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Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
6
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one? 

What is it?

This is the 'race' version of the Fiat 500 Abarth, with the other performance model being the Turismo. They are pretty much the same underneath except the Competizione gets a quad-tip dual-mode exhaust complete with a 'bang' on upshifts over 4000rpm.

How much?

The three door hatch starts at $36,500, the convertible is more, as is the automated manual.

What are competitors?

Ford's Fiesta ST, VW Polo GTi, Skoda Fabia RS, Peugeot 208GTi, Renault Clio RS.

What's under the bonnet?

Power comes from a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine rated at 118kW/230Nm.

How does it go?

OK, actually. Seems stronger than 118kW when the Sport button is pushed. Hampered a bit by an old hat five-speed manual transmission. Bucks and pitches a lot when you get up it. Exhaust bang is gratifying and the car is quick(ish) at 7.4 seconds for the 0-100kmh sprint. 

Is it economical?

On premium unleaded it can achieve 5.4L/100km. We used substantially more than this in mixed driving.

Is it green?

Scores a 4.5 star rating from the Green Vehicle Guide

Is it safe?

The Competizione gets five stars for safety.

Is it comfortable?

Not really. The seating position is too upright and too high, the steering wheel feels like it's in the wrong place, the suspension is too firm and the ride is choppy. Then again it is a track model. Too much tyre squealing for us - it needs better steering geometry/tyres.

What's it like to drive?

Can be fun. Would be better with the higher output engine out of the Abarth Essesse - it's just a chip and a recalibration. The Competizione is quite wieldy to a point with direct feel steering and strong brakes. Don't push too hard in corners though unless it's been properly set up. 

Is it value for money?

No, you can get any one of the competitors, most of which have more performance, for less money.

Verdict

Would we buy one?

No, we'd go the Ford Fiesta ST every day and put 10 grand in out pocket.

Pricing guides

$24,990
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$22,880
Highest Price
$26,830

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Competizione 1.4L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $19,400 – 27,060 2015 Abarth 595 2015 Competizione Pricing and Specs
Competizione 1.4L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $17,900 – 24,970 2015 Abarth 595 2015 Competizione Pricing and Specs
Turismo 1.4L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $16,500 – 22,990 2015 Abarth 595 2015 Turismo Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Pricing Guide

$22,880

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.