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Abarth 500 Tested

Georgina Hague gives the new turbocharged Abarth a spin

Published on July 1st 2011.

Abarth 500 Tested

I've always liked the idea of owning a sporty little number but in reality, I'm more likely to be seen in a clapped out P-reg Punto than a nifty new model like the Abarth 500.

So when I got the chance to test drive one, I was a little excited to say the least. I'm no speed demon but a 1.4 16v Turbocharged petrol engine still appealed.

On first glance, it looks like a Fiat 500. But get closer and you can see the Abarth name firmly stamped upon it. The Fiat badges have been thrown out the window.

Being a girlie-girl, I like a cute small car, so this ticked all the boxes. But what I didn’t know was this is a cute car with attitude.

The interior is designed to look like a sports car: aluminium pedals, bucket seats, leather steering wheel and gear stick.

Bm1And if all that hasn't tricked you into thinking you're in a sports car, the engine will. As soon as you turn on the ignition you can hear it growl.

Get going and the gear change turbo indicator kicks in. This encourages you to change gear at the optimum times to help you get the most from your driving experience.

And there's another little gizmo that makes it even more fun: the 'Sport' button. Press this and the car goes like the clappers, making motorway driving a dream.

True car fanatic? Then check out the stats:

Engine: 1368cc 4cyl turbo, 135bhp @ 5500rpm, 152lb ft @ 3000rpm

Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive

Performance: 0-62mph 7.9sec, 127mph, 42.8mpg, 155g/km

How heavy / made of? 930kg, steel

How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3600/1627/1473

Anyway, this isn't What Car Magazine. Back to being girlie. My favourite things about this car are the speed and agility of it – it’s a small car with serious oomph. Plus the stereo with steering wheel controls, and the iPod adapter (so you can listen to your playlists or talk on your iPhone hands-free).

Bm3Safety is also key with this car. As a mum with a young child, I always worry about this but the Abarth puts your mind at ease. You can feel how robust it is and there’s an automatic door locking option.

As for space – this is a small car so you are restricted slightly. But there is adequate boot space for most people. For mothers who have those big off-road designer buggies, I would say stick to your estate cars.

Overall this car makes driving fun. It’s sporty, a dream to drive and most importantly, very easy to park. Yes, I know I’m giving lady-drivers a bad name here but avoiding parking traumas is important to me. For me, this is a perk of a small car that's hard to beat.

To find out more and book a test drive with the Abarth 500 click here.

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