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