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.
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.