2017 Abarth 595

There is a trend in Hollywood where our favorite classic movies from decades ago are getting their fair share of sequels this time around. But before Hollywood joined the bandwagon, the automotive industry has been doing it for quite some time now with iconic cars. If the small players like the Mini Cooper and Beetle got their fair share of revivals, it was clear that the Fiat 500 would be up to speed for such an occasion.

This isn’t just any Fiat 500. This is the Abarth 595, a spec up version of the little hatchback as far as the inside is considered. As far as looks are concerned, it takes design cues from the 1960’s economical and practical vehicle bearing the Fiat 500 name. For those who reminisce on the classic shape, will surely love the new look. For those who don’t associate with it, may have their strong opinions about it, whether they love it, hate it, or are indifferent about it. I have to say I fell into the latter part until I got to see it in person.

That’s the thing about the Abarth 595 (or even the Fiat 500) when you see it in person: it masterfully uses space. There is nothing excessive about the car. It has no long overhangs, no excessive arches, and no oversized parts and yet it feels to have just the right amount of space for a person or two. It will kind of make you realize how much space we think we need but actually don’t use. When I sat inside the car, it wasn’t difficult to get in or stay inside. I had enough headroom and shoulder-room not to get into contact with my passenger as I prepare to shift gears. I also just had to test to see how the backseats were, and I’m glad to say I surprisingly fit enough for short drives.

So as I was saying, I was going to shift gears from neutral to 1st and I noticed something: there was no need to apply gas to get the Abarth 595 rolling. I did it twice to make sure. It might have been because of the power of the engine or because of some programming, but it makes it extra easy to drive around the city. When you add the fact that this small car has an intuitive power steering, it becomes apparent that this hot hatch can live a docile life. But enough about that. Let’s bring it to its paces in Sports Mode.

When you change it from Normal to Sport mode, the LCD gives an animation that indicates things are about to get serious. The steering tightens, the revs are more aggressive, and things get fast faster. The shifter isn’t going to win any awards, but it does a good job in deploying the throws rather well. The power delivery is intense thanks to its turbocharger power and light bodyweight to the point that turbo lag almost felt non-existent. It sounds great too with its occasional exhaust burps. In taking turns, its suspension and dampening system start to shine by providing minimal body roll in an exhilarating drive. The best part in driving the Abarth 595 is that it feels fast and enjoyable. It is what hot hatches are all about: passionate drives in a practical platform.

The Abarth 595 is a wonderful ode to the Fiat 500 with a lot of adrenaline injected into it to be worthy of the hot-hatch accolade. It is one of the few vehicles that takes its use of space seriously, enough to go by daily chores with no amount of excess whatsoever.  It does have its little quirks like its looks or driver’s seating position that takes a little getting used to, but for all that it is, it is one hell of a hatchback that will make any trip feel so alive.


Spec Box – Short

Car Model:

2017 Abarth 595


Inline-4, 1368 cc, dohc, 16V, T-JET, 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Max Power (bhp @ rpm)

165 bhp @ 5500 rpm

Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)

170 lb/ft @ 3000 rpm

0-100 km/h [or 0-62 mph](sec)

7.3 sec.

Top Speed (km/h)

217 km/h (135 mph)

Fuel Mileage (km/L)

13.2 km/L Combined

Price as Tested (PhP)

PhP 2,700,000.00 (Estimated)

What’s Great

+ Soft and easy clutch, involving, perfect size for 1 to 2 people

What’s Not So

- Love it or hate it looks

C! Editors Rating

9.0 / 10