Is The Fiat 500 Abarth The Best Used Sports Car For Less Than $10k?

We’re pretty sure that not a lot of people remember this, but the latest-generation Fiat 500 was actually based on a concept called the Trepiuno, which came out no fewer than 14 years ago.

When Fiat did put the car into production, mid-2007, they made sure to stick with the Concept’s retro styling, in order to give it a fighting chance against some of the industry’s most iconic small cars, like the Mini Cooper or the VW Beetle.

Of course, the best part about a Fiat 500 is that it also comes in Abarth trim, which usually means more power, a louder exhaust, stiffer suspension, those sorts of things.

Since this is a lightweight car, it’s also quite fun to drive, especially if you’ve got the right engine. Here, Doug DeMuro will argue that if it’s fun you want, it doesn’t get much better than a used 500 Abarth, especially if your budget tops out at $9,000.

We won’t bore you with all the quirks and features he discovered over the course of this review (they are many, and you can watch them in the following video), so we’ll just skip straight to the driving experience.

The first thing he noticed is just how big of a difference it makes to press the Sport button, saying that it transforms the 500 Abarth from a regular city car to something that’s “ready for battle.” Then he mentions how great of an exhaust note this car has, and how communicative the steering is. These are all major points to be scored when it comes to this segment.

In the end though, while $9,000 isn’t a lot of money for a hot hatchback, there are other used sporty cars that fit the budget, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata and RX-8 immediately come to mind.

  • fabri99

    No, not at all. It might be a fun little car, but isn’t a sports car and you can find better for 10k, especially if you’re looking for a proper sports car. The Abarth may be good and they did a great job considering it is based on the previous Panda, but still…

  • Dr Strangefingger

    Personally, I’d never be caught dead suggesting this is a sports car. Lawdy pleeeeze!

  • podcast EVERYDAYDRIVER today (this week’s) mentions a Fiesta ST 2016 40k for $7500. I’ve drive both, and my SON works for F(iat)CA HQ, but I’d pick the Fiesta ST. Better ergonomics.

    • DMax

      There is no Fiesta ST for $7500 anywhere in the US unless it’s a wreck or over 100k miles.

  • SoloCup

    It’s not a pile of garbage .In fact, it’s pretty solid, especially the engine.

    • Iberian Rekluse

      …says a current Fiat salesperson.

      • SoloCup

        Everyone on a message board is a moron.

  • Anthony James

    I love mine. Brought it new as the funnest, cheapest car I could get.

  • smartacus

    From 2008 till 2010
    i really wanted one.

    By the time it arrived
    in 2012, i didn’t want
    it so much anymore.

  • Mynameis Taylor

    I have that car in grey. it’s not a sports car, but it’s fun. Yes, it’s small, but I have people in the back all the time. I”m 5’10 and I fit in the back fine. Doug, you’re 6’4″

  • Mynameis Taylor

    and yes, my tire pressure light flashes. tire pressure monitor keeps breaking. The sport button tightens the steering and makes holds the gears longer. The shade totally blocks out the sun. It’s a fun car, lots of character.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    I’d get a Punto Abarth at that price. Much more stable and solid. And, there is an Abarth kit bringing the horses to 180.

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