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View Full Version : Any "Novice" Manual Transmission drivers / Abarth Owners? What do you think?



adamhoz
01-29-2013, 05:18 PM
Hi All,

I've really been liking the Fiats, and always had an eye on the Abarth. My coworker has a 500c which I've been given the keys to drive around and have really had fun with it. I have limited experience driving manual, but have really nailed it and LOVE the fiats.

Are there any novice / new manual drivers that have gotten an abarth? How is it for a beginner / novice?
How are the costs associated with it? (besides better gas mileage than my 15mpg i get now haha)
Maintenance issues? Does it cost an arm and a leg to get the oil changed?

Any input would be appreciated! Im going for a test drive this weekend -

Thanks! :)
Adam

Jjm4life
01-29-2013, 05:21 PM
its a very light and fairly direct transmission. clutch is light as well. shouldn't be an issue as long as you have a basic understanding of operating a manual transmission.

djhace
01-29-2013, 05:35 PM
hi adamhoz,
i have driven manual before but it was years ago, until now. i would say it's fairly easy. hard part is reveres gear. also going from 5th to 4th. but it getting easier as you get used to it.
it range from 50 to 100 bucks, depending on dealer. though, it's not due every 3k. like on my honda. so that's good.

William M Jacocks Jr
01-29-2013, 07:23 PM
You should try driving my 1994 F-350 dually 5 speed. LOL, makes my 500 Abarth shifting feel like a breeze.

KhalilWilliams
01-29-2013, 08:51 PM
Hi All,

I've really been liking the Fiats, and always had an eye on the Abarth. My coworker has a 500c which I've been given the keys to drive around and have really had fun with it. I have limited experience driving manual, but have really nailed it and LOVE the fiats.

Are there any novice / new manual drivers that have gotten an abarth? How is it for a beginner / novice?
How are the costs associated with it? (besides better gas mileage than my 15mpg i get now haha)
Maintenance issues? Does it cost an arm and a leg to get the oil changed?

Any input would be appreciated! Im going for a test drive this weekend -

Thanks! :)
Adam

I'm a novice manual driver; like you I had the honour to drive a FIAT 500 (albeit a hatchback and not the 500c) with a manual transmission; that particular car had trouble engaging a gear (probably because I had limited experience with a manual transmission in general); particularly during the transition from 1st to 2nd gear. I'm pretty confident that running cost for a regular 500 model are, in general reasonably low; a manual transmission model probably being really cheap. If that is the case, then I would say that you would be in good hands with this car. Also, the Abarth 500 model's not looking too expensive other than the price; then again that's me and my budget talking. The Abarth 500 is the bomb!

Mr. Man
01-29-2013, 09:33 PM
I have been driving manuals for less than a year (i had to learn on my Abarth after i bought it) and it is very easy to operate. much easier than my mom's Porsche Boxster. And her first oil change only cost me like $40. I wanna start doing them myself though, so i can connect more with my car.

adamhoz
01-29-2013, 09:41 PM
Awesome everything, great feedback. Overall it seems like everyone has a good experience with it. Im very excited to get a chance to drive it, and if all goes well, be a proud owner :)

Welchlin
01-29-2013, 10:33 PM
I purchased my Abarth with little experience using a manual (less than 2 hours). The guy at the dealership was very helpful and forgiving about my inexperience. I felt that it was a very forgiving car and you can easily feel the point where the clutch grabs.

Cost-wise I feel that I got a good deal on the Abarth. I paid around 22,500 for a base model with the stripe package only. While this does not seem like much of a drop from 23,050 msrp, but I also got talked up my trade-in.

When it comes to the cost of problems, I had the ever-so-common sideskirt peel that is being fixed Friday for free. I also had a screw in one of my tires (the P7's) and it cost me around $180 to replace it.

I can't talk about the oil change because I'm doing my first at 3,000 miles!



Other suggestions: Test drive with a mature friend! I brought a family member along and the dealership employee let my family member drive the car to a parking lot so I could practice the manual transmission and then drive it back!

Good luck on your search for an Abarth!

steven4264
01-29-2013, 11:40 PM
The Abarth was my first manual car, I knew how a manual transmissions works ie when to shift and how and when to use the clutch but very little seat time. Only drove a manual Miata 2 blocks and a Talon 3 miles. I found it very easy to learn on, my hardest was the feel from going from a stop trying to get a smooth start, and the reverse was hard to get it into it but once I learn the tricks of going into a forward gear first and making sure the clutch was in all the way for a few seconds first all is well.

RustyPaint
01-30-2013, 12:40 AM
All I've driven was manual cars/truck for 14 some years. Very forgiving clutch, good and light weight so fatigue wont be such an issue. Transmission is not as refined as a BMW or Porsche, but still smooth and easy to work with (defiantly better than GM boxes that I have owned). The hill start assist will be your best friend. Just press the brake good (does not have to be hard) before letting off and it will hold the pressure for 3 seconds while you feather the clutch to start up the hill. I'd say, don't try to be fast with the gears or do hard acceleration until you get the knack of the transmission. Probably avoid using the sport button for a while, 1st and 2nd gear fly by very quickly and don't offer much time to think about shifting. I've test drove the 500 Sport before the Abarth, and the Abarth has much better clutch feel. I had to guess where it engages in the Sport. Just be aware, any car you learn do drive manual on for the first time will put more ware on the clutch until you learn the feather it well.

Rick Hunter
01-30-2013, 01:42 AM
The clutch is a bit on the light side, but aside from that is an easy car to learn from. I was able to teach my S.O. how to drive stick in our Abarth and their learning curve was phenomenal.

Have fun with it.

adamhoz
01-30-2013, 12:32 PM
Just be aware, any car you learn do drive manual on for the first time will put more ware on the clutch until you learn the feather it well.

Thanks for the great feedback! Gee's I hope they arent too expensive to replace haha :)

ukeluthier
01-30-2013, 04:16 PM
The clutch is a bit on the light side...



That's a negative? As long as the clutch doesn't slip and the pedal provides reasonable feedback, I'd consider light pedal effort to be a benefit.

Rick Hunter
01-30-2013, 04:41 PM
A "heavier" clutch would provide a beginner a better understanding of the clutch point compared to a "lighter" clutch. Obviously, YMMV.

IMO, the kick-back at clutch point is a little light, but I'm not complaining.

adamhoz
02-01-2013, 09:58 AM
The 500c I drove around at work a few times was pretty easy for me. When we got out on the road, outside of the nervousness (haha), I had only stalled once. Stupid ambulance was in front of me, and a school bus in front of that. School bus stopped every 20 seconds. I was fine until the 3rd stop then i let her die on me by accident (with like 20 cars behind me...)

But I loved it!