My Abarth Test Drive Report

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sjmst2
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:26 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

My Abarth Test Drive Report

Post by sjmst2 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:29 pm

I test drove an Abarth today at FIAT of Westbury. Bottom line: Great car. If you want to trade up from a standard 500, fine. If you have a standard 500, you can still feel happy with that. They are both good cars in their own way.

1) Looks: Abarth looks awesome. The quality is 1st rate. The paint is Porsche quality. The interior in red and black leather looks rich and feels substantial. The 17" wheels, lowered suspension and slightly increased length combine to make the car look less like a cute toy and more like a cute sports car.

2) Sound: This must get its own heading. It sounds great. Not like a ricer with a fart can; like a real sports car. Quality.
I drive 100 miles round trip, and could not stand a constant drone. That's not the case here. It has a nice sound, but is subdued at cruising speed.

3) Ride and handling: Like most reviewers said, firm but not bone jarring. Very livable day to day. The handling is improved over the sport, but it is no Ferrari or even BMW. Still, plenty fun.

4) Acceleration: Once underway it flies. Off the line not so much. There is a slight hesitation (turbo lag?) that for some reason feels even more pronounced than in my Sport. Could be because it's not broken in, or perhaps because the power difference once the turbo kicks in makes the initial start seem more subdued. Either way I was a bit disappointed with the first 2-3 seconds of start from dead stop. That may also simply be a matter of getting used to it. This was only a ten minute ride.

5) Transmission: Much like the standard Sport, the clutch and shifter feel good. Not great, but pleasant and easy to use.

6) Overall: Fun car, once underway, it just begs to be stomped on. But, and this is important, it is very much like a standard 500, only more so. If you have a standard 500, don't feel like you blew it. They are still plenty fun.

7) Decision: I ordered one. Grigio (gray) with Red leather, 17" Hyperblack wheels and Satellite radio. Will look like the pic below (and with stripe if I decide to get that). List price. It will take about 3 months to get. I got it in part because my son wants my red Prima, so that will still be in the family. Also, the looks are more appealing to me than a standard 500.

I picked gray as place holder. I still have a couple of weeks to finalize my decision. The black looks awesome and white is possibility.
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Sam G.
FLU Board Member
Long Island, NY
1981 Fiat Spider
2012 Fiat 500

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