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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And I'm sorry to say I wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped to be. The exterior looks the biz but the interior didn't feel as upscale as I'd hoped. The seats still have the cheap and flimsy seat height adjusters featured on the standard 500. The steering wheel looks cool but it felt like something I'd find in a Kia or Hyundai. I know the VW GTI costs several grand more than the Abarth but the VW's seats, steering wheel and telescoping steering column make it a much better fit for me and I found myself really missing them in the 500. I'll have to reserve final judgement once I've actually driven one to see if it's worth it.

All I have are iPhone pics but hey, it's better than nothing!

Abarth 500 Front 3/4, on Flickr


Abarth 500 Rear, on Flickr


Abarth 500 Steering Wheel, on Flickr


Abarth 500 Shifter, on Flickr
 

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Thanks for the pictures!
 

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freedomgli,

You have a point. I went to the debut at the LA Auto Show the first day it opened and my Son and I hurried to the Fiat Abarth display to check it out. The seats handle/crank not a strong point and seating position for the driver was high. My Son and I went back to the car show a few days later just for the heck of it and the Abarth seat handles and hood release handle and floor mats were all stolen. It's no surprise for Los Angels that the goofers would steal your Gucci floor mats, and seat handles, but it was interesting to say the least that they could be removed without much effort apparently. The car was trashed and you were no longer allowed into it.

I'm still all in for the car, I'm just going to look before I leap and maybe I will not spring the extra $1000.00 dollars for their cheap leather seats with plastic handles if that is in fact going to be the case. I'll just sit on their cheap cloth seats with cheap crappy plastic handles and save my money for some Recaro seat replacements!

I still want one! Cheap seat handles and all!

hartmn
 

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Thanks for the quick review. About the GTI....You really can't touch its interior quality for anything under 30+k. It really is an amazing deal of a car.

With that said, I am going against everything my wife says and will buy the Abarth instead of the GTI :) It just looks too cool and is "different", which fits me well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never fashioned myself as a dash stroker but the lack of a telescoping steering column in the FIAT is becoming a major drawback for me. After years of driving vehicles where I made certain compromises that negatively affected comfort (I've never been 100% happy behind the wheel of the Mazda Miata, BMW 335i, BMW 635i, Chevrolet Traverse) I might just have to prioritize comfort this time around. But then again, a highly entertaining test drive might just light my fire and tip the balance back towards the Abarth. Strangely enough, the relatively high seating position in the FIAT that so many people mention is not an issue for me provided the car is not equipped with a sunroof.
 

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Thanks for the pics! I want one.
 

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I've never fashioned myself as a dash stroker but the lack of a telescoping steering column in the FIAT is becoming a major drawback for me. After years of driving vehicles where I made certain compromises that negatively affected comfort (I've never been 100% happy behind the wheel of the Mazda Miata, BMW 335i, BMW 635i, Chevrolet Traverse) I might just have to prioritize comfort this time around. But then again, a highly entertaining test drive might just light my fire and tip the balance back towards the Abarth. Strangely enough, the relatively high seating position in the FIAT that so many people mention is not an issue for me provided the car is not equipped with a sunroof.
I'm only 5ft8in so the Miata is a perfect fit, not sure how it is a problem but since I have seen so many people both short and tall that absolutely love them I wonder what specific issue is the compromise you made driving one? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
While I could stand to lose several lbs., I'm not getting any shorter. Despite having a 320mm steering wheel with a 2" spacer moving it even closer to me, my leg still gets trapped between the seat and the steering wheel, making heel-toe maneuvers difficult. The MSM seat cushion is too short and is too flat in the fore-aft direction, so my legs don't have proper support. I have about 1" headroom with the seat travel all the way back and reclined as far as it can go (it just touches the roll bar padding). My headroom shrinks to 0" when I hit a big bump in the road. I'm tired of my head hitting the inside of my hardtop. These issues are fixable, of course. I could install an Ultrashield aluminum racing seat bolted to the floor and I could section the transmission tunnel so the seat mounts are centered with the steering wheel. I could also remove the steering column spacers to raise the steering wheel another 1/2". But I don't wish to deal with a race seat on a daily basis (BTDT) so the plan is to make the Miata the occasional use track car and get a new sporty daily driver, hence my interest in the Abarth.
 

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While I could stand to lose several lbs., I'm not getting any shorter. Despite having a 320mm steering wheel with a 2" spacer moving it even closer to me, my leg still gets trapped between the seat and the steering wheel, making heel-toe maneuvers difficult. The MSM seat cushion is too short and is too flat in the fore-aft direction, so my legs don't have proper support. I have about 1" headroom with the seat travel all the way back and reclined as far as it can go (it just touches the roll bar padding). My headroom shrinks to 0" when I hit a big bump in the road. I'm tired of my head hitting the inside of my hardtop. These issues are fixable, of course. I could install an Ultrashield aluminum racing seat bolted to the floor and I could section the transmission tunnel so the seat mounts are centered with the steering wheel. I could also remove the steering column spacers to raise the steering wheel another 1/2". But I don't wish to deal with a race seat on a daily basis (BTDT) so the plan is to make the Miata the occasional use track car and get a new sporty daily driver, hence my interest in the Abarth.
Right on, being larger and taller I can see potential problems, luckily the car seems to have been created for a 5ft8in individual as find it really comfy even when driving for a few hours, (my max driving time possible is roughly 2 hours so works perfectly). I find the 500 isn't bad for longer drives although I still enjoyed the Miata more in both short and long trips.
 

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Your can get steering column spacers???? I would love to move the wheel 2" closer!!!

HOW????


Fiat 500 Argento Sport
think 'safety'. you're also moving an explosive device, the air bag, 2" closer to your chest and face. to me, its not worth it. BUT it would be nice if the column would adjust up an especially DOWN more. even in it lowest setting, the wheel sits up way to high for my liking. but thats just me and we all have our likes and dislikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your can get steering column spacers???? I would love to move the wheel 2" closer!!!

HOW????


Fiat 500 Argento Sport
Aftermarket Momo steering wheel, Daikei hub, Sparco spacer. Dozens of companies offer various spacers and quick release mounts for aftermarket wheels. With the stock SRS-equipped steering wheel you're on your own and I do not advise it, hence my desire for a telescoping column.
 

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I'm only 5ft8in so the Miata is a perfect fit, not sure how it is a problem but since I have seen so many people both short and tall that absolutely love them I wonder what specific issue is the compromise you made driving one? :)
Try it when you're 6'4"....... The Miata feels like a kiddy car. I was sorely disappointed... It's just not made for anyone over, maybe 5'10".... maybe. Enjoy it, it was made for you!

Cheers
 

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The pics are great, but like so many posts about the Abarth, I have to wonder about the expectations for the Abarth. It is an uprated, and upgraded 500. It is not a racing car, and it is not a $40k car. Freedomgli, I'm not clear on what you expected this car to be. It's built and equipped to fit a price point in the market, not to be a street-legal race car.

A car with a 1.4 l engine is a brave entry into the north american market; especially into the US market (Canadians are bit more small-car friendly). So, they've given you a turbo engine with solid HP and torque, and some other go-fast, look-fats bits. And the cost of admission is really modest, in my opinion.

I'm not discounting your reaction at all. I just think that people are expecting too much from this car. I've spent time looking at several in Italy, and your pics look really similar to the others I've seen. Power is similar, body work is similar.

Many of us appreciate the 500 as one of the few European cars that has come here without being made 'American'. It may even be improved in many ways. Seems to me that you are getting the real thing.

I seem to be the only one here that doesn't actually want an Abarth over a 'normal' 500. Call me weird. ****, I am weird. Weird is a weird word. The more I type it, the weirder it becomes.
 

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Hilarious. aitch ee ell ell gets bleeped! Funny, you can threaten kids with it, but you can't actually use it in a forum. Sigh.
 
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