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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth

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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Review

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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.

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
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.

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
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

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

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

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2014 FIAT 500 Abarth Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 138 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

a great drivers car, not a lounge on wheels

By on Monday, May 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, tiny terror"

Cons: "it really is a car for one or two people"

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

"My 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth makes me smile every time I drive it. Get the manual transmission, it's a great match to the power of the engine and amazingly engaging to use. Rear seats are for only very short trips. Cargo space quite good with the rear seats folded down. I'm showing my age, but this car reminds me of all the great little european cars that years ago were available in the U.S. A great ride doesn't have to be about status always."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

A tiny race car!

By on Friday, May 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun car, great on gas"

Cons: "Cost to maintain, availability of parts,"

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

"I've owned and driven Mercedes, BMW's and Volvo, I was on a search to replace my old Volvo C30 and I stumbled across my Fiat while I was looking at a Mini.This car handles amazing, I bought it in a manual this car is loads of fun to drive you can really feel the road and it responds well. The bit of power that you get from the turbo is nice especially in Houston traffic merging and darting and zipping between places is a breeze. Sadly after my old mechanic passed away finding a new mechanic to even to basic maintenance on this car has been a pain in the butt Most people haven't even heard of Fiat be prepared to find your own parts/oil otherwise an average of $80 for an oil change. This car compared to my Volvo which sat lower has a little bit of road noise and you can feel bumps as well but nothing too extreme. Cargo space isn't too bad but you cannot purchase anything too long otherwise it won't fit of course. I am 5'10 and my dad is 6'9 we both fit comfortably in the car with out any issues. Do not buy one of these used as they don't hold their value too well, Great commuter car and great road trip car for a small group."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome City Car!

By on Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive in the city!"

Cons: "You feel every bump! LOL"

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

"I bought my FIAT because living in the city you have a lot of parallel parking, smaller roads and you have to be quick to cut in if you want to get anywhere! With the amount of potholes in DC, I do feel the bump in the car, but I love the interior and my sun roof, it's just such a fun car on the interior and exterior! I have loved owning my FIAT for every second. I have not had any issues with my car (knock on wood) and I love how it speeds up pretty quick and I can whip in and out of anywhere! Highly suggest!! I only have to spend $25 dollars max every 1.5-2 weeks and I drive it for work and all over on the weekends!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Cute Little Car

By on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,444

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "really good on gas, fun to drive"

Cons: "maintenance is a pain"

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

"I've not had any problems with this car mechanically. The cosmetics issues were covered under warranty, so that's been fine as well. I love my little car!"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Thought I miss my Escort, Nah, Fiat is Awesome!

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 360,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Super Fun to Drive, Good Gas Mileage,"

Cons: "N/A"

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

"I have had this car for a little over a year now, and I just love it. It runs super smooth and I get great gas mileage (mine is a manual transmission). I just putz around town in mine and it is great for that. This car is definitely a commuter car, nothing more. I have driven it on ice and snow, since the past couple winters have been rough. I have to say this car does very well on ice and snow. My car prior to this one did not have the Bluetooth and the auxiliary jack for the music, so this has been a pleasure to have and I really enjoy it! Has a nice sound system as well. I totally recommend this car to anyone who is looking for a good solid commuter car."

17 people out of 19 found this review helpful

I love My Fiat 500 Lounge

By on Sunday, October 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Economical, comfortable,easy to park, Strong engin"

Cons: "none"

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

"My Fiat 500 Lounge has given me approximately 300 Miles per tank and my Gas Tank fills up with 10 Gallons. Economical, I have a Sports button so when I need more power I just press the SPORTS Button and my car turns into a super Fiat, I just don't keep it all the time or uses more gas. My Fiat seems to get better, the sound system is BOSE and it cant get better than that. It's comfortable I feel very safe while driving it and love my blue tooth with voice command, Call mom and I don't have to worry about picking up cell car just calls mom. I am so grateful for my FIAT."

18 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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