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Getting serious about buying first Abarth... it hasnít been easy.
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Thread: Getting serious about buying first Abarth... it hasnít been easy.

  1. #1
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    Getting serious about buying first Abarth... it hasnít been easy.

    Thereís so much a like about this car.

    I have been looking at one locally for sale for about 2 months now. I have come to know many perks and cons to this car. I have had many issues that have prevented me from jumping right into this car. The model is a 2012 with 61k miles.

    My main issue is the chair. Iím not a big fat guy, just a slightly fat guy. The seat just doesnít work for me. I have a long torso, and the seat constantly punches me in the back on the spine where it connects to my skull. I finally had to just sit forward so my head never touches the seat. . Second, I got some thick legs. They spill over on the seat. Itís like Iím sitting on top of a cup.

    So I thought this was the end... the seat just doesnít work for me. But I had a brain storm. The base 500 seat looked to be more comfortable. Long story short, I got to sit in some random guys 500 seat and it was Sooo comfortable. Fiat parts guys at the dealership tell me itís the same bolt pattern, so I should be good to go. I hear so many people complain about the Abarth seat, but I have never heard anyone doing a seat swap with a base 500 chair. Any reasons for this? Am I the first one to think of this? Heading out to wrecking yards to look for a pair of seats soon.

    I am aware of the high maintenance on this car. Im a little OCD, so I think this car would fit for me because to would be constantly checking everything over. Sadly, my mechanical skills are low, but do have a local guy who can work on Abarths. I like to make sure my cars are properly maintained. I just donít want to be completely let down.

    my current cars are a Nissan Versa and a Subaru BRZ. Both manual.
    Any given input would be greatly appreciated. If you read all this, thanks!

  2. #2
    smark's Avatar
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    You should have just bought the turbo version of the 500. You wouldnít have to mess with buying and replacing the front seats.

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    I don’t find the seat terribly comfortable, and I’m not a big guy. Tall in torso, yes, and that’s what bugs me: where my shoulder blades intersect the seat contours. No where near as comfortable as my 2007 Mazda 3 seats. And, yes, the 2018/2019 Turbos have a more general comfort seat, and still sound pretty good. It really depends how long you can stand driving it, which is why I keep the Mazda around, for longer distance, boring freeway driving.
    2017 500 Abarth, manual trans, NAV, Beats, Sunroof, 17" wheels, everything. But no mods. None, nada.

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    My wife and I find our 2019 500C Lounge to be very comfortable. I could drive it for hours... I've only sat in Abarths a few times, so have limited experience. But I do know the Abarth seats have more side bolstering and seem 'stiffer'. They are meant for more aggressive driving. (I was interested in getting an Abarth, but my wife didn't like the seats, and neither of us liked the interior color choices.) I think a swap to standard 500 seats could work for you.

    However, as mentioned above, you could also look for a 500T (500 Turbo). Lower Hp than the Abarth but same torque; so the the feeling you get when you step on the gas is very similar. And much better performance than the older standard 500. Plus the 500T has a sporty exhaust and a good suspension. May be worth a look.

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    By the way, wishing you good luck with whatever choice you make!

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    I chatted with a woman who also complained about her Abarth seats, especially after an hour behind the wheel. She said she put in one of those massage/heat covers and the lumbar pillow helped support her lower back.

    People usually swap the Pop seats for Abarth, but it'll work the other way. Total time (at home) is about 2 hours, including time to locate the proper tools. There are several videos on swapping. You might try finding a standard 500 at a local used car dealership and give it a drive. It's not cheap, especially if you buy dealer seats, but you might find a guy with standard seats who'd like to swap. It'd be a good deal for both of you... but you wouldn't have the originals to swap back.


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  10. #7
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    The Abarth’s seat are very sporty looking. Good side bolstering. The Sport, and Lounge model have more comfortable seats. In terms of long distance driving. Not for track use. I’ve sampled both, over 9 1/2 years. I wish Fiat offered some of the European Abarth seats here. Much nicer.
    Last edited by smark; 11-16-2020 at 01:11 PM.

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    Also, keep in mind that some seats are heated, others not. If your current seats are heated then you'd likely want that in your new seats. If your current seats aren't, this may be a time for an upgrade, depending on the seats you buy.

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    The seat just doesn’t work for me.
    I'd play Goldilocks and try Pop, Sport, Easy and Lounge seats before you commit. One other thing to consider is if the current Abarth seats are heated or not- if they are it's easier if the replacement seats are too rather than go through the hassle of an aftermarket kit.

    As far as "high maintenance" goes I didn't find my previous '13 500 Sport nor my current '18 500 Abarth any more demanding than the '13 Honda CR-V they shared the garage with, the one exception being the spark plugs (every 32,000 miles). The '13 did have a few issues in the beginning that were common to earlier 500's that were taken care of under warranty. After that it was pretty smooth sailing.
    Last edited by rustbucket; 11-16-2020 at 03:40 PM.
    2018 FIAT 500 Abarth- manual, 17" wheels, sunroof, perla white tricoat, red leather, bone stock (for now) daily driver

    2020 Ram 1500 4x4 Big Horn crew cab- 5.7L eTorque Hemi (mild hybrid), 3.92 rear axle, diamond black crystal pearl coat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aphid Boy View Post
    I have a long torso, and the seat constantly punches me in the back on the spine where it connects to my skull. I finally had to just sit forward so my head never touches the seat.
    I don't understand why many auto manufacturers think that a headrest must be tilted forward.

    There are many aftermarket seats, why wouldn't you go that way? Recaros, etc.
    https://www.carid.com/2019-fiat-500-...=500#prod-list

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