Fiat 500 Abarth
Fiat 500 Abarth
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this is a Fiat 500 Abarth now this isn’ta brand new 500 Abarth and that is intentional you see a new 500 Abarth starts somewhere around 21 thousand dollars with shipping but the average asking price on auto trader for a used 500 barth is just to shade over $12,000as I film this video there are currently 71 used 500 Abarth models listed on auto trader for less than $10,000 thecheapest high mileage ones are listed for like 7500 bucks there are quite alot of them right around $9,000 and I’m gonna tell you right now this thing isthe most fun you’re ever gonna have for 9 grand I rented this 500 Abarth here in Southern California using Toro which is this service that lets you rent other people’s cool and interesting cars instead of normal boring Airport rental cars you can signup for Toro
I chose to rent a used Fiat and I’ve been driving it around all week and I haven’t stopped smiling the entire time now before I get started yes I know this thing is tiny infact at roughly one hundred and forty inches in length it’s a foot shorter than a Mini Cooper and roughly four feet shorter than a Toyota Camry I also know that it only has a puny little four-cylinder with only a hundred and sixty horse power so just how much funcould it possibly be well quite a lot off un actually let’s start by just takinga listen to it that doesn’t sound like a normal Fiat 500 and indeed it isn’t the 500 Abar this the performance model of the Fiat 500 and it has some upgrades over the standard one there’s better suspension there are a few different styling touches there’s that exhaust note and there’s extra horse power this thing has 160 horse power that’s a huge jump over the standard 500 which has only 101 so today I’m going to take you on a tour of the 500 Abarth and I’m gonna show you all of its interesting quirks and its unusual features and then I’m gonna get it out on the road and I suggest you stick around for that part because it goes a long way to showing why I think this thing is so much fun and then I’m going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the 500 Abarth click the link below to visit auto trader.com slash over steer where I’ve also compiled a list of my favorite hot hatch backs currently for sale on auto trader now I’m gonna start on the out side with one of the most immediately obvious things you see when you look at the 500 abarth and that would be the graphics the painted wheels the painted mirror caps and that little white stripe going down the side that eventually turns into like train tracks now I’ve complained about certain cars with over-aggressive graphics
in the past but for some reasonI really like the graphics on this one it’s this tiny little bubble shaped car with these sports car graphics it’s almost like it’s saying yes I can be aperformance car really look at me try now personally my favorite thing are the painted wheels you can get a 500 abarth with silver wheels or with black wheels but I love the white painted wheels it makes it look like a 60s rally car or something I think they’re really cool-looking the problem how ever is wäôre take a closer look that stuff on there that looks like dirt it isn’t that stuff is where and it really shows it self you can’t get it off no matter how much you scrub it’s just kind of on there and you can really tell because well they’re white next up another interesting thing on the outside of the Abarth now every 500 has the secircular head lights that sort of match the circular design of the car now below that every 500 also has circular turn signal so there’s a circle and then another circle Abarth models how ever they’re supposed to be more aggressive and angry so they also get fog lights which are mounted down here yet another circle so the front of every angry up set sports car 500 Abarth has six cute little circular head lights on it which If ind to be kind of funny the other thing you’ll see in the front of this car
this year not a Fiat badge that would be an Abarth badge and it’s one of a so many on the out side of this car there’s one in front there’s one on either side and that little white graphic I showed you earlier there’s one on the side fendersin the rear a little badge in the back that says Abarth you go all the way to the back on the tail gate you will find another Abarth badge additionally go under the hood and you will find a little Abarth scorpion logo instead of a Fiat log or a 500 logo and maybe the craziest one is the wheel seach wheel has that little Abarth scorpion in the center cap and each wheel also has the word Abarth printed on the side of the wheel so the word Abarth appears on the outside of this car like 40s zillion times here’s the interesting thing the word Fiat never appears once and check this out you climb inside this car and the steering wheel says Abarth not via the Floor Mats say Abarth and not Fiat even the owners manual is in its own Abarth specific pouch and when you actually get to the manual it self that is the only time you will actually see the word Fiat printed amidst anenormous amount of other Abarth logo sand graphics ultimately when you’re driving this car you’re not in a Fiat you’re in an Abarth with that said there are some 500 graphics to illustrate the fact that this is a Fiat 500 I like for example the one hidden in the head lights there’s also a little Fiat 500 graph icon the door sill it says 500 that’s kind of cool and on the side of the dashboard where the air bag would go off it says 500 there but that’s it 500 Abarth no Fiat next I’m moving on to the 500 Abarth
other interior quirks there are a surprising number of them starting to the left of the steering wheel with the turbo boost gauge not too many cars come with a factory turbo boost gauge but this one does now one ofthe things I like about the turbo boost gauge is that the color Fiat has chosento represent any number above basically20 psi is this dark red that is absolutely invisible in the day time the thing actually goes to 24 but you really have to squint in order to see it now with in the turbo boost gauge is another really cool feature and that would be the shift light this car has a shif tlight when you put it in sport mode and you get really high in the rev range the shift light turns on and lights up tolet you know that it’s time to up shift
it seems like a really cool little feature next up next to the boost gaugein this shift light one of the most interesting turn signal stocks i’ve seen most of the operations are pretty normal but there is one un usual one when you goto put on the brights you can’t unless the head lights are on which is weird because you flip the end of the switch to turn on the head lights but you push the switch forward to turn the brights you’d think those would happen independently but they don’t that’s actually a clever little piece of engineering next up another interesting little 500 Abarth detail now this carhas no touchscreen in fact I’m not sureif this is still the case but when the 500 came out there wasn’t even a navigation system offered the optional navigation system was like a clip-on Garmin that you could just go buy atTarget for like 80 bucks and serious that was the factory navigation system so there’s no touchscreen
that makes it a little odd to change andset in various different vehicle settings one of the vehicle setting controls is in the center gauge cluster and you control it with these three little buttons you press one to cycle between menus and then you press the other two to change the various different options now because the menu screen is so tiny it results in some interesting things for example most cars have a little electronic speed limiter you can set a speed limit and it’ll beep when you go over that speed limit tore mind you’re not just speed usually it’s called like electronic speed limiter or personal speed electronic limiting in this car it’s called speed beat you set a speed beep and then it beeps where you go over a certain speed a couple of other interesting ones when the other menu items in the gauge cluster says see radio yeah yeah I would like to see the radio why would any one turn that off and then scrolling further there’s one that says Auto close now I know I can go in the manual and find out what these things do but is that really the best way they could have abbreviated what ever that is now it’s the same story in the middle with the stereo display there’s no touchscreen it’s just one little tiny display pixelated in orange and black and it has a couple of interesting operations of its own for example when you turn on the car a lot of cars give you a nice little start upgraphics with a manufacturer logo this thing let’s just says Fiat in orange so I guess that is one time where it says Fiat in this car they didn’t want to tune it to say Abarth also interesting in this stereo how about the fact that when you press menu the very first thing that comes up is system reset no system reset yes system reset no that is the default first menu item also interesting how about the fact that the volume controls in this car are absolutely atrocious in every other car it’s a little knob you want more volume yout wist it you want less you twist it the other way in this car it’s a button so if you wanted to be louder very annoying next up moving down from the stereo one of the interesting things you’ll notice in the 500 Barth’s interior is the gearl ever specifically you’ll notice that it’s not mounted on the floor but rather basically it comes out of the center console just below the climate control spart of the reason for this is that fiat-chry sler they’re just cheap and they didn’t want to install an actual center console in this car but frankly
I think it benefits drivers because the shifter is that high up basically you don’t have to take your hand very far off the wheel in order to shift so you can just sort of go boom boom boom boom a lot easier then you could if the shifter was all the way down here I really like another interesting item I think this is something only I would notice and maybe only I would care about but on the little plastic part that tells you where the airbag comes out it doesn’t just say airbag it says air and capital letters and then bag and lowercase letters this is that on the dashboard and on the steering wheel airbag air bag I don’t know why Fiat felt they had to stylized little plastic piece that showed the airbag location but they did they also stylized the hood release in an unusual way most hood releases are just in the drivers footwell black plastic nobody really pays any attention to them in this car it’s this little red hood release it’s like a sporty hood release or like an ejector seat maybe they wanted to make it cool because they knew there’s a Fiat Chrysler product that will you’d be pulling it a lot moving back to the middle of the car a couple of interesting things in the climate control vicinity one of which is the fact that on the climate control sthemselves on the little dial that lets you choose between recirculating air or outside air coming in the car the little car depicted isn’t a standard normal car but rather a little Fiat 500 and I think that is a nice cool little touch that few people will probably notice or care about now directly below the climatecontrols you will notice a little Bankof switches and a little hole theswitches are interesting there’s threeblank switches and the fog lights thewhole is a whole I’m not really sure whyit’s there it almost looks like aspeaker but I don’t think it is there’sjust sort of a little hole with a grateon it in the middle of the dashboardnext up we have to talk about thesunroof situation which is one of themost ridiculous I’ve seen in any car nowto open the sunroof it’s pretty normalthere’s a little button and you push itto pop it up and then push it again andit slides back that’s fairly normal theweird thing is the cover that covers thesunroof this cover is actually mesh it’ssee-through so if you’re trying toshield yourself from the beatings on afield in Arizona or New Mexico or Texasand you want to close it so you can justget some shade turn on the ACwell you can’t you’re always gonna getsome Sun through that top panel even ifyou havethe sunshade closed it doesn’t reallymatter what you want you’re getting sunnext up we move on to the center consolein this car now this is a tiny car sothe center console only has enough roomfor two things number one the parkingbrake and number two an armrest and Idon’t mean two armrests one for thedriver and one for the passenger I meanone single armrest for the driversorry passenger you’ll just have to putyour hands in your lap there isn’t evenenough room in the center console forcupholders instead you had to stick thembasically in back the couples of thiscar are behind the front seats andthat’s really the only placement for andspeaking of the back next up it willsurprise you if you haven’t spent anytime around a Fiat 500 yet but eventhough this thing is incredibly tiny afoot shorter than a Mini Cooper yes ithas back seats and yes I’m sort of theself-appointed expert at climbing in theback seats of tiny cars so here goes allright put the front seat forward andbegin the process oh that actuallywasn’t me all that difficult put theseat back and well okay I don’t have anyroom back here now Fiat didn’t reallyexpect anybody to use the back seat inthis car a point that’s driven home bythe fact that the factory location forthe tire compressor you get with one ofthese is velcroed to the backseat footwell behind the front seat that’s whereit’s supposed to go when the car comesout of the factory the theory being thatnobody’s gonna get in your back seat soyou might as well use that for storagenow interestingly the worst part aboutthe back seat of the 500 isn’t thelegroom which is kind of funny becausethere is none instead it’s the Headroomtake a look what I mean I’m gonna closethis oh and then I sit here with my headright up against the window in fact withthe headrests in there fully retractedposition they hit up against the windowso I don’t really understand how anybodyeven slightly tall could ever sit backhere now in addition to all the quirksand features I’ve already mentioned it’sworth noting that this car is ultimatelybuilt by Fiat Chrysler and so it hassome of the quality problems that FiatChrysler is sort of known for as Imentioned them keep two things in mindnumber one you can get released for ninegrams some of you they’re not really allthat badnumber two this car has only 40,000miles on it so take a look and decidewhether you think this way or is normalfor a forty thousand mile car I willstart with just the general feel of theinterior it’s pretty cheap if you’rebuying this thing because you think it’sgonna be sort of like a Mini Cooper likea high-end little hatchback it isn’teverything kind of feels flimsy you canmove it all and everything feels prettycheap and crappy a good example of thatis that little armrest I was talkingabout the one single driver armrest it’salready broken the entire top part brokeoff it’s gone and fiat people tell methis is incredibly common anotherexample how about the fact that thelittle fabric loop you use to pull thefront seat forward and get people in theback seat is fraying which is insanebecause let’s be honest we know it isn’tever being used to actually get peoplein the back seat and yet after only40,000 miles and four years on the roadit looks terrible another cheap detailhow about the fact that when you openthe Sun visors and put them down andslide the cover for the mirror over soyou can see the mirror you can actuallysee the cover sliding into the leatherrather than into the visor like in everyother car it’s just ridiculous lookingit’s like how you can see your tongueinside your cheek if you really push onit other issues when I went to turn thiscar line to drive it for the first timeafter I rented it I noticed the tirepressure monitor light was on I thoughtone tire is low but actually the entiretire pressure monitoring system is justbroken it’s malfunctioned and it isn’tworking also worth noting like Imentioned before those painted wheelsare fading and it’s not just on that onewheel I showed you earlier it’s on allthe wheels every single wheel is sort offading in the same way and that kind oftakes away from the cool white wheellook so those are the quirks andfeatures of the Fiat 500 Abarth nownormally I enjoy poking around the carsto find their quirks and features morethan just about anything else but nottoday today I can’t wait to drive nowthe first thing I want to tell you I gotto tell you a little secret about the500 Abarth and that would be the sportbuttonthat is the key to unlocking the 500abarth I’ve driven a lot of cars with alot of sport buttons and usually I canbarely tell the difference this is likethe most effective sport button ever inthis crappy little car you press it andit turns it from like a normal economycar into I don’t know what it does itlike readies this thing for battle butif you’re interested in this car I woulddefinitely recommend pushing the sportbutton on the test drive you don’treally understand why everybody raisedabout this car so much it’s probablybecause you drove it without the sportbutton pushed now I’m sitting here twostoplight ready to go up a curvy littleroad and it’s a little shaky you canhear some rattles I was going over somebumps or a parking garage and it’s likeyou’re pushing a shopping cart over andit’s like whoa whoa you just kind oflike alright I don’t need that in mylife all rightgoing up a little curvy road here I’mnot even going faster than the othercars that’s the thing I thought I gotcast as a Sequoia going faster than meright nowthe steering is so wonderfullycommunicative to and just it doesn’tfeel over assistant it doesn’t feelstupid and fake and that exhaust noteit just feels angry I also love thetransmission lever being right here thegear lever I could just go right to itand make quick changes like that I meanboom instantaneous it’s not because I’mreally good at this it’s just becauseit’s right thereand it just kind of falls in line you’regot your hand on the wheel and boomyou’re on the gear lever it’s it’s onelittle motionthat the thing is it doesn’t feelsluggish when you’re driving it yeah youknow you get the sense you’re not goingas fast as like in a Ferrari or aLamborghini or whatever even at AMGanything like that but it doesn’t reallymatter because it sounds amazing andwhen you’re going through the cornersthe steering is so wonderful and you’relow and and there is some body lean butit’s almost like kind of in a fun way itkind of feels like you’re really part ofthe car one giant bubble making a turnit’s just hilariousit doesn’t feel stableit doesn’t at all feel stable it doesn’tfeel like Oh like I’m in a Porsche and Ican like a good shake every curve in ahundred so it feels like it’s leaningand there’s torque steer and that’s kindof the fun of itand I’ll tell you something mid-rangepower in certain circumstances reallydoes feel like enough in somecircumstances it feels like cars alittle underpowered when you’re goingaway from from a stoplight you’re like Icould use a little more but in somecircumstances this car has the rightjust the right amount of mid-range powerthis isn’t the kind of sports car whereyou where you sit there you know in thecar and you could just sit thereconcentrating and you know all I can doanything and I can go at any speedaround any cornerI feel tough instead this is the kind ofcar you’re like why does it sound likethat this is the stupidest way it’s sogood around curves the steering is justgreat and the car is so small then youhave no problem positioning it exactlywhere you need to be the exhaust note atall moments even if you’re not havingfun at that precise second you drop theaccelerator you fear thatit’s so crashing up it’s so crashing Imean this car is is definitely notdesigned like a sports carto make you feel confident and make youfeel stable but but if you go into itknowing that and it’s gonna be crashingit’s gonna roll around and you’re gonnaslide in the same sin a hard corner ifyou go in knowing it and you know thatyou spent 9 grand and you got thatexhaust note you almost don’t care aboutany of that stuff and so that’s the Fiat500 Abarth this thing is pretty stupidlooking to be honest it’s absolutelytiny and as typical chrysler qualityissues and frankly it isn’t even reallyall that fast but it is so much fun putthis thing in sport mode find a goodtwisty road and all your problems goaway as if you had a porsche boxster ora convertible ferrari but the differenceis this thing can be had for only 9grand which makes it an insane valueassuming that it stays reliable and withthat on to the dug score starting withthe weekend categories and styling Ithink the 500 Abarth is really coollooking just the right amount ofaggressive and it gets a 7 out of 10acceleration does 0 to 60 in the highsix second range and it gets a 2 out of10 handling is very good but not quiteon the level of top sports cars and itgets a 6 out of 10fun factor however is near the top it’salmost impossible to drive this thing insport mode or not smile and laugh and itgets an easy 8 out of 10finally there’s cool factor and it’sjust not that cool most people thinkit’s just another Fiat 500 and they’remaking zillions of them so it gets a 5out of 10 for a total weekend score of28 out of 50 next up for the dailycategory starting with features it’sunusually low on features for a moderncar and it gets a 4 out of 10 Comfort isfine but not particularly good and itgets a 4 out of 10quality is very average this thing isn’tfalling apart or breaking down but itdoesn’t seem like it’s gonna last verylong and it gets only a 5 out of 10which is a really low score for arelatively new car practicality it has alot of cargo room with the seats foldedbut it’s incredibly small size and tinyrear seats means I can’t give it morethan a 4 out of 10 finally there’s valueand I have no choice this car is justinsanely fun for the price and assumingit stays reliable it earns a 10 out of10 becoming only the second car to do sofor a daily score of27 out of 50 added up in the dug scoreis 55 out of 100 and you can see how itstacks up against other hot hatchbacksI’ve reviewed it’s no Civic Type R orFocus RS but it’s so much fun more funin my opinion than the more expensiveFiat 124 spider Abarth
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