Abarth 595 review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£16,960
Abarth 595 2019 LHD front seats detail
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Although the 595’s starting price looks like a bit of a bargain, the 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 more if you’re tempted by the Competizione and Esseesse models at the top of the range.

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. Competizione and Esseesse models add plenty of extra performance kit, but you’ll be spending more than £20k. At that price, this car is extremely difficult to recommend – the best value is definitely at the lower end of the lineup.

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. If you fancy one of these limited-run cars, look carefully at what you’re getting for the money – it makes little sense 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 (AEB) and, with those carbon-backed seats fitted, you have to forgo front side airbags.

While neither the 595 nor Abarth featured in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, parent company Fiat finished around the middle of the table, at 14th out of 31 manufacturers.

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Abarth 595 2019 LHD front seats detail
Abarth 595 2019 front tracking shot
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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