Abarth 595 parked under three
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Read time of 6 minutes.

A juiced-up Fiat 500, you say? Oh, it’s so much more. 

It doesn’t take you long to understand why the Abarth brand has developed such a loyal and committed fanbase. This is a hot hatch that means business.

There are only a handful of obvious rivals for the Abarth 595 Turismo because it is so heavily based upon the famous Fiat 500. In terms of size, it's pitted against the Volkswagen up! GTI, while impressive performances figures also see it compete with select Ford Fiesta ST models and the MINI Cooper S.

In this latest Carparison review, we’re driving the 165hp Abarth 595 Turismo to find out what all the fuss is about.

Abarth 595 parked on gravel

Price

On The Road prices for entry-level 595 models begin at £17,775 for the hatchback variant or just over £20,000 if you would like the luxury of a convertible roof.

If you want to upgrade to the Turismo that we were driving, prices can start from £20,975. Competizione models range from just over £23,000 to £27,000, while the Esseesse range can start from £26,575.

Prices for an up! GTI can start from £16,540 if you’re looking for something of a similar size. Meanwhile, On The Road prices for the MINI Cooper S can start from £23,105 – putting the 595 somewhere in the middle, depending on the trim level you choose.

An Abarth lease deal through Carparison can create a cost-effective monthly payment to help you get behind the wheel of this brilliant hot hatch.

Abarth 595 Turismo engine

Engine Choices

Petrol

595 1.4 T-Jet – 145 HP – Manual – from £17,775

595 Turismo 1.4 T-Jet – 165HP – Manual – from £20,975

595 Competizione 1.4 T-Jet – 180HP – Manual - from £23,075

595 Esseesse 1.4 T-Jet – 180HP – Manual – from £26,575

Abarth 595 driving

Drive

First and foremost, let's talk about the sound. The 595 Turismo sounds incredible. The moment you turn the engine on, you’re met with a deep and rumbling groan. Thanks to the dual exhausts, it sounds as good as it looks and you're instantly excited to get driving. 

At slower speeds, the gearbox was a little too eager and would often intervene with some unnecessary shifts. However, the drive drastically improves as you pick up more consistent speed and your overall enjoyment of the ride increases. 

For such a small car, the steering is reassuringly weighty and as a result, the car remains planted to the road at all times with effortless handling. 

To make the most of your time behind the wheel of a 595 Turismo, I recommend you spend time in manual and really dial yourself into the car. It transforms into a car for the real ‘drivers’ out there and quickly becomes a lot of fun.

With the Sport mode activated, you notice a huge difference in the power and the resulting soundtrack that accompanies you on your drive is so infectious.

Abarth 595 interior seats

Design and Interior

One of the many similarities that the 595 lineup holds with the Fiat 500 is that they’re both bursting with character.

Our 595 Turismo came in this beautiful Asphalt Grey matt finish with red racing stripes (Optional extra via Red Pack) and it certainly helped it stand out. We appreciate that the racing stripes may not be for everyone, but they complemented the grey so well. It really did look fantastic. 

The attention to detail throughout the design of the 595 Turismo is nothing short of exquisite. Be it the ‘Abarth’ letting that's embedded into the front grille, the Italian flags on the floor mats or the Sport mode, which is activated by pressing a Scorpion button, all elements look stunning. 

The Diamond Tobacco Leather Seats did grow on me throughout my time with the 595 Turismo. They’re a bold design but look incredibly premium and expensive. It’s simply not what you would expect from a car that is so heavily based on the Fiat 500 – there has been a perfect balance struck of premium and sporty. 

Abarth 595 infotainment system

Technology

The quality of detail available in the 595 Turismo continues even when you start using the infotainment system. As it loads, you see a beautiful replica model of the car on a crystal clear display. 

The infotainment system itself is easy to use and responsive. Being in a smaller cabin, a bigger screen would probably look out of place. However, as a knock-on effect of the smaller 7” display, the icons within the menus are on the smaller side. Thankfully, it doesn’t hinder the overall quality of the system, it just takes a brief period to adjust to. 

You have two traditional USB ports in the cabin with a 12V socket should you need it. Meanwhile, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard within the 595 range, making it a very practical and modern tech-filled cabin.

Abarth 595 boot space

Space and Practicality

There’s no denying it, the 595 Turismo is not the most practical car on the market. Being based on the Fiat 500, it hasn’t been designed to carry a great load. 

The official boot capacity is 185L, which is always going to fall short of some of the hot hatches that the 595 Turismo is competing against on a performance level. This is caveated by some quite practical storage opportunities throughout the cabin, with four cup holders and decent-sized door bins and glovebox.

If you're a small family, you could get by just fine with the 595 Turismo. Although, you’ll have to add in ISOFIX points as an optional extra on select 595 models. 

Comfort levels throughout are very high, but the space in the rear is best being left for young children, with limited head and legroom available at the best of times.

Abarth 595 parked on hill

Model Lines and Equipment

595 - from £17,775

  • 16" 8-spoke alloy wheels with 195/45 tyres
  • Matt black front and rear bumper inserts
  • Satin chrome finished handles and badge surrounds
  • Front bumper with honeycomb grille and embossed
  • Abarth logo Body-coloured mirrors with electric adjustment
  • 7" TFT instrument display with sports mode
  • Uconnect™ 7" touchscreen DAB radio, Bluetooth® with 6 speakers, audio streaming and USB
  • Uconnect™ LIVE Services
  • Apple Carplay and AndroidAuto
  • Wake Up Screen for 7" Radio
  • Abarth fabric sports seats with height adjustment
  • Poly-elliptical headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Fog lights
  • Sports leather steering wheel with controls and satin-chrome detailing
  • Rear parking sensors (on Convertible only)
  • Electrically operated soft top (on Convertible only)
  • Scorpion sport button

595 Turismo - from £20,975

(In addition/replacement from 595)

  • 17" Gran Turismo alloy wheels
  • Body colour front and rear bumper inserts
  • Satin chrome finished mirror caps
  • Satin Grey Finished Dashboard
  • Automatic zone climate control
  • Rain and dusk sensors
  • Dark tinted rear quarter windows
  • Electrically operated soft top (only on Convertible)
  • Abarth Diamond Black leather seats

595 Competizione - from £23,075

(In addition/replacement from 595 Turismo)

  • 17’’ Montecarlo Alloy Wheels
  • Alcantara® wrapped binnacle
  • Dashboard and exterior details in Anthracite Grey finishing
  • Fabric Abarth Corsa racing seats by Sabelt with anthracite grey shell
  • Sports steering wheel in leather and Alcantara® with carbon fibre detailing

595 esseesse - from £26,575

(In addition/replacement from 595 Competizione)

  • 17" White Supersport alloy wheels
  • Scorpion antenna plug (Hatchback only)
  • Carbon Grearknob (MT only) White stripe, front bumper insert and door mirrors
  • Non-reflective black Dashboard
  • Fabric Abarth racing seats by Sabelt with carbon fibre
  • Sports steering wheel in leather and Alcantara® with carbon fibre detailing
  • Koni front and rear suspension with FSD technology (Frequency Selective Damping)
  • Akrapovic exhaust system
  • Mechanical Limited Slip differential
Abarth 595 parked next to grass bank

Verdict

After only a few days with the 595 Turismo, it was so easy to see why the Abarth brand has such a strong following. It can be such a fun car to drive and when you really dial into it, you can drive the wheels off it.

But more importantly, the 595 stands for something different. It’s a maverick, a renegade...something that doesn’t confine to the norm. It's perfect for those craving that extra sprinkling of performance without wanting to follow a conventional path. 

Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not the most practical car. But I think you already knew that. It’s not designed to be practical or spacious. It’s a car that's there to be driven and enjoyed.

Speaking as someone who has previously longed for a 695 Biposto Record edition, I understand the lure and appeal of the Italian brand.

To experience any of the 595 lineup at its best, you need to embrace that Abarth culture. Accepting the imperfections and welcoming what it truly is. A hot hatch that provides a pure driving experience that goes far beyond the four wheels it’s built on.

Interested in an Abarth 595 lease deal? Browse our latest personal contract hire offers or business contract hire deals.