Reviews

2013 Fiat 500c Abarth

I wish I could love the Fiat 500C Abarth a little more. This is an absolutely killer powertrain that sounds amazing and produces ludicrous power for such a small car. But I can’t get comfortable in any Fiat 500. And no, it’s not the cute looks.

It’s the high seating position that makes it impossible for me to get a comfortable relationship with the clutch pedal. Of course I’m able to drive a 500, but it never just works. I’m making constant adjustments to my seating position in an attempt to overcome a flawed design. It drives me insane.

Seating position aside, the 500c Abarth is a riot. The sound from the turbo 1.4-liter I-4 is spectacular, it gets reasonable fuel economy for something this fast, and it looks cool. If you can get comfortable behind the wheel, it’s more fun than a Mini Roadster or a Volkswagen Beetle convertible.

Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor


I agree with Phil about the sound — it’s the best-sounding four-banger on the market, and rivals even flat sixes and V-8s in that regard. The convertible top lets you enjoy the turbo symphony even more. I disagree with Phil that it’s more fun than a Mini Roadster, which is just a flat-cornering blast. The 500 Abarth feels tall and tippy, and far less willing to tackle corners compared with most of the competition. I continue to believe that while Minis are best enjoyed when you have the money to spend on a more powerful Cooper S, the 500 is a better deal as a cheap and cheerful city car — the less spent the better. Plus, why no six-speed? Even the 500L comes with a six-speed manual, standard.

Todd Lassa, Executive Editor


2013 Fiat 500c Abarth

MSRP (with destination): $26,700
PRICE AS TESTED: $31,000

ENGINE:
1.4-liter SOHC turbocharged I-4
Horsepower: 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 2500-4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION:
5-speed manual

DRIVE:
Front-wheel

WHEELS AND TIRES:
17-inch aluminum wheels
295/40R-17 84W Pirelli P Zero Nero tires

FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
28/34/31 mpg

CURB WEIGHT:
2545 lb

CAPACITIES:
Doors/Passengers: 2/4
Cargo (rear seats upright/folded): 5.4/23.4 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 40.7/31.7 in
Headroom (front/rear): 38.6/36.8 in
Towing: N/A

EXTERIOR/INTERIOR COLOR:
Black/Black

STANDARD FEATURES:
16-inch aluminum wheels
Air conditioning
50/50-split folding rear seats
Alpine audio system
Height-adjustable driver’s seat
USB port
Auxiliary audio jack
Tilt steering wheel
Leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, and instrument panel cluster
Halogen headlights
Fog lights
Dual exhaust outlets
3-mode stability control
Torque transfer control
Turbo boost gauge
Dual intercoolers
High-performance suspension
Red brake calipers
Cruise control
Abarth track experience

OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
Leather-trimmed sport seats- $1100
Navigation w/Blue&Me- $600
Black, 17-inch aluminum wheels- $1300
Red mirror caps and body stripes- $450
Comfort and convenience group- $850

Automatic climate control
Heated front seats
SiriusXM satellite radio w/one-year trial subscription

KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
Beats audio group- $800

ADDITIONAL SPECS:
The 500c Abarth is a new model for 2013.

COMPARE TO:
MINI Cooper S roadster, Volkswagen Beetle Turbo convertible

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