The 2019 Abarth 595 offers an exciting driving experience that’s focuses on handling and responsive engine performance, earning revered hot hatchback status in a country that’s dominated by more practical and familiar choices. Being based on a small hatchback may seem to not do the Abarth 595 any favors, but we’ll soon find out that it has a few tricks up its sleeve (or should we say, wheel arches?).
We adored the Abarth 595 in our full review, and were pretty impressed with the overall package it brought to the table. We gave it good marks for safety, and an average score for technology, being let down by slightly underwhelming infotainment options. Now, we’ll be talking about the interior and cargo space this small hatchback can provide.
A step inside the cabin of the Abarth 595 and you’re greeted by a driver focused interior, combined with some cool bits of interior trim to make it a little bit more special. First thing you’ll notice is that the dashboard plastic piece matches the exterior color, and the “500” logo is prominently displayed, either reminding us that the Fiat 500 is the canvass for this car, or that they forgot to put a “95” after the “5” – we lean towards the former. The Abarth logo is also sprinkled liberally here, found in places like the floor mats, steering wheel, and the metal pedals. All the buttons and switches for different functions are all grouped nicely, such as the climate controls and infotainment screen. The only odd bits are the window controls found near the shifter and the adjustment of vehicle controls with the buttons near the instrument cluster. Tricky stuff.
The interior is mostly black plastic, and there are only a few bits of leather to be found, which is slightly disappointing. The plastic bits are a little scratchy and a little rough, but where your hands will be staying, meaning the steering wheel and shifter, are nice to the touch, both clad in leather. The seats are also a nice and supportive fabric suitable for all types of driving. We did want to see a little bit more premium materials in the cabin, but, honestly, even some coupes share the same material choices.
The front seats are manually adjustable to a good degree, but the tall height even at its lowest setting make the driving position a little bit weird, especially since the steering wheel only tilts, making it tricky to find a good driving position. In the end, at least for my height, we had to find a compromise. Headroom, though, is good and there’s no rubbing of elbows or shoulders with your passenger. The rear seats are a tight fit, even for small adults, and that’s because the headroom is very limited. The legroom is decent, but someone like me would be hunched over and feeling claustrophobic in no time. Thankfully, this is mostly geared towards being a two seater.
Grocery runs and weekend drives
Unfortunately, the Abarth 595 is rather compromised when it comes to cargo space, leaving only enough room for a bit of grocery shopping or a weekend bag or two. The trunk fits about 185 liters of space, and the 50:50 rear seats do fold down to reveal a paltry 550 liters, but the rear seats don’t fold completely flat. A slightly tall load lip and small opening can challenge bigger items, but that’s not what this car is for anyway. If you must, you can always use the rear seats for more cargo space in a pinch.