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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth

Overview
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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The Fiat 500 heralds the Italian automaker's return to the U.S. market, and so far things seem to be going well. Though many will draw comparisons between the 500 and the Mini Cooper, in truth the two are very different cars. Where the Mini is about performance, the 500 lures buyers with an attractive price and miserly fuel efficiency. Those wanting more power can opt for the 500 Turbo or the high-performance Abarth, while those seeking to pay nothing for gas can opt for the all-electric 500e. Being Italian, the 500 of course comes with a variety of designer trims, colors and equipment, all aimed at helping this small car make a big splash.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Fiat 500 is hip, happening and a must-have for style-conscious city dwellers. Not as pricey as a Mini Cooper, but far more fun than a Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit, the 500 serves up a big dose of Italian attitude in a little body.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 500's styling isn't for everyone, and if its size is just too diminutive, you can get equally good or better fuel economy with a diesel car or hybrid. Other inexpensive but slightly larger alternatives include the Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 and Honda Fit.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.0
  • 7.0
  • 6.6
  • 7.8
  • 6.6
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#4

out of 10

Fuel Economy

#6

out of 10

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

A new 1957 special edition is added, bringing a retro look that defined the original car. Other changes include a new Ivory interior color, new wheels and a revised passenger seat that sits an inch lower to the floor.

Driving the 500 Abarth
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2014 Fiat 500 employs a lightweight body to maximize its 101 horsepower, which is a good thing because flat-out speed isn't the 500's strong suit, at least in non-turbocharged...

form. What the 500 does well is deliver a comfortable ride, go-kart-like handling and a sense of style and fun absent in most small cars. From the centered steering to the firm brakes to the smooth shift controls, everything about the 500 looks and feels of quality. The 500's 6-speed automatic is surprisingly efficient and responsive, but we still love the feel of the manual in this car. It just feels more European. Those seeking more power may want to split the difference between the base car and the tautly sprung Abarth model by opting for the 135-horsepower Turbo trim. Or, if distance driving isn't a concern, the 500e's electric motor and battery pack can carry you up to 87 miles on a single charge.
Favorite Features

INTELLIGENT POWER CONVERTIBLE TOP
Unlike conventional convertibles, the 500c employs a dual-layer retractable soft top that slides on a track leaving the metal door frames and C-pillars in place. The top can be deployed at speeds up to 60 mph and takes just 15 seconds from start to finish.

Eco:DRIVE
Using a USB port hidden in the glove box, the Fiat 500 can upload a variety of information to a memory stick including carbon-dioxide-emissions data and trip information. When plugged into your laptop, the data can be used to help you learn how to drive more efficiently.

2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Details
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Fiat 500 is roomier up front than you might expect, and just as tight in back as it looks. The interior style lives up to the promise of the quirky but fashionable exterior, and we found the materials, build quality and seat comfort impressive for a car with a starting price around $17,000. As the athlete of the group, the 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth offers aggressively bolstered front seats, exclusive red stitching and a thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel.

Exterior
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth photo

The 2014 Fiat 500 is a modern interpretation of 1957's tiny, rear-engined original. Although larger than the original, it's still seven inches shorter than today's Mini Cooper. The iconic sloping rear end is a big part of the 500's personality, though it limits rear headroom. For 2014, the Fiat 500 is available in a stretched 4-door model that alleviates many of the coupe's shortcomings. The hatchback offers Pop, Sport, Lounge and Turbo trim levels, while the soft-top 500c comes in Pop and Lounge. The Turbo, Abarth and 500e electric are their own packages. Wheels, fascias and body trim differentiate the models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Fiat 500 and 500c Pop include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch covered steel wheels, a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, cruise control, power window/locks/mirrors, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port for portable music players. The range-topping Abarth variant includes a Bose premium audio system, 16-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and a leather-wrapped dashboard. Standard safety features include seven airbags, hill-start assist to help prevent vehicle rollback on steep inclines and seemingly all the other advancements we're seeing on new cars in this price range and beyond.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2014 Fiat 500 Lounge includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, Bose audio system and automatic climate control. The 500 Sport model is differentiated by a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch wheels and a variety of aesthetic touches including red brake calipers and a subtle rear spoiler. The Turbo model adds larger front brakes and more serious suspension tuning to go with its specific 16-inch wheels and identifying trim. The mighty Abarth offers larger 17-inch wheels, 2-tone leather-trimmed seats and your choice of either white or red body side stripes.

Under the Hood
2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Engine photo

The front-wheel-drive 2014 Fiat 500 is motivated by a small but sophisticated 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine using Fiat's patented MultiAir technology, which varies intake-valve timing and lift. Fiat tunes this engine to three power levels: The base hatchback and cabriolet get 101 horsepower (naturally aspirated), the Turbo makes 135 horsepower and the Abarth, also turbocharged, crank out 160 horsepower. The 500e electric is rated for 111 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. Most of the 500s offer the choice of a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, but the turbocharged engines get only the 5-speed manual gearbox. We like the automatic for its extra ratio and responsive shifting though it does cut fuel efficiency by more than 10 percent. The 500e uses a single-speed automatic.

1.4-liter inline-4 (500)
101 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
98 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/40 mpg (manual), 27/34 mpg (automatic)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (500 Turbo)
135 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
150 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 mpg

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Abarth)
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 mpg

Permanent magnet electric motor (500e)
111 horsepower
147 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 122/108 mpg equivalent
EPA range on a full charge: 87 miles

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Fiat 500 lineup starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right around $17,000 for a hatchback Pop and climbs to just over $32,500 for the California-only 500e electric. However, incentives and tax credits can trim that price substantially. These can total as much as $14,000, according to Fiat. The 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop starts at just over $20,000 and can top $35,000. Fiat includes a Mini-matching 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance and a 3-year/36,000-mile no-cost maintenance package. Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price should reflect real-world transaction prices close to MSRP, so be sure to check them out before you purchase. Five-year projected residual values for the 500 fall considerably short of the Mini's, but remain slightly higher than the Ford Fiesta's.

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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 84 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

A Mini Light

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive, small size for that 3rd garage space"

Cons: "road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

2012 Fiat 500 Sport

"We had a 2009 Smart car as our 3rd car for shopping trips and weekend excursions. When the Fiat 500 came out, I instantly wanted one to replace the Smart car. My wife told me in no uncertain terms that I could not buy a new car until she replaced her car which had over 100,000 miles. The day after we got her new Camry hybrid, I traded the Smart for a Fiat 500 sport automatic. My wife tried not to like the Fiat, but now loves it like I do. It has been reliable and unlike the Smart, it does fine on regular gas. I have driven it twice on trips from Ohio to Maryland and it was fine on the interstate through the mountains. It is the perfect extra car. The non-turbo engine is a bit weak, but revs happily with a good sound. The Bose audio is good, but there is considerable road noise at highway speeds. Handling is fun and the turning radius makes parking a breeze. Changing the oil is tough in that the oil filter is in a very tight location, although visible."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

2012 Fiat 500 Sport

I have the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio. Very fun car!

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Unbelievable gas mileage"

Cons: "Quick little car, however, not enough power for me"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2013 BMW M5 (F10) and a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth. I have owned a Ferrari F430 Berlenetta Challenge, Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes E55 AMG, BMW M3, etc. etc. Even with my experience owning all my previous vehicles, I have to say, that this a a very, very, fun car. The exhaust is sound awesome and the gas mileage is absolutely incredible in conjunction with it's sportiness. My Abarth was a little pricey, coming in at 31,850 plus the additional 7,500 for the dealer modifications. However, I received a dealer rebate of 3500 and a manufacture rebate of 4500 for a total of 8000 in savings! The rebate were great! The factory and most Fiat dealers, offer the rebates (although depending on the price of the vehicle,the rebates may fluctuate)."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Lots of Fun

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"2012 Fiat 500 Sport with 5 speed manual: Pros: Great exterior/interior styling, excellent gas mileage (36/37 mpg in town and 40 to 44 on the highway), peppy around town and fun to drive - not a lot of power but it's fun going through the gears to get the most of what's there, smooth shifting/good clutch action, strong brakes, will fit in most any parking space, very reliable - only issues in 2 years of ownership have been a front strut replacement and a new chrome top on the gear shifter - both repaired free of charge under warranty, can hold a surprising amount of cargo for such a small car, people smile when they see it - everyone likes it. Cons: Not a good car for extended highway trips - loud at speed, takes concentration to keep in a straight line, stiff suspension makes rough roads tiring over long distances, moves around over high speed bumps; poor interior lighting; poor radio controls; heater and ac are slow to do their jobs; blind spots at rear; cup holders too small. Bottom line is to know why you're buying the car. Can't beat it for in-town or sporty driving but take long trips in something else."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

worst car I have ever boughten

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,448

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "gas mileage"

Cons: "won't start electric problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Horrible will not start hardly ever the transmission is slipping my dealership has to replace all the electric wiring the only good thing about this car is the gas mileage I wouldn't recommend this car to anyone"

1 person out of 8 found this review helpful

A car that truly makes every drive enjoyable!

By on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, great style, solid warranty, MPGs"

Cons: "No standard spare tire, depreciation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My 2012 Fiat 500 Sport (black stripe) and my new 2013 Abarth

"I bought one of the first Fiat 500s made for the U.S. in March 2011. The car has been a joy to own and every drive in it makes me smile. I like the distinctive styling, the standard equipment level, and some special nice touches -- e.g. the "hill assist" that stops a manual transmission car from rolling backward on a hill. The car is truly fun to drive, yet it gets great MPGs -- I recorded 41.2 for a roundtrip from DC to NC. The styling is holding up well after several model years and the car is just downright practical with its big hatchback and room to seat four adults. The only item I rated less than 10/10 is reliability. The Fiat 500 does not come with a standard spare tire, just a can of fix-a-flat. The first time I got a flat that sufficed; the second time I was stranded in an awkward situation. A spare is available from the dealer which would remedy this one notable complaint I have. That's the only time I have not loved my Fiat in three years and 32,000 miles. I have recommended the car to friends and those who bought one love theirs too. I liked my car so much I bought the ultimate Fiat, the Abarth, to upgrade an already perfect car."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My 2012 Fiat 500 Sport (black stripe) and my new 2013 Abarth

Small, but perfectly formed!

By on Monday, February 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, room up-front"

Cons: "back seats a squeeze (used often?)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new just over 2 years ago and coming up to 33,000 miles now. Main reason for the purchase was the gas mileage - we have the basic manual version, and get on average 44 mpg commuting into DC. If careful, we can get an average of 50 mpg on trips to the Atlantic shore. Space up front not a problem - and when necessary we can fit a couple of people in the back (but only when necessary!). No major problems. Lots of interest - and people smile when they see us!"

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