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2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Review

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2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Review

The marketplace for tiny scorching hatchbacks hatchbacks was all the time small in the USA, however it’s getting even smaller. The Ford Fiesta ST has joined the dearly departed and shortly to hitch it’s the Fiat 500 Abarth, which Fiat has introduced will go away together with its much less caffeinated 500 siblings. Earlier than it does, although, we acquired another romp within the little monster and discovered that, even with its age and tough edges, it’s nonetheless one of the enjoyable and charismatic machines you will get for the cash.

You are reminded of it the second you twist the switchblade key. The little turbo 1.four-liter 4-cylinder has a gnarly burble at idle that wouldn’t appear misplaced in a muscle car. It solely will get higher whenever you begin cruising round. The burble turns into a raging howl, and shifting proper at redline results in a whiplike crack. It’s intoxicating.

The 500 Abarth is boisterous, however it’s not precisely quick. At one hundred sixty horsepower and 183 pound-ft of torque, most of its competitors, such because the Veloster Turbo and Civic Si, feature no less than 200 horsepower. The turbo isn’t particularly quick to spool up, and the engine isn’t fast to rev both. However it’s peppy sufficient, and the slowly constructing increase comes on very easily. As such, it’s straightforward to control what energy the Abarth has. And the exhaust’s placebo impact is omnipresent. However make certain the car is in Sport mode. If it isn’t, the quantity of increase is restricted, making the Abarth really feel extra like the traditional one hundred thirty five-horsepower 500, and no quantity of noise will distract you from that.

The tiny turbo engine might be paired with both a 5-velocity guide or six-velocity automated transmission. The guide is a reasonably common unit. The shifter is nicely-positioned, however the throws are lengthy and ropey. The pedal place is superb, making rev-matched downshifts straightforward. Solely having 5 gears to select from appears unusual nowadays, however the lengthy-ish ratios work properly with the sluggish, low-revving engine. And also you don’t should mess with the wriggly shifter an excessive amount of.

The automated’s six ratios really feel like an excellent quantity, and every ratio is intently spaced, which helps maintain the car within the energy band. It shifts fairly easily and pretty shortly, too, whether or not you’re in automated or guide mode. The automated even makes smart downshifts when slowing for corners. It’s a superb unit that doesn’t detract from the expertise. Curiously, the automated mannequin makes extra torque at 183 pound-ft to the guide’s one hundred seventy. The guide has a bit extra energy with one hundred sixty horses versus the automated’s 157.

When hitting up corners, the Abarth continues to be good. Steering has numerous really feel and is fast, nevertheless it requires little corrections regularly. It turns in eagerly and has loads of grip. There isn’t a lot physique roll, both. Its tiny size and lightweight, tossable demeanor assist offer you numerous confidence for hustling it round backroads. Going over bumps, the suspension is agency however not punishing. The bumps additionally reveal some flexing and occasional creaking that exhibits the Abarth’s age.

So too does styling that hasn’t actually modified within the seven years the Abarth has been on sale in the USA. The bodywork is identical and that’s not a nasty factor. The retro spherical form continues to be lovable, however given extra substance with its giant decrease grilles and vast stance. The car seems notably menacing with black headlights, an choice added a number of years in the past.

The interior can also be almost unchanged. As an alternative of monochromatic bodily gauges, a display has been shoved into the spherical instrument housing. The chunky increase gauge hangs off the aspect, nonetheless absolutely practical. As an alternative of the shift mild older fashions had, the sunshine within the middle of the increase gauge signifies whether or not you’re in Sport mode. The painted sprint panel continues to be engaging and fashionable, and it distracts you from the in any other case very low lease plastics. These are most evident on the doorways, that are huge panels of scratchy plastic. The cabin may be fairly noisy, too, on the freeway.

The seats look superb, although the material doesn’t really feel nice. There’s a leather-based choice if the material bothers you adequate. Neither materials modifications the very fact the seats have a extreme lack of aspect bolstering, which means you’ll be bracing your self towards the door and middle stack in corners. Fortunately the car’s slender width makes that fairly straightforward. Headroom is tight with a sunroof, however roomy with a strong roof or with the Cabrio’s softtop. It is good that there are many straightforward-to-attain bodily buttons for local weather controls and such, however with an infotainment touchscreen that maxes out at 5 inches, you are always reminded of the car’s superior age.

So, sure, it is clearly previous and the competitors is objectively higher. However think of the 500 Abarth because the actually tiny brother to the SRT Dodge Challengers and Chargers – a Hellmouse if you’ll. Like these equally ageing efficiency machines, the Abarth’s timeless styling and immense character hold it a compelling selection for somebody who values a singular expertise. Or at the least stored it a compelling selection. As soon as the availability of mannequin yr 2019 automobiles runs out in 2020, this foolish little hatch gained’t be an choice. We’re going to overlook it.

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FIAT 500

– 2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Review –

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