Feature

The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth: What the critics say

How did the Fiat 500 Abarth fare with the critics? The price starts at $22,000.

Automotive.com
Unlike the cute but considerably “tamer” Fiat 500 it’s based on, the special-edition Abarth model is a 34-mpg subcompact “whose sole purpose in life is to be fast, loud, and aggressive.” This stripped-for-action tuner features seats with a “racing feel,” performance-tweaked suspension and brakes, and a turbo-boosted engine that packs enough of a punch “to make it get up and go in a hurry.”

TheDetroitBureau.com
“The Abarth is the macchina the Italian automaker should have brought Stateside from the start.” Its U.S.-built 160-hp engine replaces the “anemic” 1.4-liter engine in the base model, and its stability-control system includes “a truly serious track mode.” You’ll pay extra for such features, but it’s “worth the price to discover just what the Fiat 500 platform is capable of.”

Motor Trend
Racer Carlo Abarth gained a following by creating high-performance versions of stock cars in the 1960s, when little Fiat Abarths “terrorized the Continent’s racetracks.” Like its forebears, this hot hatchback performs “far beyond” its size. Too bad it also inherited that classic “long-armed, short-legged driving position we thought died in the ’80s.” But aficionados won’t mind. “This is the car the most fervent Fiat fans have been waiting for.”

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