's not just a lot of features thrown together haphazardly like my Maxima for bragging rights. This is a comfortable car in many, many respects. The high roof line allows for more space then can be imagined. This car does not feel cramped and you sit up high, its easy in and easy out which gives great comfort to my aching right hip. I also looked at the new Civic. A great car if you don't mind spending north of $27K for the one you want with the wheels you want, and you have to do the limbo to get into the darn thing for the privilege of nearly sitting on the ground. Its great once you're in but you may need 911 to get out. My hip and checkbook feel the Fiat is not just the better car, its the smarter car too... and better looking. I can't say enough about how great a value I feel this car is. Also, this is a specialty car and the dealer lots are full of unsold Abarths. Most people I think will fall for the 500 but the real car people, of which there are fewer, will look to the Abarth with an appreciation of how different and special this car really is. Consequently, huge and disproportionate discounts are to be had. My car listed for $27,495 (no sunroof, no navigation), final price $22,295. I think I overpaid and could have done better by about $2,000 without even asking had I used some online tools. But I don't feel bad about the purchase. I liked the dealer, patient and kind, easy and nice. The follow up has been nothing less then remarkable. I feel like I've joined the family and a special community. The dealer followed up and FIAT themselves too after receiving several welcome gifts. Any problems, call and a person will answer who is able to give answers. I will remember this as a pleasant experience, it the car proves itself as reasonably durable which I think it will, then I'll stick with FIAT. They have put a priceless smile on my face.
I have owned 2 Abarth ( a 2013 white w/ red stripes/mirrors ,5 spd manual- 160hp/170 ft/lbs and current 2015 Red w/black stripes/mirrors,6spd automatic- 157 hp/183 ft/lbs,optional extra cost 16 in. wheels) . Now at 23k miles on red. >>No<< problems. Average around town 28 mpg (premium) but have been as high as 36 mpg on trip ( at about 65 mph). Quick with sport button on as it supposedly adds 20 ft/lbs torque. and you can feel the difference with sport button on . All three dealerships ( Baltimore,MD, Tysons Corner,VA and Melbourne,FL have been very good overall. I came from a 2011 MINI Cooper S 6spd. The MINI was more sophisticated but the ABARTH is a true hoot ,especially hearing the exhaust. FIAT /ABARTH- I suggest direct injection ( not older port injection), suggest IRS (not beam axle rear suspension) , suggest 17in wheels standard (not 16in) , suggest better gauge design . (Although 2015 was improved you are not there yet...needs to be like the 595 and 695 in Europe). Suggest improved exhaust ( a "T intersection" at rear... really?) , Suggest KONI shocks on all four wheels.(not sure if this was addressed on 2016 on) , Suggest bigger brakes front and rear. Suggest standard rear "sway bar" needs to be much stiffer to reduce lean in corners. FIAT has reduced price to now start at 20 k which seems quite fair. If you are seeking a harder core and cheaper alternative to the MINI Cooper S then try this. The ABARTH is priced closer to a MINI Cooper 1.5 134 hp /162 ft/lbs than the Cooper S.
FUN is the best way to describe this car, you will smile and have a good time. Own this car since April 2016 and its brought nothing but joy, it has a great car community, so many mods, the overall experience is pretty special. The Italians know how to strike the right emotions when creating a car. I took out the rear seats(about 50lbs) and added Speedlab Rear Diffuser, also added a Torque Arm Insert which really makes the car feel more premium and stout. Go test drive one and you'll see why its worth talking about.
Six-Speed Automatic Transmission ($1,350), Comfort/Convenience Package ($900 -- includes automatic climate control with micron filter, heated front seats, satellite radio), Beats Premium Audio ($700), TomTom Navigation System ($600), 16-Inch Aluminum Wheels ($550), Red Mirror Cap With Body-Side Strip and Gray Soft Top ($450)
Turbocharged, port-injected, inline-4, gasoline
Cast iron/aluminum alloy
SOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
157 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
183 @ 2,400
Six-speed automatic with console shifter and Sport/Competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There is some hesitation when you first stomp on the gas pedal off the line, as with many turbo cars. A bit more with this 500 Abarth than most cars these days, though. But by the time the tachometer clears 3,000 rpm, the engine is making good power, enough to spin the front tires, especially when you have traction control turned off. Regardless, the Abarth sounds rorty and fun. It's a low, grumbly kind of engine/exhaust note, and it backfires sometimes on full-throttle uphifts. Which also sounds cool. Shifts are reasonably quick, usually coming around 6,000 rpm. It upshifts sooner if it gets a bunch of front wheelspin. Our quickest time came with the Sport button pressed while utilizing power-braking (overlapping throttle and brake on the line to bring the revs to about 2,200 rpm to spool the turbo). Manual shifting is via the console shift lever (push forward for downshifts, the way we prefer it). It blips the throttle on downshifts and will hold gears to the rev limiter. Manual shifting gave slower times versus just using the transmission's regular Drive mode.
Reasonably firm brake pedal, and stayed that way throughout, even though there was significant brake odor early. Nosedive isn't excessive, but the car squirms back and forth on its tires quite a bit. It's not the most confidence-inspiring stopper. Very little in the way of ABS commotion/noise, though. The first stop was the shortest at 125 feet. The second stop was the longest at 134 feet, but the fifth and final stop was back down to 130 feet.
Let's be honest: The Fiat 500 -- even the Abarth version -- doesn't handle all that well. Sure, it's sort of nimble (only because it's tiny), and it's better than a standard 500, but relative to the competition, this isn't a rewarding car to drive. It's too tall to feel truly confident in transitions, and there's more roll than there should be. The steering is lifeless when it comes to road feel and feedback, even if it is relatively quick. It understeers its way to only 0.87g on the skid pad -- with a stubborn refusal to rotate. And it's slower than everything in the class through the slalom. Blargh.