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View Full Version : My Abarth Test Drive Report



sjmst
04-21-2012, 03:11 PM
I test drove an Abarth today at FIAT of Westbury. Bottom line: Great car. If you want to trade up from a standard 500, fine. If you have a standard 500, you can still feel happy with that. They are both good cars in their own way.

1) Looks: Abarth looks awesome. The quality is 1st rate. The paint is Porsche quality. The interior in red and black leather looks rich and feels substantial. The 17" wheels, lowered suspension and slightly increased length combine to make the car look less like a cute toy and more like a cute sports car.

2) Sound: This must get its own heading. It sounds great. Not like a ricer with a fart can; like a real sports car. Quality.
I drive 100 miles round trip, and could not stand a constant drone. That's not the case here. It has a nice sound, but is subdued at cruising speed.

3) Ride and handling: Like most reviewers said, firm but not bone jarring. Very livable day to day. The handling is improved over the sport, but it is no Ferrari or even BMW. Still, plenty fun.

4) Acceleration: Once underway it flies. Off the line not so much. There is a slight hesitation (turbo lag?) that for some reason feels even more pronounced than in my Sport. Could be because it's not broken in, or perhaps because the power difference once the turbo kicks in makes the initial start seem more subdued. Either way I was a bit disappointed with the first 2-3 seconds of start from dead stop. That may also simply be a matter of getting used to it. This was only a ten minute ride.

5) Transmission: Much like the standard Sport, the clutch and shifter feel good. Not great, but pleasant and easy to use.

6) Overall: Fun car, once underway, it just begs to be stomped on. But, and this is important, it is very much like a standard 500, only more so. If you have a standard 500, don't feel like you blew it. They are still plenty fun.

7) Decision: I ordered one. Grigio (gray) with Red leather, 17" Hyperblack wheels and Satellite radio. Will look like the pic below (and with stripe if I decide to get that). List price. It will take about 3 months to get. I got it in part because my son wants my red Prima, so that will still be in the family. Also, the looks are more appealing to me than a standard 500.

I picked gray as place holder. I still have a couple of weeks to finalize my decision. The black looks awesome and white is possibility.

cmj912
04-21-2012, 04:08 PM
I thought I liked white/red the most until I saw the Abarth in the grey/black. It looks very 'professional'...
I'm always going to like red interiors in FIATs, though :)

SeaDawg
04-21-2012, 05:42 PM
Decision: I ordered one. Grigio (gray) with Red leather, 17" Hyperblack wheels and Satellite radio. Will look like the pic below (and with stripe if I decide to get that). List price. It will take about 3 months to get. I got it in part because my son wants my red Prima, so that will still be in the family. Also, the looks are more appealing to me than a standard 500.



Oh, go ahead, it's ONLY a test drive, the serpent hissed sexily in his ear, LOL.:peaceful:

MrFiat
04-21-2012, 07:07 PM
Oh, go ahead it's ONLY a test drive the serpent hissed sexily in his ear, LOL.:peaceful:1804 Gotta Luv it!

Chris
04-21-2012, 07:27 PM
Thanks- how much firmer is the ride versus a 500 would you say?

Thad
04-21-2012, 11:09 PM
I drove one today. I would say the ride is better than the sport and LESS jarring in the Abarth. I did a 12 mile drive by myself. Holy Crap! Fantastic!

500ways
04-21-2012, 11:59 PM
I test drove the Abarth last evening and again this afternoon. It had all the options except the smoker's group and engine heater. This car is perfect out-of-the-box! Period!!

The exhaust is fine art. Nothing compares in this segment and class of vehicle. I wouldn't mess with any of it. I know why the Abarth badges are located on the rear quarters. However, I think they would look better and more tasteful as front fender badges, a la Ferrari. In addition, the striping may or may not be for everyone.

But mechanically, the "grinta" and overall attitude is just about perfect out-of the box! There is a hint of a lag from stop - nothing major.

FIAT got the job done with this car! I definitely don't need or want another toy. I am enjoying my lower maintenance and subtle 500 Sport.

However, if I were in the market for this type of car, the Abarth is the only choice! I will never forget the first time I saw it! LOL

Fiat500USA
04-22-2012, 12:40 AM
I test drove an Abarth today at FIAT of Westbury. Bottom line: Great car. If you want to trade up from a standard 500, fine. If you have a standard 500, you can still feel happy with that. They are both good cars in their own way.

1) Looks: Abarth looks awesome. The quality is 1st rate. The paint is Porsche quality. The interior in red and black leather looks rich and feels substantial. The 17" wheels, lowered suspension and slightly increased length combine to make the car look less like a cute toy and more like a cute sports car.

2) Sound: This must get its own heading. It sounds great. Not like a ricer with a fart can; like a real sports car. Quality.
I drive 100 miles round trip, and could not stand a constant drone. That's not the case here. It has a nice sound, but is subdued at cruising speed.

3) Ride and handling: Like most reviewers said, firm but not bone jarring. Very livable day to day. The handling is improved over the sport, but it is no Ferrari or even BMW. Still, plenty fun.

4) Acceleration: Once underway it flies. Off the line not so much. There is a slight hesitation (turbo lag?) that for some reason feels even more pronounced than in my Sport. Could be because it's not broken in, or perhaps because the power difference once the turbo kicks in makes the initial start seem more subdued. Either way I was a bit disappointed with the first 2-3 seconds of start from dead stop. That may also simply be a matter of getting used to it. This was only a ten minute ride.

5) Transmission: Much like the standard Sport, the clutch and shifter feel good. Not great, but pleasant and easy to use.

6) Overall: Fun car, once underway, it just begs to be stomped on. But, and this is important, it is very much like a standard 500, only more so. If you have a standard 500, don't feel like you blew it. They are still plenty fun.

7) Decision: I ordered one. Grigio (gray) with Red leather, 17" Hyperblack wheels and Satellite radio. Will look like the pic below (and with stripe if I decide to get that). List price. It will take about 3 months to get. I got it in part because my son wants my red Prima, so that will still be in the family. Also, the looks are more appealing to me than a standard 500.

I picked gray as place holder. I still have a couple of weeks to finalize my decision. The black looks awesome and white is possibility.

Congratulations and great write up, Sam. I agree with you on the regular 500. I like mine so much, I was thinking of ways I could hold on to it.LOL

sjmst
04-22-2012, 08:48 AM
The ride and sound are pleasing and suitable for a dalily driver. No more hard than a Sport, really.

For those of you have driven one, what's your take on my one nit pick; the slight hesitation off the line? Did you experience that? I think I may just need more time with it to get it right.

b56.1m6
04-26-2012, 10:22 AM
Been there drove that! The kind people at Westbury let me drive their car Tuesday night and my biggest complaint is headroom I will be a no sunroof car if I ever make up my mind.

GetsThruBuckner
06-13-2013, 09:06 PM
So i'm posting over a year after the last comment on this thread, but i'm curious to know. Was the test drive at Fiat of Westbury in a Grigio w/ Nero striping? I bought their demo model and I would find it amusing to know if the people who drove my car are on this forum. :gtfo:

sjmst
06-14-2013, 09:49 AM
So i'm posting over a year after the last comment on this thread, but i'm curious to know. Was the test drive at Fiat of Westbury in a Grigio w/ Nero striping? I bought their demo model and I would find it amusing to know if the people who drove my car are on this forum. :gtfo:

Hey, no Black. I know have 25,000 miles on my Abarth, and love it.

2300cc
06-14-2013, 10:02 AM
So i'm posting over a year after the last comment on this thread, but i'm curious to know. Was the test drive at Fiat of Westbury in a Grigio w/ Nero striping? I bought their demo model and I would find it amusing to know if the people who drove my car are on this forum. :gtfo:

I test drove that car!! I didnt take it too far maybe 3-5 miles and it all ready had quite a few miles on it, it was back in January of 2013. It made me order my car in Grigio!

GetsThruBuckner
06-14-2013, 12:07 PM
I test drove that car!! I didnt take it too far maybe 3-5 miles and it all ready had quite a few miles on it, it was back in January of 2013. It made me order my car in Grigio!

Close but no cigar. I picked up mine on July 19, 2012. Interesting to know that they got a doppelganger of my car after I picked it up though. Haha