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I wish I could love the Fiat 500c Abarth a little more. This is an absolutely killer powertrain that sounds amazing and produces ludicrous power for such a small car. But I can't get comfortable in any Fiat 500. And no, it's not the cute looks.

The Seating is a Bit Awkward

It's the high seating position that makes it impossible for me to get a comfortable relationship with the clutch pedal. Of course I'm able to drive a 500, but it never just works. I'm making constant adjustments to my seating position in an attempt to overcome a flawed design. It drives me insane.

Still a Blast to Drive

Seating position aside, the 500c Abarth is a riot. The sound from the turbo 1.4-liter I-4 is spectacular, it gets reasonable fuel economy for something this fast, and it looks cool. If you can get comfortable behind the wheel, it's more fun than a Mini Roadster or a Volkswagen Beetle convertible.

At Least It Sounds Good

I agree with Phil about the sound -- it's the best-sounding four-banger on the market, and rivals even flat sixes and V-8s in that regard. The convertible top lets you enjoy the turbo symphony even more. I disagree with Phil that it's more fun than a Mini Roadster, which is just a flat-cornering blast. The 500 Abarth feels tall and tippy, and far less willing to tackle corners compared with most of the competition. I continue to believe that while Minis are best enjoyed when you have the money to spend on a more powerful Cooper S, the 500 is a better deal as a cheap and cheerful city car -- the less spent the better. Plus, why no six-speed? Even the 500L comes with a six-speed manual, standard.

Breakdown:

MSRP (with destination): $26,700

PRICE AS TESTED: $31,000

ENGINE:

1.4-liter SOHC turbocharged I-4

Horsepower: 160 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 2500-4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION:

5-speed manual

DRIVE:

Front-wheel

WHEELS AND TIRES:

17-inch aluminum wheels

295/40R-17 84W Pirelli P Zero Nero tires

FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):

28/34/31 mpg

CURB WEIGHT:

2545 lb

CAPACITIES:

Doors/Passengers: 2/4

Cargo (rear seats upright/folded): 5.4/23.4 cu ft

Legroom (front/rear): 40.7/31.7 in

Headroom (front/rear): 38.6/36.8 in

Towing: N/A

EXTERIOR/INTERIOR COLOR:

Black/Black

STANDARD FEATURES:

16-inch aluminum wheels

Air conditioning

50/50-split folding rear seats

Alpine audio system

Height-adjustable driver's seat

USB port

Auxiliary audio jack

Tilt steering wheel

Leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, and instrument panel cluster

Halogen headlights

Fog lights

Dual exhaust outlets

3-mode stability control

Torque transfer control

Turbo boost gauge

Dual intercoolers

High-performance suspension

Red brake calipers

Cruise control

Abarth track experience

OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:

Leather-trimmed sport seats- $1100

Navigation w/Blue&Me- $600

Black, 17-inch aluminum wheels- $1300

Red mirror caps and body stripes- $450

Comfort and convenience group- $850

Automatic climate control

Heated front seats

SiriusXM satellite radio w/one-year trial subscription


Source:

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/editors_notebook/1307_2013_fiat_500c_abarth/

2013 Fiat 500c Abarth Breakdown

July 31st 2013