Finding the best side of an Abarth 500 is as hard as finding a needle in a haystack or Waldo. The funky retro bits you can observe on both the exterior and the interior of the car are of course, overwhelming. The rather involving handling and the punchy 1.4-liter engine are also things to brag, but it certainly doesn't set the mark in its segment, especially after we first experimented the Essesse version. To make things simpler though, we chose the design. There's nothing like the feeling when everywhere you park people stop you to congratulate for your choice in cars. We couldn't find a single person not to appreciate the way it looks, with the addition that women like the overall cuteness while guys usually complement the sporty Abarth design bits.
As far as the bad parts about it, we should probably go with the fact that the Abarth version also inherits some too many parts from the Fiat 500 donor, including the rather inconsistent five-speed transmission stick. Another bad part is probably the pretty large turning circle, which kind of diminishes its "small car" credentials.
The ugly bit about the Abarth 500 is most likely the fact that there's also an Essesse variant of it. Sure, the normal Abarth is all fine and dandy, but once you climb in an Essesse it feels much, much more mellow. So, for whomever can live with the hard-as-a-rock suspension setup or the constant exhaust rumble of the Esseesse, we would probably suggest that variant instead of the entry-level one. It's much more involving from the driver's point of view, which is what Abarths from the past were all about. Continue reading