Even though the Abarth 500 looks and almost feels race-ready, we weren't expecting any problems arising from this during our city driving stint. Turns out we were quite right on this subject. The overall petite size of the car in both length and width makes fitting between cars in a parking lot a breeze.
Also, the overall visibility is better than average since you sit in a rather high position ofr such a small car, while the rear view mirrors are decently sized. Okay, so parking is easy, visibility is great, what about the rest? Well, despite being such a good contender for a city car, the Abarth has is downsides as well.
The biggest gripe we had with it was a surprisingly big turning radius, especially for a car about half the size of a regular sedan. We don't have any official numbers concerning this fact for the Abarth version, but it sure looked to be quite a bit bigger than the 9.3 meters (30.5 feet) required for the regular Fiat 500.
As far as the fuel consumption goes, we were surprised to find out it wasn't that different from the official numbers. Fiat states it should use 8.5 liters per 100 kilometers (US 27.7 mpg). We achieved between 9.1 and 12 liters per 100 kilometers (between US 25.8 mpg and 19.6 mpg), which obviously is depending on the traffic conditions and the weight of your right foot.
Another slight quarrel was the fact that the front bumper sits mighty close to the ground, therefore the ground clearance is just a tad higher than that of a Ferrari. In other words, you should be more careful when parking head on towards a curb or when tackling "sleeping policemen".
Other than that, the 500 feels like it was made for strolling around town in second gear, leaving first from traffic lights and other such types of "hooning". It can also be used just like any other minicar, for doing short errands or shopping without even a single fuss about it. Almost like having two small cars in one. A regular one and its evil twin brother in a single package. Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
Well aren't we in a jolly good mood lately? What's up with this substitute of a Barbie car in the front of my porch? Are you trying to get me mob lynched (with pitchforks and everything) by my redneck neighbors?
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