Cost & verdict

Abarth 595 review

What Car? Target Price:£15,980
Search new deals
Abarth 595
Review continues below...
8 Mar 2017 10:10 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:55

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Although the starting price looks like a bit of a bargain, a Volkswagen Up GTI is even cheaper if you’re buying outright. It’s also worth bearing in mind that it’s easy to spend a lot over that starting price on one of the top-tier variants.

That said, even the entry-level 595 gets plenty of kit, including air-con, a 5.0in touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and 3.5mm connections, twin exhaust pipes, a sporty bodykit and sports seats.

Turismo models get more power, better rear dampers, upgraded brakes, different wheels, rear parking sensors, climate control, leather seats and tinted rear windows. It’s well worth considering if you want more pace and luxury. The range-topping Competizione adds plenty of extra performance kit, but you’ll be spending more than £20k.

It’s also worth mentioning that Abarth always seems to have at least one limited edition for the 595. While some are pretty good value, others are eye-wateringly expensive given the Fiat 500 base. If you fancy one of these limited-run cars, look carefully at what you’re getting for the money – you don’t want to spend thousands on a garish paint job and flashy wheels.

The 595 has a decent line-up of safety equipment, including seven airbags, anti-whiplash headrests and electronic stability control. It’s a shame that there’s no option of automatic emergency braking and, with those carbon-backed seats fitted, you have to forgo front side airbags.

While neither the 595 nor Abarth featured in our most recent reliability survey, parent company Fiat has a pretty poor reliability record, ranking 24th out of 32 manufacturers.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

 

Abarth 595
open the gallery12 Images

Verdict

The Abarth 595 is startlingly quick and wonderfully stylish, but there are rivals that are both cheaper and better to drive

  • Exquisite design details
  • Impressive straight-line performance
  • Nimble on country roads
  • Not as involving to drive as rivals
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Expensive to buy
There are 4 trims available for the 595 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
595
Even the entry-level 595 is reasonably well equipped, coming with 16in alloy wheels, air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a multi-function steering wheel as standard...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£15,980
View Trim
Trofeo
This is a limited edition that provides a cheaper way to get the Turismo’s 163bhp engine, thanks to less standard equipment...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£18,480
View Trim
Turismo
Turismo models get more power than the standard car, better rear dampers, upgraded brakes, different wheels, rear parking sensors, climate control, leather seats and tinted rear windows. It’s well...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,180
View Trim
Competizione
This is the performance flagship of the regular 595 range and comes with a 178bhp version of the 1.4-litre turbo, upgraded suspension, bigger brakes and a rorty exhaust system. Pricey, but easily t...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,280
View Trim