Let’s face it, if you’re not an enthusiast or a fan of the idea of owning a performance vehicle, there’s a good chance that you won’t be sold or won over by the driving experience or history of a car. There are also those buyers that believe that the best kind of technology is the kind that works in the background, creating a seamless experience, and adding to the overall ownership experience. To tell you the truth, if you’re looking for a technological powerhouse, maybe the 2019 Abarth 595 isn’t for you.
That’s not to say that it lacks some key features, it’s just that there are bits of execution and design choices that can be questionable, especially when you’re paying top peso. We did give the car an excellent review based on the overall driving and four day ownership experience, but it isn’t perfect; the quirks do come through. Let’s take a closer look at what the 2019 Abarth 595 brings to the table.
Great in some places, not so in others
The Abarth 595 in manual comes equipped with a decent number of standard features despite being the base model. Things like a basic Uconnect interface is included, but it isn’t particularly large, especially by today’s standards. The screen’s graphics are a bit dated, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto aren’t supported. You do have bluetooth and USB inputs, and the six speaker setup is decent, but upgrading to the higher variants get you a BeatsAudio sound system. Thankfully, the infotainment works easily and connects quickly, and that’s good enough for anyone who just wants to play music on the go.
Another quirk we noticed is that there is an adjustment for the headlight level, but it uses the same small buttons on the instrument cluster for the trip meters. In fact, these same buttons can access you vehicle settings while the car is stopped, and the small screen and fiddly arrangement of the menus make it confusing and a pain to adjust things like brightness, unlocking of doors, and so on. Why they didn’t just integrate it into the infotainment, we have no idea. Needless to say, we didn’t get to adjust our headlights.
Don’t worry, as the Abarth 595 isn’t all negative. Despite not having automatic headlights, you get nice HID headlights to light up your night drives, and an auto dimming rearview mirror. Automatic climate control is also standard, and you get steering wheel audio controls, too. You also have a sport mode which significantly increases throttle response and engine mapping. The instrument cluster is unique and the standalone boost gauge is a very nice touch, and the graphics and numbering for these are race inspired. You also have a single USB port and a 12V socket in front. You also get reverse parking sensors, and, being a small car, a camera really isn’t needed. In essence, you get the basics covered, with a little extra here and there, leaving you to just focus on the handling and performance of this tiny rocket. That said, it isn’t for everyone anyway.
Big safety, small package
The Abarth 595 comes with seven airbags (yes, including one for the driver’s knees), creating a good cocoon of safety for a car of this size. You also have ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution, coupled with traction control to mitigate wheelspin on slippery surfaces. ISOFIX mounting points can be found at the rear, and three point seatbelts are standard all around, together with speed sensing door locks. Visibility is also pretty good, as the seat is higher than expected, so seeing out of the windows and nicely sized mirrors is a plus. The great brake pedal feel and performance braking system also help bring this car to a stop pretty quickly.