2017 Fiat
500 Abarth

28 City/33 Hwy
1.4L V4 Turbo/160HP

You love that vintage retro styling, but want the modern tech and safety of a new car. The 2017 Fiat Abarth will let you be the heroine of your own Fellini film.

By Kimberly Phipps

Ten Things to Know About the 2017 Fiat Abarth Convertible


Maybe not the most practical car in the world, but such great style. Super cute, yet kinda tough. Small but wicked. Sporty, retro styling, now available in a gorgeous cielo blue that blends perfectly with the sea and sky. People smile when they see this car—they can’t help it. You might find yourself dropping words like “Ciao!” and “Bella!” into your everyday speech. Just go with it—that’s part of the charm. This car spawned a classic commercial, which captures the spirit of a sexy, sassy Italian beauty.


She’s got a mouth on her, this feisty little Italian. This car is LOUD. It’s as if she’s saying, Cute? I’ll show you cute. The she lets out a roar! It’s loud with the top up, and even louder with the top down. If you like a good, throaty, lusty drive, you’ll love it. If you’re expecting a calm, soothing ride suitable for long conversations, well…this may not be the car for you. Because those Italians, they’re so quiet…said no one, ever.


The interior styling is retro-fabulous. The car’s exterior color (the cielo blue, in this case) is used inside as well. And the design is super faithful to the cool retro European sporty feel. It’s just pleasurable to look at, with all of those nice curves and ovals.This is perfect for the gal who loves vintage style, but not the hassle of owning an old vintage car. Lots of bright red accent stitching in the black interior leaves no question about the car’s sporty intentions.


The interior is thoughtfully designed. As long as it’s on the smaller side (this is still a Fiat, after all), there’s a place to put your purse! It may seem like a little thing, but so many cars do not have a place for it. No one likes having her bag flailing about in the front seat, or even worse, the back seat if you have a passenger. Having a nice place for it in the console, as well as your phone, shows a bit of thought from the designers, as do the well-placed and easily accessible front and back cup holders and USB plugs. Details, details.


I can’t call it roomy. Headroom is good, even if you’re a tall driver. But be sure you like the person in your passenger seat, because you will be rubbing some shoulders. And the back seat? Fuggetaboutit. Due to the car’s signature back end slope, if you’re old enough to be out of a car seat, this ride is not going to be a comfortable one.There’s not a whole lot of trunk space, but I’ve seen worse. Plus, the back seats do fold down, giving you at least some good room for weekend getaway suitcases or some shopping bags.


Skip leg day at the gym? No worries—you’ll get your workout here. The Fiat 500 Abarth is, by design, a car for drivers who like a tight, aggressive drive. That means this car takes a little muscle. The steering wheel is small and tight, not the kind you can turn with your finger. The brake, accelerator, and clutch (If you get the manual transmission) are stiff enough that you are definitely engaged while driving.


Because it’s definitely in the charming and fashionable category, this might seem like a good car for teens. While the other Fiats may be perfectly fine, the turbocharged Abarth is probably not the best car for a beginning driver. Because of its speed and the tightness of the suspension and tuning, it’s not as easy to control as a non-spot version. Might be better to have a couple of years driving experience for this one.


Of course, if you get the convertible, you’ll want to put the top down a fair amount. The process is super easy, and completely automated. One button is all you need. And, you don’t have to be at a complete stop, either. You can raise or lower the top while moving under 30mph.


For safety, the 2017 Fiat Abarth might do better than you’d expect. It received four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and features eight airbags. Since it’s a 2017, it also had this year’s mandated safety features—brake assist, electronic stability control, and a backup camera. It also has a blind spot monitor and lane departure warning.


The styling may be retro, but the Fiat does include some modern tech. It does have a touch screen for the entertainment system and backup camera, although it’s a bit small by current standards. It also has auto-on headlights, electronic lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, and a nice offering of inputs in the interior for both power and USB.

Final Thoughts

Gorgeous design

Vroomy exhaust

Teeny back seat

Techy things
Gas mileage
Sporty handling

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