Flash Drive

2017 Fiat 500 Abarth

Model Tested: 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Hatchback

The 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth is the high performance version of the fun Fiat lineup.

Engine: 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4, 160 horsepower 183 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 28-mpg city/33-mpg highway/30-mpg combined

Base Price: $19,995

As Tested: $22,975


Quick and nimble go-kart handling

Darts through traffic

Dual exhaust with aggressive exhaust note

Good commuter car

Even better for weekends and twisty roads

Blasting through the countryside or darting through traffic in great fun in a 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth.

Decent fuel economy—our best was 31.7 mpg

Aggressive styling cues

Slick multi-spoke alloy wheels

Four wheel disc brakes

Good 5-speed manual trans, but a 6-speed would be better

Smooth clutch and shifter

Good shifter location at bottom of dashboard console

Sport mode increases responsiveness and exhaust sound


Very thick, flat bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel

Good front seat position

Driver seat height adjustment pump

The 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth has a small cargo area that is easily accessed via a high opening rear hatch.

Easy in and out

Adequate front legroom

Stretch-out front passenger legroom

Ample headroom

Large dead pedal

Single temperature heated seats

Firm, but comfy front seats

Very small back seat; difficult access


Split folding rear seats have steep angle

Very small sun visors

Excellent auxiliary steering wheel controls

The 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth is available in both hardtop and Cabrio (folding canvas top) versions.

Large digital speedometer

Small turbo boost gauge

Very small infotainment screen

Deep, non-locking glovebox

Long, narrow door bins

Tiny net on passenger side of console

Small cargo area; flat floor

Hatch opens high for tall people

WOW Factors:

Unique, fun and affordable

The 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth is considerably more aggressively styled than other Fiat 500 iterations.

Lots of character, classic sixties Fiat styling

Nimble handling; fun to drive


Back seat nearly useless

A 6-speed would be nicer than the 5-speed

Dim interior lights

Turbo boost gauge mostly blocked by steering wheel

Bottom Line:

The 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth is the top of the model line both in performance and fun. It has aggressive, standout styling elements (in addition to the standard unique design) that emphasize the car’s individualistic character. The Abarth is very fun to drive with an outstanding smile factor.