The Abarth 595 Is Speed On A Budget - And It's Brilliant
A Comprehensive Review
This is my hands-on comprehensive review of the Abarth 595. I hope you enjoy.
When it comes to hot hatches, the vast majority of people turn to Honda, Volkswagen, Mercedes or Subaru - which is reasonable, because they are well known for making hot hatches fast, and making them well. But in recent years, a new manufacturer has entered the playing field: Abarth. Whilst they have remained out of the light for the majority of the time, today I want to show you what they're capable of, with the Abarth 595
Part One: The Exterior
I'm incredibly impressed with the extent to which Abarth has tried to cover up 595's inner Fiat 500. With matte black accents where chrome would be, Abarth have done a brilliant job making it look sport car worthy. At the front, the Abarth badge sits proudly glistening, nestled within what appears to be the smallest section of grille I've ever seen - unless it's non-functional of course.
The twin headlamp design is as famous as the car it can trace it's roots back to, thus being the exact same as those found on the Fiat 500. It has really nice satin black rims, and they're small. Really small.
Part Two: Interior
Whilst the interior retains many features from the standard 500, the 595 takes things to a whole new level. The highlight for me is the steering wheel, which I believe Abarth spent the most time on. It mixes carbon fiber, alcantara and regular leather, to create one of the best looking steering wheels I have seen in a hot hatch.
Whilst many features act as an improvement, perhaps the most useless and somewhat questionable feature is the sport mode gauge, which is useless in every realm of possibility, since the button which turns on sport mode can be found down below, and lights up when activated. It also makes the interior feel slightly smaller, which is not a good thing when you're dealing with a Fiat 500.
The bucket seats are one of the nicest parts of the car. They don't squish you that much, and are made of diamond shaped perforated leather.
The gearnob is simple, and this makes it hard to dislike. The leather boot is also a really nice addition.
Part 3: On The Road
Out of everything I found out about this car, the most surprising thing to me was the sheer speed. When the car was "launched", my head was thrown back, and the car soared to 85kph with ease. Abarth have made sure that you can hear the engine sound, and it sounds amazing. It handles incredibly well, which was expected in a car of it's size. It has a very small turning circle, which makes u-turns and tight corners much easier. It easily does a hill start, and has enough power to get up most inclines.
When you step inside the 595, it's immediatley clear that this is no plant pot on wheels, nor is it practical, or comfortable when it comes to suspension. It's firm, to say the least. It feels as if it is made of rock, and when you factor in Sydneys less-than-perfect roads, it's not a great combination. I also noticed that there is very little headroom, especially if you sit in the back, where there are seats, but they're basically just planks of wood with leather wrapped around them.
Part 4: Features
Aside from the standard infotainment system which can be found on the Fiat 500, the Abarth 595 comes with smartglass in the rear view mirror, so your reverse camera appears in the glass itself. Another feature are the speakers, which, although they are not the greatest, are made by beats, and therefore make them seem amazing, thanks to the placebo effect.
It's safe too. 7 airbags including a drivers knee airbag, and a 2008 ANCAP rating (It hasn't been tested since, surely it can't get worse as it get's newer?) of 5 stars.
Engine: 4Cyl 1.4L Turbo
Power: 140 - 180 bhp
0 - 60 mph. 6.5 - 7.8 secs.
Driveaway from $28,450 AUD
Whilst this is in no way a practical car, I am incredibly impressed with the 595. It surpassed most of my expectations, and made me smile from ear to ear. The incredibly low pricetag means that it's a feasible solution to anyone who wants something different - something out of the ordinary. I would happily buy one of these.... As long as I have another car as well.