Cars From Hawaii


Hawaiian Independence Car Review: Fiat Abarth 500C

Aloha, we took to the streets of Honolulu last weekend and asked a few shoppers which type of cars were suited to the Hawaiian lifestyle and there was somewhat of a contrast in the answers we were getting. About 30% of the people we asked said they thought a 4×4 was best suited to navigate Hawaii especially if you are a tourist or looking to explore the Island in a little more depth. On the other had 60% went with the polar opposite, saying that small city cars like the Mini were best suited to life in Hawaii, with only 10% opting for saloon/sports coupe vehicles. In light of our findings we thought we would do a feature on one of our favourite city cars… The Fiat Abarth 500C.


The 500C is the product of Abarth – ­Fiat’s stand alone sporting arm launched in 2008. Its specialist team are dedicated to the principles set out more than 60 years ago by Karl Abarth who wished to develop automobiles using cutting edge technology and sporting prowess but within reach of the ordinary motorist.

Fiat Abarth 500C Car Review Summary

The Abarth name has grown to be synonymous with race bred performance, and the Fiat Abarth 500C is a prime example of this ideal.

The model’s gearing, suspension and handling combine seamlessly to ensure that it upholds the cornerstones of its founding fathers – to offer a race bred road car at a reasonable price.

Under the bonnet, the Fiat Abarth 500C has the standard 1.4-litre turbo unit boosted by 5bhp to 140bhp so it offers a decent turn of speed with 0-62mph taking 8.1 seconds.


The Fiat Abarth 500C is a surprisingly practical car with room for two adults in the back – there’s also a decent boot and the split rear seats fold down easily to improve luggage space.
Living with the car on a day-to-day basis should prove hassle free. Wind and road noise become more evident as speeds increase, but the noise never gets to an annoying level.

Most of the plastics and fabrics used in the interior fit have a retro feel which looks great and feels durable enough.

The steering wheel has no reach adjustment, but the seat height adjusts to help you get comfortable. The simple design of the dash means it’s easier to use than a biro and it has all the style you could ask for.

The Abarth isn’t really a full convertible and as a result when the roof is rolled back, you don’t get the same experience as a proper drop-top. That said it does give you a glorious view of the sky.

Resale values are likely to be strong given the car’s desirability.

Life Style

The Fiat Abarth 500C is one cool car with a leather-bound flat bottomed racing style steering wheel and luxurious leather seating, deep carpeting and great acoustics all helping to make the ambience of the cabin one that would not be out of place in an executive vehicle.

Driving this small car is thrilling from the moment you turn the key. The rumble of the exhausts hints at its racing prowess, and its high performance is shown off when you accelerate.

Using the racing drivers’ preferred steering wheel mounted paddle gearchange, you can smoothly take this car around corners without slip or slide, and overtake with complete confidence in its ability to pass without any fear of power fade.

The styling makeover from the normal 500C includes a new two-tone paint finish, while the three different alloy wheel designs complement the aggressive bodykit and host of scorpion badges. As with all Abarths there’s not a Fiat logo to be seen.
The twin-binnacle speedo/rev-counter is one of many typically Italian, incredibly stylish touches.

The cabin is lent an air of quality seldom found on a car in this sector, and it’s more solid than any other small Fiat in history

The Abarth is agile and traction is helped by Torque Transfer Control, which works with the ESP to cut understeer by acting as an electronic differential. As a result the 500C feels planted in corners and offers plenty of entertainment.

Despite being a hot customer on the road the Fiat Abarth 500c offers relatively rain forest-friendly carbon dioxide emissions as well as good fuel economy.

Security and Safety

The Fiat Abarth 500C offers the usual security features that make new cars virtually impossible to steal without the keys.

The Fiat Abarth 500C is bursting at the seams with safety features including ABS, Hill Holder, Torque Transfer Control, ESP and EBD as well as airbags including window side and driver’s knee airbags.

This has helped it receive a five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests.

The Finishing Touches

The Fiat Abarth 500C offers a top class air conditioning system when the roof is closed and an impressive level of standard equipment including a hands free sound and telephone system as well as power steering and electric mirrors.

Hawaiian International Auto Show – Murcielago

With the 2014 First Hawaiian International Auto Show still very much in our memories, we thought we’d take a look at one of our favourite cars to appear on the show.


Lamborghini’s Murcielago is the ultimate supercar with a big V12 engine. The car’s dramatic exterior design is very beautiful, and the sound the car makes when driven briskly is even more beautiful. The car provides dream-like performance.

Audi’s influence in the car’s instrumentation is obvious, everything is of good quality and the controls and dials are logically placed and functional. The car’s instrumentation adds to the overall quality feel of the cabin.

The car is only a two seater but passenger space is good and the seats are more accommodating. The car comes with a decent level of standard equipment but buyers by far will be paying for performance and the ultimate driving experience.

The car’s 6.2-litre V12 delivers 580bhp. The car boasts a top speed of 205mph and this will be the major selling point for most buyers. The car seems a bit too wide to comfortably fit on UK roads, but its four-wheel drive system comes in handy.

The Lamborghini isn’t a very practical car for everyday use. It is more suited for occasional use. Fuel expenses will be about as high as it can get and buyers are not likely to be looking at a Lamborghini because of the car’s practicality.


The Murcielago is an extremely expensive car to purchase and run. Insurance rates and fuel expenses will be extremely high as well. Repairs will be very expensive and buyers should know that purchasing and owning the Murcielago will be an extremely expensive venture all-round.

The Murcielago is only a two seater but it provides good passenger space. Even taller passengers should find head and legroom adequate. The car’s seats are large enough to fit comfortably and most passengers shouldn’t have any problems with legroom.

The car’s controls and instrumentation are beautifully designed. They have been borrowed from Audi. This is a big improvement over the controls and dials that have traditionally been found in a Lamborghini.

The car’s seats are very comfortable and passenger space is very good creating a comfortable cabin area. The car’s electronic stability aids help to provide a smooth and decent ride especially impressive for a car that offers this much performance. The car’s four-wheel drive system comes in handy providing a more comfortable and stable ride.

The car is easily accessible and provides large doors and wide apertures. The car is set low to the ground and some passengers may have difficulty accessing the car’s seats but most passengers should find access more than adequate and shouldn’t have to do too much twisting and bending to access the car’s seats.

Parking can be tricky due to the car’s low stance. Visibility is limited and drivers must use caution while reverse parking. The car’s rearview mirror and large side mirrors make parking much easier.

Life Style

The Lamborghini Murcielago is one of the fastest cars around. It provides a rewarding, fast, fun and exciting driving experience. The car looks great inside and out and handles well. The car’s exterior style is very distinctive but buyers will purchase the Murcielago because of the performance on offer not the body style.

This isn’t a family car in any sense of the word. Children will not fit well in the car’s seats and may damage the car’s expensive interior. The lack of proper space and safety restraints makes it a bad idea to transport children in the Murcielago. Limited cabin space makes it unsuitable to perform any other real family duties.

The Murcielago is not a good first car. It is too expensive and would be impossible for a new driver to insure. There is way too much power on hand for a novice driver and parking can be tricky not to mention running costs and repairs are extremely high.

The Murcielago is a popular model and has an impeccable image as a true supercar; it’s fast and beautifully designed and provides the ultimate driving experience. The Murcielago boasts a better build quality and interior design than previous Lamborghinis. The car’s exceptional interior quality and the firm’s attention to fit and finish will help to boost the firm’s reputation.


 Security and Safety

The car’s standard security features include a security alarm and an engine immobilizer. The Murcielago is an attractive performance car with a lot of kerb appeal. Buyers may want to purchase a visual deterrent as well.

The car comes standard with an excellent braking system, electronic stability aids, a four-wheel drive system and airbags.

The Finishing Touches

The car’s basic audio unit is of good quality and produces excellent sound quality.

The Lamborghini looks good in almost any colour scheme. The car’s exterior design looks very flattering in yellow and other bold, bright colours. Resale values should remain high due to the car’s waiting list and the popularity of the vehicle.


The Murcielago is a very fast and stylish supercar, it looks and plays the part both inside and out. The car will turn many heads and not only look quite impressive but sound impressive and deliver an exceptional ride as well.

Hawaiian Hot Rides

So you’re in Hawaii, a paradise on Earth. But what car do you drive? Are some cars better suited to some parts of the world than others? We certainly think so; for example, you’d be a bit silly to buy a convertible Porsche 911 if you lived in Eastern Siberia, in the same way that you might look a little out of place in a Smart Car driving across the plains of Africa. Having the wrong type of vehicle in the wrong environment won’t allow you to maximise performance or fuel economy, and will undoubtedly lead to higher servicing and MOT costs too.

So we ask the question, what type of vehicles is best suited for Hawaiian roads? Besides practical purposes, we feel that style has to be taken into account for cars that want the privilege of ferrying passengers around the world’s most famous islands. So here are our top five cars for Hawaii.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport might not have too much of a Hawaiian look about it, but this one has to make it in for sheer luxury. What could complement a 21st Century paradise more than a car with comfortable leather seats, plenty of space and a cabin crammed with technological innovations?range sport





Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
corvette-zr1_lSuper-fast, super-stylish, and a little bit outrageous – the Corvette ZR1 is a special car built for a special place. Its huge 6.2 litre engine delivers acceleration from 0 – 62mph in just 3.6 seconds…although it’s unlikely you’ll ever really need to go that fast on such small islands.


Mini Convertible
The Mini Convertible looks as though it has been built specifically for Hawaii. It’s cute and has a lot of style – and of course, being a convertible helps! Who wants to cruise around some of the world’s sunniest islands waiting for the air conditioning to kick in when you can drive with the roof down?


Ferrari California
We felt that it would be wrong to create a list of the top 5 cars best suited to Hawaii without including a Ferrari; and the California aptly shares its name with the US state which is closest to the group of paradise islands. Convertible, fast and with bags of style, the Ferrari California looks best cruising the sunny Hawaiian streets in bright red. If you are lucky enough to be in the market for a Ferrari you might want to visit for more.


Volkswagen Beetle
Ok so a used Volkswagen Beetle might not look like a car you’d immediately associate with Hawaii, but think of its heritage and the swinging 60s. This one gets in simply for all those vibrant colours.

Cars on the rise in Hawaii

News has emerged that there are more cars than ever on Hawaii roads, and there are 7% more gas vehicles now than there was a year ago. I have recently bought a used Mazda myself, so I guess I’m contributing to the rise.

According to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, there are now over 1 million registered gasoline passenger cars on the island with hybrids accounting for 1.3% of the national total.hh

Thankfully this should mean that parts and spares will be more readily available in the region, something I personally have struggled with in the past when my car has needed a bit of a service.