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johnnyquest
09-02-2013, 01:06 AM
So...before leaving for a three month overseas work trip I test drove the Abarth...twice. I am, for all intents and purposes, in love with the car. However, I've been here reading posts from owners just like I have with other cars I've owned. I understand that it's human nature to complain. And, from what I've seen, some of the folks complaining seem to forget that they bought a boosted $16,000 car...not a discounted $40,000 car. So I take most of what I read here with a grain of salt, and try to tell myself that for every complaint there are several owners out there not complaining because they are happy with their cars.

I'm about to send in a deposit on a Rosso Abarth with white wheels, white stripes, leather and satellite radio. It's one I test drove and it's exactly the configuration I want. But I wanted to know if some of you here on the forum could give me a little positive reinforcement and see if we could hear from the folks that have had little to no issues with their Abarths. If I get the car, I'm going in to expect a few problems...I understand it isn't a corolla or civic. But I'm sure there are some satisfied owners out there who are so busy enjoying their cars they haven't taken the time to post up in the forums. I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks,

JQ

EugeneS
09-02-2013, 01:43 AM
Almost 24000 happy miles here! :) No issues so far and I still love my little devil.

Yes, it is probably not a perfect car (is there such thing?) but it has an amazing character. Oh, and don't get me started on that beautiful music a.k.a. exhaust note...

johnnyquest
09-02-2013, 01:55 AM
Thanks Eugene, I'm glad to hear it! And I agree with you...I don't think the perfect car has been invented yet. I guess I should also have mentioned that I currently own a 2008 Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport. Far from a perfect motorbike...but it has character for days and I always have people stopping to ask me about my bike. When the valve cover gaskets get leaky, or it doesn't want to start right away after sitting in the sun on a 108 degree day, I just chalk it up as part of the Italian motorcycle "Ownership Experience."

JQ

FTY
09-02-2013, 02:03 AM
25k+ on car, most of it being modified with zero issues. Used as a daily driver, and driven in a spirited manner 90% of the time. Its taken me through rain, sleet and light/heavy snow without missing a beat.

Lots of soul and an absolute blast to drive. If you want a get in a go car get an appliance such as a Prius, if you want something that's a blast to drive, tossable into corners and lots of heart and soul this is the car for you.

Fiat500USA
09-02-2013, 02:16 AM
Hi JQ,

I've had a 500 Prima Edizione and now an Abarth. Both cars have been reliable. I put 10,000 miles on the Prima, and my clock was slow, and the emblem started to get discolored (covered under warranty). With the Abarth, I'm at 12,000 miles and the clock is fast (I like that!), and that's it. There are a bunch of folks here with similar experiences, and they'll post occasionally that they don't have issues. Of course, it isn't that interesting to post "hey, I've got no problems" in the forum because who cares, right? It also is a little insensitive to post how great your car is when someone else has an issue, so it is easy to lose some perspective.

Personally, I think it has a lot to do with how cars are driven. When I was a kid, I didn't break my toys, and I also don't break my cars. I've owned a bunch of Italian cars over the past 30 years. I think I've only broken down twice. Both were alternator problems and were in the early 1980s when I was a kid. I guess it is called mechanical sympathy and I warm up my cars and don't force things. That's not to say I don't drive them hard. I've done some ridiculous stuff that I am not proud of, but as the saying goes, "it is what it is." Street racing, burning the tires off cars and other bizarre things have netted me nearly two dozen tickets until I wised up - somewhat. I still love smoky burnouts and taching the car out, but that's only occasionally now. gr_grin

I've always said it is important to love the car you buy. This way, if you have an issue, the love will still shine through. If you settle on something you are luke warm about you can still have issues, but then it will be in a car not worth the hassles. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

JoeB
09-02-2013, 04:20 AM
I've only had my Abarth two weeks so can't comment on issues, but you mentioned Corolla and Civic. In the last 13 years I've owned a new Toyota Echo, Corolla and Prius; and a Honda Civic. They all had multiple warranty fixes the first year. The reliability Toyota and Honda are famous for is overblown, and mainly relates to major components like the engine. The reality is almost all modern automobiles run a long time just like those two. I suspect this little Italian wonder will have a similar record as the years roll on.

Also, Fiat500 makes a good point..I tend to "baby" my cars, too. I wring them out good when the time/space is right, but for general around-town commuting I tend to focus on getting the job done with as little force as is necessary. It's a little "slow driving" challenge I've developed for myself: To see how I can stop/go/turn with the smoothest inputs possible. If you've never tried it, you'd be amazed how entertaining that kind of precision driving can be. It's a nice "opposite" to the full-on style this car is so good at when we're in the mood.

Guest
09-02-2013, 08:16 AM
45k on mine, only thing noticed is microscopic chip above front emblem which can only be seen if im kneeling down right in front of the car-which Ive no desire to do!

Every car has the odd one go wrong and some are unrealistic or non careful owners! Remember, if someone has a bad experience they tell 50 people, yet a good experience and we tell 2! Fair few thousand Abarths sold - half dozen on here with "issues". Pretty good that!

Dwaynek
09-02-2013, 08:58 AM
Have had mine for over a year 25,000 kilometers no issues other than the sun roof rattles a little sometimes.

gtntahg
09-02-2013, 09:33 AM
Thanks to the OP for starting this thread. It is timely and relates to my situation very nearly.

Two weeks ago, I bought an Abarth Cabrio. My local dealer had to get the exact car I wanted - Bianco w/stripe delete and body colored mirror caps; cloth seats; and manual climate control - from another dealership 200 miles away. It took two days.

During that two day period, I browsed the 'net and discovered this Abarth forum and three others. I was horrified to read some of the posts; nothing but complaints ranging from mechanical issues/check engine lights (usually caused by engine mods) to easily scratched interior plastics and other niggles.

After doing some closer reading between the forums, I noticed that several of the complaints were being cross posted by the same person/s. This is not to minimize the relevance of these issues but it had given me an inaccurate picture of potential Abarth reliability issues.

Fast forward to now and my Abarth and I have logged 2,200 miles in all sorts of road conditions - downtown stop and go traffic in 107 degree heat, to drives out in the country for hours on end. To say that I love this car would not be an understatement! Its build quality is exactly the same as our son's 2012 500 Sport that now has 16,000 miles. His car has had zero issues. That would be 0. Nada. Zip.

So, anyone who may be reading this thread and considering the purchase of a 500, I'd say go for it. They're good, fun little cars that provide a lot of smiles per mile. Just remember forums like this seldom have threads that go on and on bragging about the car... for reasons which escape me at the moment!

Jjm4life
09-02-2013, 09:52 AM
No issues here. Had mine a year now, which is the longest ive owned a car in a while.

banzaitoyota
09-02-2013, 09:52 AM
12K on mine, no complaints

JackandSue
09-02-2013, 10:03 AM
Just over 3000 miles but most are from race days and our Abarth has been used about as hard as it could be with no problems at all.

Tweak
09-02-2013, 10:22 AM
I had a Sport for just over a year and just over 12K miles and no issues and I've now had the Abarth for almost a year with just over 10K miles and the Sport only had an issue due to a mod and now the Abarth has a small but somewhat common paint around front emblem issue that is very hard to notice and another common small issue with side skirts peeling away, mine is very slight so neither bother me too much and both have been approved for repair under warranty. I tend to drive aggressively in both and they'd taken the punishment well.

MrFiat
09-02-2013, 10:30 AM
Back in the early 1960's, I bought a project car. (my first) -- It was a Fiat-Abarth and I still have it, flaws and all. In fact, I loved it so much that I aquired many more old Fiats over the years that unfortunately (for one reason or another) all came and went, each leaving very, very fond memories behind. Naturally, when Fiat announced the 500 back into the US in 2011, I stood at the head of the line to get my 500 Sport. Do I still have it? You bet! Do I still love it? You bet. So much so that I couldn't part with it when Fiat announced the 500 Abarth a year later. Do I have one? You bet! Do I love it? Silly question! Yep, minor flaws and all. Chris is 100% absolutely correct when he said that if you love the car you own, you simply overlook the flaws, get them fixed if you can and enjoy the car for what it is.
Believe me, there's something magic about owning a Fiat automobile. No car is perfect but if you give them a little love and attention, in their own special way, they'll pay you back a hundred fold!

Abarth619
09-02-2013, 10:31 AM
Just hit 1000 miles yesterday. There are some very small things wrong with my Abarth. The steering wheel is off center and the rear washer leaks from time to time, which will be fixed under warranty when I get a chance. My seats were making a rattle and creaking noise but they have mysteriously disappeared, just needed to be broken in I think.

The biggest problem is its hard as hell to drive normally. I want to race the little devil every time I get into it. :) All in all though it does seem to be to be solid for a car this size and I'm very happy with my car. So far nothing creaks, rattles or has fallen off yet. :)

Vaejovis carolinanus aka lowconabarth
09-02-2013, 10:31 AM
I have almost 16k on my Abarth with very few minor issues. I am super picky about it,but I love the little scorpion. This is the first car I have ever talked to so many people about and the Fiat people I have met are a great bunch. I am extremely happy with my purchase, no remorse here.

whatebahw
09-02-2013, 10:56 AM
12,000 miles on the Abarth. No real issues. Just plenty of fun.

For me, the rarely occurring leaky windshield washer fluid in the rear is a non-issue. It only occurs after using the rear washer fluid and once the lines are empty it doesn't occur again. It is exactly what you would expect if the pumps and valves are located in the front engine compartment. Very small amounts of air can be heard leaking through the window seals at over 80mph. Maybe that's why some members have them replaced. I would be embarrassed to approach the dealership with such a niggle. I expect any stock replacement will perform similarly. I hear tiny rattles when driving quickly over rough roads. I would expect as much from any car with a stiff suspension. As has been said here many times already; I think overall satisfaction depends more on what you expect as a customer. Some customers do seem intent on being unsatisfied.

I had 28K on the Sport and the only issue was the ring holding the base of the shift boot broke at about 4K miles. It was probably broken from the factory and worked it's way loose.

mudking
09-02-2013, 12:01 PM
16000 miles on my Abarth with no issues except the tiny paint dimple on my roof at time of delivery which the studio took care of within a week and is unnoticeable..I had a 500 sport previously with 8000 miles and had no issues whatsoever.

sjmst
09-02-2013, 12:24 PM
People hardly ever write up how reliable their car is. You write up problems to seek solutions, ventilate and to "get back" at the manufacturer or dealer. That doesn't mean all of the complaints have no merit. Some clearly do. The question to be asked is whether the Abarth has more than its fair share of human built imperfection. Most objective surveys on reliability say no. The lower grades the car gets in some surveys have nothing to do with reliabilty. In many cases, I think, it is people who are finally buying a new car, and have a skewed view of what they should be. For example, I see time and time again, people rank the car lower for design features, or lack thereof, that match exactly that of their Japanese counterparts. The Japanese get a pass, because if they did it that way it must be good. FIAT doesn't get such credit.

Lastly, my experience. Two 500's, a Sport and Abarth. Combined mileage 55,000 miles. Daily driver NY to NJ. Through snow, sleet, rain, extreme cold and heat, stop and go highways, lousy roads..you name it. Perfectly reliable. Only issue is that the clocks in both keep lousy time...so to some, I guess I have a lemon.


Just to check out the theory that every car on the road gets complaints, I wend to Edmunds Consumer discussions on Toyota Camry. The Holy Grail of perfection, right?
Check it out. Yes, people love them, but NOT Perfect.
http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/camry/2012/consumer-reviews.html

hartmn
09-02-2013, 02:11 PM
Jonnyquest,


I love my Abarth! It has 2506 miles on it now. That's all! I have one and only one suggestion for you though. Don't order it with white rims if you don't want to be kicking yourself for the brake dust that shows up after the first block of driving. After you just hand washed it! That's it! Go for it! There is none more fun to drive than that this!

hartmn

JoeB
09-02-2013, 02:38 PM
I have almost 16k on my Abarth with very few minor issues. I am super picky about it,but I love the little scorpion. This is the first car I have ever talked to so many people about and the Fiat people I have met are a great bunch. I am extremely happy with my purchase, no remorse here.

Seconded on "talking". If you're very shy and hate telling people about your car, do not buy an Abarth! I have the black Cabrio just like the one in the "now..topless" ad, and for most people it's the first 500 Cabrio they've seen in person, and usually their first Abarth. The experience is similar to when I ride my recumbent bicycle: Everybody smiles; everybody wants to talk about it. It's fun!

dylansi
09-02-2013, 02:43 PM
I wish I paid 16k for my Abarth

JoeB
09-02-2013, 02:50 PM
I wish I paid 16k for my Abarth

He didn't. This sentence - And, from what I've seen, some of the folks complaining seem to forget that they bought a boosted $16,000 car...not a discounted $40,000 car. - means we are driving what is essentially a $16,000 car with goodies added, and folks shouldn't be expecting Lexus levels of fit and finish. Yeah, I had to read it a couple times to get it straight in my head, too. ;)

hownowcb
09-02-2013, 02:59 PM
If you read any of my posts (difficult because I'm "overly-wordy") you'll find me about 99% praiseworthy. I love my 2013 Abarth, still primarily stock, which has been through all four seasons' extremes, 10,000 probably half city/half highways miles, and the only actual, valid flaw I'm aware of has been a loose clamp on the coolant overflow tank, obviously replaced under warranty.

If anything, I try to NOT come across like some rabid fanboy, especially because I have the sense that people who are unhappy with their Fiats tend to think people like me are lying, exaggerating, or just trying to piss them off with our tales of good fortune. And nothing could be further from the truth. I honestly feel bad that people have stuff go wrong. But I don't think I'm merely lucky. As others have also pointed out, it's not about babying our cars, but certainly respecting them by not abusing them.

It's also not my opinion that all people with problems abuse their cars. There are valid statistical correlations comparing vehicles assembled on Mondays and Fridays vs. the other days of the week. Same for days before and after holidays. Each part and every assembly is built to tolerances that should result in a very similar bunch of vehicles assembled over a long period of time. However, there are times when parts at the extreme opposite ends of the tolerable ranges are assembled in what turns out to be worst-case examples. Every manufacturer builds some of them, and sheer luck is the only reason someone doesn't end up with one.

Some people only function well in the victim role, and there's nothing that can be done about them. And every single car forum has it's share of those individuals -- they just have a way of their comments being a dominant and recurring focus.

I'm actually slightly paranoid about becoming too Fiat-happy, lest I suffer an even greater disappointment if or when something might go wrong. But my now ten months' wonderful experience has definitely reduced those fears to mostly memories. The only possible way I could have been any happier with my Abarth experience would have been if mine were one of the free contest winning cars. But I never get to be "that guy"!

dylansi
09-02-2013, 03:13 PM
He didn't. This sentence - And, from what I've seen, some of the folks complaining seem to forget that they bought a boosted $16,000 car...not a discounted $40,000 car. - means we are driving what is essentially a $16,000 car with goodies added, and folks shouldn't be expecting Lexus levels of fit and finish. Yeah, I had to read it a couple times to get it straight in my head, too. ;)

I got it but dont feel I bought a boosted 16k car rippedhand . How can you even compare a Pop, or Sport to the Abarth? Just my two cents.

hownowcb
09-02-2013, 03:15 PM
This sentence - "And, from what I've seen, some of the folks complaining seem to forget that they bought a boosted $16,000 car...not a discounted $40,000 car." -- means we are driving what is essentially a $16,000 car with goodies added, and folks shouldn't be expecting Lexus levels of fit and finish.

Unfortunately, the original has been edited out of this thread. I agree with JoeB, and the original author. It is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't. Since Fiat has been out of the North American market for a long time, I believe there's a huge lack of perspective about where their vehicles "fit" in the various market niches. It will probably take more time to become better defined or established.

bawight
09-02-2013, 03:57 PM
I have 22000 miles on mine since last October without a hiccup. That includes taking the car to the Rockies in late December (-25F) and across the Mojave in early August (115F) in stop and go traffic.

There are some compromises that you will have to make in a car at this size and price point but I love driving mine every day and don't regret buying it at all.

JoeB
09-02-2013, 04:18 PM
How can you even compare a Pop, or Sport to the Abarth? Just my two cents.

I think it's a fair comparison. Basically Fiat threw heavy mods at a Sport, which is what a home tuner would do. I don't think this devalues the the little wonder at all, as non-boosted 500s are already very cool cars.

Robert Nixon
09-02-2013, 04:57 PM
Very happy with my Abarth, over 16,000 miles in the first 11+ months, it's a daily driver and what I've driven as a new autocross guy this summer. In SCCA G stock (no mods to the car), I'm in second for the year in the South Carolina region, and hope to have a few more good runs and win for the year.

Totally agree that it is too easy to get on the internet and complain, and that every brand new car is going to have some issues. Our Abarths are new to North America and in the factory in Mexico, but they are based on the Euro version that's been around, and I notice Fiat has been around a century or so too.

Don't forget the Abarth Experience, a full day of Abarth driving and having fun with other scorpion-mobile owners. Like you need another reason to buy one!

jcunny33
09-02-2013, 06:02 PM
43,500 miles on my Sport 100% trouble-free...not one single warranty issue when I traded for my 500T. On my Sport I paid $77 out of my pocket for my last oil change/tire rotation @ 40,000 miles. That's all I spent except for gas.

My 500T has 17,000 miles with no issues. If something happens, I wouldn't be justified in being upset after 60,000 plus trouble-free miles so far.

By far the most fun car I've ever owned and contrary to reviewers' remarks, the Fiats are not just city cars. They're great to travel distances in both on mountain roads and interstates.

musicsurf
09-02-2013, 08:10 PM
I am nearing 12000 miles in my almost 4 months of owning my Abarth. I have had issues (entire wiring harness and fuse box was replaced), but absolutely think nothing less of the car or Fiat. My studio and Fiat took care of the problem without any hassle. I have had a couple other minor issues, but the good points about the car FAR outshine any issues I have had.

johnnyquest
09-02-2013, 11:03 PM
Jonnyquest,


I love my Abarth! It has 2506 miles on it now. That's all! I have one and only one suggestion for you though. Don't order it with white rims if you don't want to be kicking yourself for the brake dust that shows up after the first block of driving. After you just hand washed it! That's it! Go for it! There is none more fun to drive than that this!

hartmn

Thanks, but the white rims with the Rosso paint makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. I'll either wash them every day, find better brake pads, or find a wax/sealant to help keep the dust off. I know they aren't the easiest choice to live with, but I gotta have them!

JQ

johnnyquest
09-02-2013, 11:16 PM
I want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to chime in on this post. I'm currently working on the other side of the planet, and couldn't believe there were 4 pages of responses when I came back to work! Glad to hear so many of you have had thousands of problem-free miles, and even more happy to hear that some of you who have had a few problems haven't let them overshadow your ownership experience.

I emailed the dealer and asked to put a deposit down on the car I want, and initially they accepted my offer and told me to send them a check. But then they told me they couldn't hold the car that long because incentives (both dealer and customer) change from month to month. They told me I could put the deposit down on November 1 if they still have the car. I asked them to let me know if they sell it before then so I could order a 2014 model. I just hope they don't change the wheels or options for 2014.

Again, thank you for all the great feedback!

JQ

EugeneS
09-02-2013, 11:58 PM
Thanks, but the white rims with the Rosso paint makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. I'll either wash them every day, find better brake pads, or find a wax/sealant to help keep the dust off. I know they aren't the easiest choice to live with, but I gotta have them!

JQ

I think you'll be all right with white wheels, they do look gorgeous when clean. With stock pads i had to clean them 2-3 times every week... recently I upgraded to Tarox pads and rotors, huge difference. So all you need to do is find good pads.

There are a few threads here on how to keep white wheels clean, will give you some good ideas how to handle all that dust from stock pads...

Abarth Phreak
09-03-2013, 12:10 AM
I now have 12,000 miles over the last 8 months of ownership of my Abarth. I have had a few very minor issues, but that is what the warranty IS for right? None of them are major by any means and I still love my car (even more now) the same as the day I bought it. Everyone of my previous cars and trucks has had issues..infact EVERY car ever built has had an issue at some point. I can only recommend that you go and take the car out for longer test drives to be sure tis is the car for you. It may not have "issues" but you also may not realize other more important things that could be a problem such as comfort tor utility, etc. The more you check it the more you will know for sure.

Good luck with your final decision!:onthego:

JoeB
09-03-2013, 12:17 AM
I think you're wise to go for the white wheels if that's what you really dig . I almost went for a Bianco-with-white-wheels Abarth, but I'm less enthused about that color on the rims than you are, which is fortunate because I'm total OCD about keeping my wheels clean. So, of course, I bought a black car, which means the whole thing looks dirty fast! Brilliant, eh? ;)

Mr. Man
09-03-2013, 11:14 AM
7710
All the reinforcement you could ever need.
Oh, not that kind of reinforcement. The car's great. I would make love to it if it was a person, but its not, so I wouldn't, because that would be weird...

FiatCares
09-03-2013, 01:39 PM
Thanks to the OP for starting this thread. It is timely and relates to my situation very nearly.

Two weeks ago, I bought an Abarth Cabrio. My local dealer had to get the exact car I wanted - Bianco w/stripe delete and body colored mirror caps; cloth seats; and manual climate control - from another dealership 200 miles away. It took two days.

During that two day period, I browsed the 'net and discovered this Abarth forum and three others. I was horrified to read some of the posts; nothing but complaints ranging from mechanical issues/check engine lights (usually caused by engine mods) to easily scratched interior plastics and other niggles.

After doing some closer reading between the forums, I noticed that several of the complaints were being cross posted by the same person/s. This is not to minimize the relevance of these issues but it had given me an inaccurate picture of potential Abarth reliability issues.

Fast forward to now and my Abarth and I have logged 2,200 miles in all sorts of road conditions - downtown stop and go traffic in 107 degree heat, to drives out in the country for hours on end. To say that I love this car would not be an understatement! Its build quality is exactly the same as our son's 2012 500 Sport that now has 16,000 miles. His car has had zero issues. That would be 0. Nada. Zip.

So, anyone who may be reading this thread and considering the purchase of a 500, I'd say go for it. They're good, fun little cars that provide a lot of smiles per mile. Just remember forums like this seldom have threads that go on and on bragging about the car... for reasons which escape me at the moment!

Congrats on the new purchase and thank you for the testimonial :)

VTEC Mini
09-03-2013, 01:49 PM
It kind unnerves me that if you have a car with issues people think you are beating the tar out of it or not taking care of it and try to shoot down your credibility as I had to deal with that at the children’s table when I posted about my key getting washed from a dill hole who found it "impossible".

Let me start out by saying my car is not abused and is well taken care of. It is garaged kept, washed once a week, no food or drink is allowed to be consumed in the car, I had custom full seat covers made to protect the seats, I don't use off the shelf Pep Boys car wash and wax, nothing harsher than top end microfiber touches her finish, even with seat covers before I leave work I scrub down with Lava soap and even sometimes get dressed up in Tyvek suits to drive home, my average speed is 60 MPH, I have no Mods other than a stripe and seat covers (That’s about to change), the only time I drive spirited is the one mile of switch backs on my 40 mile commute, and I hang back two+ car lengths to avoid paint chips.

To be honest, I have had several issues, some I accepted since new. I don't post every issue I have had because I don't want to come off as a "complainer" and only post if it is repetitive in hopes of someone else might have an answer, or if it is major, or if the dealer is just lacking. Unfortunately, I have experienced all of the above. I love my Abarth..... I really do. There are days when I am glowing and there are days I drive by the VW dealership looking at the GTI's.

I don't expect cars to be perfect or problem free. That’s impossible. However, when it comes to the basics of automotive engineering I expect those to be ironed out by since the automobile is nearly 100 years old now. I also think Fiat needs to be a little quicker when dealing with issues such as side skirt separation and getting replacement parts for the 500E and the CV bolts just as an example. Their QC I think needs to be improved not only at the factory but when it comes to dealer service (in my case).

Someone said basically that you should not expect a $16K (I would like to know where you get a new Abarth for $16k) to be built like a $40K car..... I agree with that on one hand and I don't expect anybody that buys a Fiat expects it to be either but on the other hand it shouldn't be built like a '93 Hyundai Accent either. For example, on my car, where the spoiler meets the hatch a little too much glue was used and it oozed out when the spoiler was applied- I am good with that. Same thing happened where the upper dash panel meets the windshield. It has little creaks and rattles and not everything lines up perfectly but it is all good- it’s not a $40K car. My issues arise when they are repetitive and when the dealer refuses to fix them or even lifts a finger to even try to fix them. There are plenty of cars built in the Abarth price range that has a better build quality put to them and given its low price range is not an excuse for low QC.

With that all being said, the love of my Abarth keeps me going with it despite my moments when I felt I have reached my limit. It is a fantastic drive and despite my city of 500K people Abarth sightings are still rare. I love the looks and comments I get and the sound of the exhaust is like no other. The reports are coming in and even though there are probably more good ones than bad ones overall it is shown Fiat has a lot of improving to do and it is a matter of what you are willing to deal with should a problem child arrives. I am not trying to be a downer at all I am just being honest and I hope a pray that your Abarth will be trouble free and be everything you want it to be.

JoeB
09-03-2013, 02:56 PM
I don't think anyone is claiming that all warranty claims are the result of hard driving. The simple fact is that a car driven hard and put away wet is likely to have more issues sooner than ones which are driven calmly most of the time. It's a fact of physics, not a statement that folks are doing something wrong.

I'm a cyclist who happens to pedal rather slowly most of the time - I'm in it more for the 'outside looking around' than the hard-charging speed runs - and my components last years; whereas some guys/girls go through entire drivetrains in a single year. Neither rider is doing something wrong, and if either of us snaps a warranteed frame, we both deserve a new one gratis.

trevc
09-03-2013, 03:17 PM
I took delivery of my Abarth in April 2012. One of the first off the production line. I had to have the rear hatch badge replaced under warranty and the paint started flaking around the front badge. This was also fixed under warranty.
I have 10,200 miles on it now and most of those miles have been hard; I autocross it on average twice a month.
The only other issue I have had was a leaking transmission. It was a minor leak and fixed under warranty without having to remove the gearbox.

Seems a lot of the Fiat experience depends on the Studio. Mine has been excellent to work with, both pre and post sale.

Fiat500USA
09-03-2013, 03:55 PM
VTEC makes a good point about dealer service. I bet if all the problems were handled correctly at the dealer there would be a lot less disapointment. My Audi A4 constantly went to the dealer and they never fixed anything, or couldn't find the problem. I would then take it it back to the shop I worked at and fix it myself. If they fixed the problems I wouldn't have cared or even remember that I had problems with the car. When you go to the dealer and they treat you like a million bucks, you can check out the new cars and maybe even buy some accessories that turns a negative into a positive. When they treat you poorly, that will sour anyone's experence. Hopefully, if that is happening to people, they can get to another dealer that can do the right thing. I know what a hassle that is getting to the dealer as my schedule is always booked up (and my dealer is a 3 hour round trip), but it may be worth it to find good service.

gtntahg
09-04-2013, 06:25 PM
That is totally true - uniformly competent dealerships are critical for Fiat to succeed in the long-term in the US, IMO. While the Chrysler/FIAT group has been a pleasant surprise in the marketing and selling of the 500, there is room for improvement.

For example, I live in a place that has three Fiat Studios within an hour of my house. I researched them all and visited with each before we decided on one studio and bought our son's 500 Sport there last April; very positive experience, highly knowledgeable, laid-back sales person who applied zero-pressure during our buying decision. Professional finance guy who had us in and out in no time. At no time did we ever have to wait for the obligatory, "Let me talk with my manager" routine.

So when it came time to buy my Abarth we went back to the same studio. Unfortunately in the fourteen months since our Sport purchase, the Studio had come under new management. Our salesperson had moved on and in the end our buying experience were less than good. The dealership went from someplace I would definetly recommend to, "meh, there are probably better Studios out there."

And if I could just add one particular pet peeve that seems to be a reoccurring theme within the Studio Pre-Delivery Inspection procedure; my Abarth on delivery had 42 psi all 'round and looks like it was wiped down with an oily rag. My car is white :anger: Our son's car when it went in for it's first oil change and tire rotation came back with, you guessed it, 42 psi all 'round.

So I guess the point to this epistle is this: The 500 is a good car. The "Studio" idea is good. But the dealerships need to pay more attention to professionalism and overall competency because most people are not willing to separate their overall ownership experience into just the car AND just the dealership; they are the same.

AnthonyV
09-10-2013, 02:02 AM
I've owned A LOT of cars over the years, and I can say that the fit and finish of my Abarth isn't exactly what you would call surgically precise lol But that's not to say it's a total mess either. I returned it within in the first 2 days of ownership for a rattle in the dash, that seems to be (fingers crossed) sorted now, and that's it so far really. It does have other little creaks and rattles I've noticed already, but none of them what I would consider excessive levels of NVH.

The way I put it to someone the other day was, if I wanted a similar car with a similar level of performance but BMW quality fit and finish I would have popped the extra dough for a Mini cooper S. That said, for me, just from a performance standpoint alone, this little car has it where it counts. The performance per dollar ratio for this little fire breather is excellent. Equally if not more important though, is what I'll call the "smiles per mile" factor. I don't think I've driven around with a smile on my face this often since I've gotten my driver's license, and I can tell you for fact, I have owned/driven many, many, cars since then, (some of them with a price tag significantly higher, even double or more the Abarth). I can say with complete honesty, that for the first time, in a long time, it's a car that I quite honestly can't see myself turning in for something else. I own other cars alongside this one, and time is the ultimate test, but I just don't see myself handing the keys over for something else anytime soon. I really love this thing haha!

Go snatch yours up soon as you get back!