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Old 02-04-2018   #1
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Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Greetings, Citizens.

I guess if I'm going to get an answer anywhere it'll be here, as people may have progressed up the chain as it were.

I ran a 100HP Panda for 5 years, and although it was great fun to drive the jarring ride always grated. My back ain't getting any younger.

A couple of years ago, I traded the Panda for a twinair Chrysler Ypsilon. Incredible difference on what is basically the same chassis, the 3 inch stretch on the wheelbase combined with the softer springs makes it a very comfy ride indeed. OK, no S Class Mercedes but great for a town car.

However, I'm hankering for a bit more power and the 595 Abarth with 160 BHP sounds like just the sort of thing - but I don't think I can go back to a rock hard ride. Old, back, etc., etc.

Has anyone gone from a 100HP to an Abarth and can offer a comparison?

Cheers,

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Old 02-04-2018   #2
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Had a 100hp for 6-12 months and test drove a 2009 Abarth 500 last month .The Abarth is infinitely softer ( still has huge turning circle !) The 100hp has got to be one of the hardest road cars ever built .I had a lowered MX5 that was a Bentley by comparison .Not a fan of the 100hp ( which is really good at a very narrow range of driving 'activities' - 45-60 mph medium tightness bends in my opinion ) but love normal Pandas .The 1.1 is a hooligan on roundabouts .
I didn't buy the Abarth as it has a terrifying reputation for reliability and the one I drove had a 'flat spot' I was very wary of ) My Panda Multijet was a reliable as clockwork up to 172k miles when I sold it .
Still a Volare Blue Abarth remains a dream car for me ...

Hardness of some Abarths much worse than others apparently , beware of stripped raw race inspired ones (Trofeo /Esseesse etc?) some even have hard seats !
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Last edited by ytareh; 02-04-2018 at 20:18.
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Old 03-04-2018   #3
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

I have a Trofeo, I find it comfortable albeit obviously not as soft a ride as the 1.2 lounge 500 that I traded in.
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Old 04-04-2018   #4
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

not had a Panda but the new Turismo has a great ride and negotiates the council sullied road humps very well, the TA scaraped but that was due to the rubber flap behind the bumper.

My only reason for not upgrading to the stock Abarth a few years back was; 1) the TA was fairly new and 2) it was very lively and the eco function was truly amazing - i.e. how they mapped so much torque or rather the feel of torque at such low revs.

If it helps, I didn't need the Turismo and won't use it day in day out, but the timing to purchase it was right so I went for it, also Mrs can do with the MTA box, when she gets round to driving it.

Question... what is the reason for KONI FSDs on the back only on turismo and not the front ?
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Old 04-04-2018   #5
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

I think some of it will depend on what model, thus what suspension and wheel size it has.

I have a 2018 Turismo 165hp on 17" wheels and all round, it's just about acceptable.
It has Koni FSD on the rear only, think it's meant to sharpen up the rear grip and help with liftoff oversteer.

It seems to be breaking in a little more and as the miles have clocked over, the suspension has loosened up a bit in the last few weeks.

Test drove the standard 145hp on 16" wheels and standard suspension, it was a little more forgiving due to the taller sidewalls, but it is still no limo.

And

The Comp 180hp, which was a little too firm for me, probably due to the seat having little in the way of padding under my fat arse.
This has Koni FSD all round, it's a lot more focused and I cut the test drive short, it wasn't for me, climbing over the seat bolster was painful enough, let alone the feeling I was sitting on a plank of wood.

They all tend to jiggle about at (high) speed a bit on our less than smooth roads, it's not wayward, just a little unnerving at first.
Short wheel base cars all tend to do this though.

I live in speed hump central and it manages alright, some of the newer, sharper, square humps make me wince a bit and over some of the bigger sausage type ones, it can thump a bit on the way down, but nothing has scraped yet.

The Turismo is about in the middle, it's a bit more plush and though not exactly comfortable, it's less compromised than the Comp, plus it has the grunt of the Garret Turbo (so no trouble mapping to 180+), the standard and Trofeo use a smaller turbo, so you tend to forget comfort when you wake it up.

If you're buying used, make sure you know what's what with it.
There are masses of aftermarket parts available and owners aren't shy about modifying their cars.
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Old 05-04-2018   #6
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Best ride quality is a Turismo with 16" wheels. My new 695xsr is a little hard but not that bad.
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Old 09-04-2018   #7
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

We have two 500's (2013 1.2 Pop and a 2015 1.4S) They're both quite bouncy over sleeping policeman/speed humps. My previous Alfa 147 (which had quite a harsh ride at times) handled them much better. This is most likely because the 500 has such a short wheel base.

I wouldn't call the ride harsh (the 500S has 15' wheels) but it's not exactly plush. I tend to drive around things in the road that would jar the ride whereas in a Mercedes or Toyota you might not have to bother.
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Old 13-04-2018   #8
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Quote Originally Posted by ytareh View Post
Had a 100hp for 6-12 months and test drove a 2009 Abarth 500 last month .The Abarth is infinitely softer
I didn't buy the Abarth as it has a terrifying reputation for reliability and the one I drove had a 'flat spot' I was very wary of ) My Panda Multijet was a reliable as clockwork up to 172k miles when I sold it .
The Abarth has a reasonable reputation for reliability. It is like any performance car, it generally needs more servicing and costs more to run than the more basic models. Skip the servicing and the repair costs will be big.

What I wouldnīt do is buy a 9 year old Fiat! This is just asking for trouble. Unless it was very low mileage, with the full paperwork history to back it up and the thing would have to be garaged.
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Old 17-04-2018   #9
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Hello, I can't coment about the difference between a 100HP and an Abarth. however i have just got my second Abarth, they're reasonably comfortable for what they are, slightly harsher than a standard 500 but not by much. All 2014+ Abarths have Koni FSD front shocks, the turismo gets them on the rear and the Competizione get konis all round as well as eibach 20mm lowered springs.

Reliability is also good, i had a 61 plate 500 135 for about 15 months which i covered over 20,000 miles in. other than regular servicing it needed a rear wheel bearing and some rear shock absorber bushings. Now got a newer 16 plate 595 (140hp) due to my old one being wrote off.
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Old 19-04-2018   #10
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Quote Originally Posted by AJ 96 View Post
Hello, I can't coment about the difference between a 100HP and an Abarth. however i have just got my second Abarth, they're reasonably comfortable for what they are, slightly harsher than a standard 500 but not by much. All 2014+ Abarths have Koni FSD front shocks, the turismo gets them on the rear and the Competizione get konis all round as well as eibach 20mm lowered springs.

Reliability is also good, i had a 61 plate 500 135 for about 15 months which i covered over 20,000 miles in. other than regular servicing it needed a rear wheel bearing and some rear shock absorber bushings. Now got a newer 16 plate 595 (140hp) due to my old one being wrote off.
AJ, can you help... the DRLs on the new Abarth have an outer ring and an inner bulb. I was trying to find the menu control via menu button on the dash to turn off DLRs, its not there, any ideas ?
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Old 19-04-2018   #11
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Quote Originally Posted by arorat View Post
I was trying to find the menu control via menu button on the dash to turn off DRLs, its not there, any ideas ?
If the latest Abarths were type approved after 7 Feb 2011 then it won't be there, since all passenger cars sold in the EU and type approved after that date must legally be equipped with DRL's; see European Directive 2008/89/EC.
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Old 19-04-2018   #12
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
If the latest Abarths were type approved after 7 Feb 2011 then it won't be there, since all passenger cars sold in the EU and type approved after that date must legally be equipped with DRL's; see European Directive 2008/89/EC.
What does "type approved" mean?

New model type approval?
Hasn't the Abarth been around since 2008 or so? Have they changed so much that there is a new model?

Our 500TA was brand new in Oct 2011 and it had a menu for turning off the DRLs

Thanks,
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Old 19-04-2018   #13
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Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

On my 2016 500 Lounge and 2018 Abarth, there is a menu on the ICE display unit under settings (has a cog symbol) which allows you to access the lights menu, and the toggle for the on/off of the DLR lighting is in there.
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Old 19-04-2018   #14
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Thanks all, our 2011 TA had the DLR setting too.

Maggie, thanks I will have another look tomorrow.

My reason for asking was based on curiosity, i.e. why did they insert bulbs when you have the led side rings?

In my TA I noted the dlrs flashed when the stalk was pulled, is this the reason?
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Old 22-04-2018   #15
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Re: Abarth 500 ride quality vs. 100 HP Panda

Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
On my 2016 500 Lounge and 2018 Abarth, there is a menu on the ICE display unit under settings (has a cog symbol) which allows you to access the lights menu, and the toggle for the on/off of the DLR lighting is in there.
thx, I found the control on the radio unit, it turns off the outer rings on the DRL as well. I have left them on.
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