A Used Fiat Abarth 500 Is the Most Fun You Can Have

What is the used Abarth 595 hatchback like?

Abarth is to Fiat what Cooper is to Mini. Both of them were tuning firms that took sensible small cars and enhanced the performance of these, so when Fiat bought out the 500 to compete with the Mini, it was just a matter of time before the Abarth name was revived.

Unlike the first from the late 1950s, the present car is based on the Fiat 500 and competes with other hot-hatches like the Mini Cooper, Vauxhall Corsa VXR and Ford Fiesta ST. The 500 is at a small disadvantage size wise, but it will provide competitive performance.

Abarth 500 Preview
Abarth 500 Preview

Speaking of power, the 500 only has one engine size, turbocharged 1.4-liter petrol. However, it can be had in a variety of states of tune. When it premiered, the 500 came with 133bhp or 158bhp from the Essene version. Later versions were rebadged 595 and arrived with three different equipment levels and three power outputs ranging from 143bhp to 178bhp. Then there was the ultra-expensive 695 Biposto that’d 187bhp.

The average car has all of the essentials: air con, Bluetooth, seat height adjustment and adjustable door mirrors. The 178bhp 595 Competizione from 2016 onwards adds climate control, Xenon headlights, auto-dipping rear view mirror, parking sensors, uprated suspension, larger brakes, stickier, and a sports exhaust.

To induce, the 500 is very rapid in town due to its powerful engines. However, out in more open country, it is not quite so comfortable. It is rather tall and narrow means that stiffer suspension and fat anti-roll bars will need to be fitted to control body lean. This influences the ride, which is extremely firm in the 500 and is made worse by a number of the special editions with stiffer springs fitted. The 500 is not unusually high in the bends, tending to understeer more easily than rivals.

Space can be at a premium with the 500, and a number of the ergonomics will infuriate. Such as the seat height adjuster that is impossible to use if you do not open the door. To compensate for this, the 500 has plenty of upgraded pieces of interior decoration that help give it a sporty feel. The exterior has unique bumpers, alloy wheels, and spoilers which make it look the part. Then there is the exhaust which pops and crackles on the overrun to give the car a personality all its own. Indeed, there is a sense of occasion to the 500 with a way of charming you.

Ownership costs (What utilized Abarth 595 hatchbacks will I get for my budget?)

The Abarth 500 begins at around £5000 to get a high-mileage example with complete service history. If you up the budget to £6500-£7000, you will discover loads of newer, lower mileage cases, including some Essene versions.

Abarth 500 Performance
Abarth 500 Performance

You will need £8500 to locate a 595 out of 2012. A 2016 595 Competitzione with less than 20,000 miles will put you back £14,000, or, if you are interested in the particular edition 695, then be ready to cover £22,500 or more for this stripped-out, high-performance examples.

How much does it cost to operate an Abarth 595 hatchback?

Being a little car and using a relatively small engine means that fuel economy ought to be reasonable compared with the 500’s larger rivals. Even the most effective 187bhp 695 Biposto should do 45.9mpg and costs £150 to taxation. Most models have a combined average of 47.1mpg and will put you back £135 annually to taxation, however, those amounts will plummet if you push the 500 because it was meant to be driven.

All cars registered after April 2017 will cost £140 annually to taxation.

Servicing prices should be relatively cheap thanks to extended 18,000-mile service periods. Insurance is somewhat more expensive than it is for competitions, so be sure that you receive a quote before you commit to buying one.

What should I look for in a used Abarth 595 hatchback?

The Abarth 500 is a performance car, so check for accident damage. Inadequate bodywork repairs could hide a variety of problems later in the life span of the vehicle, so get an HPI check done since it is going to inform you whether the car was written off by the insurance carrier at any stage in its life.

If you need additional reassurance, then the AA and RAC offer pre-purchase inspection services which involve a trained inspector seeing your prospective purchase, for a fee, and will point out any possible issues with it.

Which are the most frequent problems with a used Abarth 595 hatchback?

An early 500 with Bluetooth may have problems working with a few Apple products, but this was sorted on later cars. Regarding the remainder of the inside, a few squeaks and rattles should be expected.

There are other difficulties with door handles working themselves loose and windscreen washer jets failing, but no real significant problems are found.

The area used Abarth 595 hatchbacks reliable?

The Abarth 500 did not feature in our newest What Car? Reliability survey, but it is based on the Fiat 500, which performed reasonably well.

It is still an expert model, and it is not unknown for owners to change their cars, so insist on a complete service history from an Abarth seller or famous Abarth specialist and be sure any modifications made to the auto use factory approved parts or ones from a recognized Abarth tuner that has a guarantee.

If you want to see the entire reliability list for town cars, visit the What Car? Reliability Survey pages to find out more.

Abarth 500 Driver
Abarth 500 Driver

Our recommendations (Which used Abarth 595 hatchback should I purchase?)

The Abarth 500 has been around a while now, with loads of improvements made throughout its lifetime. Because of this, we would suggest going for the newer Abarth 595 Competitzione using the 178bhp engine. It is just as cheap as the lower powered 1.4-liter engine and, as soon as you are past the little quantity of turbo lag it will suffer from at low revs, it is noticeably quicker.

The Competizione also has numerous updates to the chassis and brakes which improve how the 500 drives. You also get far more equipment for the cash, which is always a wonderful bonus.

What options should I consider into a used Abarth 595 hatchback?

The Mini Cooper is a very well rounded car, with a smooth engine and fantastic handling. However, it is not particularly quick, if you do not opt for the more expensive Cooper S and does not possess the character of the 500.

Abarth 500 bagage
Abarth 500 bagage

If you would like a practical car that happens to be fast, the Ford Fiesta ST is an excellent option. The turbocharged 1.6-liter motor is extremely punchy; the handling is a joy and it practical enough for a small family. It is cheap to operate too with sensible insurance and gas prices.

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR is a little bit of monster power wise, with sufficient mid-range grunt to blow competitions into the weeds. In Nurburgring variant forms (that includes a limited slip differential at the front) it handles rather well. It is not as involving to drive as a Fiesta ST, or the Abarth 500, however.

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