Working at duPont REGISTRY, I have the opportunity to drive quite a few cars that I used to only dream about. It truly is a blessing. One of my favorite parts of the job is that each week I’m given a car to test and review, like I’m doing right now. Last week I was given a little yellow car to drive, a 2016 Fiat 500C Abarth Cabrio. Yeah, it looked small, yellow and typically not my type of car…until I noticed the Abarth badge. I’ll tell you this: that badge means more than you’d think.
As far as appearances go, the 500C Abarth Cabrio maintains the same shape of the base 500C Cabrio but with some added features to make it more sporty. This includes new front and rear body kits, new 16-inch wheels, red brake calipers, dual exhaust tips and more. Also, because we had the Carbio version, we had a nice soft top that extended all the way to the back, making open air driving very open indeed.
Inside, I actually had room. Sure, I only sat in the front seats– don’t expect to fit adults comfortably in the rear. An Italian vibe is set in the cabin through copious amounts of leather that could be found on the steering wheel, seats and shift knob. As far as functionality went, almost all of the knobs to control the volume, AC and whatnot were within reach, and I could even adjust most of them while my arm rested on the shift knob for the 6-speed automatic transmission.
Onto the engine. First off, this little car has the heart of a giant. Well, maybe not the heart of a giant as it’s powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter I4 engine. I’d actually say it has the roar of a giant. Seriously, this little car can be heard further away than it can be seen, even with the bright Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Pearl Yellow) paint finish. I found myself revving my engine and counting the surprised looks on people’s facing as they found out the little cabrio was making all the ruckus.
Being a small car that’s relatively low to the ground, you might imagine that it handled like a go-kart. And it did. Zipping through congested rush hour traffic was made simple and effortless, as was navigating through downtown St. Petersburg. This superb handling was put to the test when I actually pushed the engine. Needless to say, it passed all tests. The quick transmission allowed for nimble sprints, while the steering made turning at relatively high speeds possible.
Our example came with a base price at $26,695 base price and a total price of $33,315 making it much more pricey than the MSRP of the cheapest 500C Pop ($20,395). But, I will say the extra money you spend leaves you with a car that will have you smiling every time you turn the key– there were countless amounts of time that I found myself smiling just from the joy of driving such a fun car.