The flamboyance of the 595’s two-tone exterior isn’t quite matched by its cabin. In here, there’s simply no concealing some of the chief limitations of this car. When you’re staring at the available passenger space, fitted equipment and material quality in the Abarth 595, you’d have to be very indulgent indeed not to question why a rational individual might spend £20,000 on one.
Abarth would argue that its customers aren’t rational but passionate, enthusiastic, indulgent individuals – and that the 595’s distinctiveness and charm take it a long way. Fair enough. But this is – on a fundamental level – an overdressed city car.
The slightly hard, plasticky fittings, the rough leathers on the controls, the dated-looking stereo and the ‘occasional’ rear seats wouldn’t offend at a lower price. But in a car costing four figures more than plenty of quite practical, better appointed, full-sized hot superminis, they’ll be obstacles for a great many buyers. As such the Competizione gets xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable door mirrors, rear parking sensors, Brembo brakes and Fiat's infotainment system complete with a 5.0in touchscreen display, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.