Abarth 695C Review & Prices
For pure driving fun and silliness, the Abarth 695C is a small hot hatch with lots of character, but it’s quite expensive and isn’t practical
Find out more about the Abarth 695C
It’s a lot like an angry ladybird sitting on a cruise missile with its cute styling and raspy turbo-petrol engine, and there aren’t many alternatives to choose from. Only the Hyundai i20 N and Volkswagen Polo GTI get close in terms of size and performance.
While it looks like a Fiat 500 in many respects, Abarth has made it look more aggressive with more sporty bumpers, new badging, lower side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin also gets an uplift for the 695 over the Fiat 500, as there’s quilted leather sport seats, a metal five-speed manual gear lever, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, a circular digital driver’s display and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen.
There’s lots of other black trim, with Alcantara surfaces, carbon fibre and matt surfaces – although some of the materials used feel a bit cheap.
If you want the dark cabin to feel much brighter, you can fold the sliding roof back and allow in the sunlight. You’ll also be able to hear the lovely exhaust notes.
Once you’ve accepted the Abarth 695C isn’t very practical, it’ll put a smile on your face whenever you hear the exhaust note and tackle a twisty road
That exhaust is connected to a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that develops 180hp and 250Nm of torque. You can go from 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 140mph.
Being the size of a running trainer, driving in town is pretty easy. But with a much firmer suspension setup and heavier steering than the standard 500, the 695C does jostle you around more and requires more effort to turn.
Where the Abarth comes alive is on a twisty road. It’s sure-footed, has plenty of grip when you chuck it into a bend and the rev-happy engine allows you to fly out of corners. Engaging the more aggressive driving mode only adds to the experience, with the exhaust becoming loader, the steering getting heavier and the pedals more responsive.
Although it has its flaws and isn’t practical for most, the Abarth 695C is a loveable car that’s a lot of fun when you’re tackling a quiet back road.
If you want to get a great deal on an Abarth 695C or other Abarth models, check out carwow – where you can also get deals on used Abarth cars as well. If you want to sell your car to help get some money for a new one, you can do that through carwow as well.
The Abarth 695C has a RRP range of £28,375 to £32,575. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,161. Prices start at £27,305 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £379.
Our most popular versions of the Abarth 695C are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.4 T-Jet 180 Competizione 2dr [Xenon Headlights]||£30,857||Compare offers|
|1.4 T-Jet 180 Turismo 2dr Auto [Xenon Headlights]||£30,041||Compare offers|
What both of those alternatives can’t offer is an open-top experience. But while they lack a sliding roof, they are more refined, have more power and are a lot more practical than the 695C.
With fun on a twisty road the main point of the Abarth 695C, town and motorway driving can feel quite tedious
The Fiat 500 is a useful city car and great for driving on small streets and in car parks. While the Abarth 695C is effectively the same car in terms of size, the 10.6m turning circle is over a metre more than in the 500.
The steering is fairly weighty but still light enough to make manoeuvres simple, and the compact dimensions mean tight streets and car parks won’t be much of an issue.
However, the firmer suspension setup that’s been added to the Abarth does make bumps a lot more noticeable and could be too uncomfortable for some. The visibility out of the back window also isn’t that great.
The engine is quite punchy, but the clutch pedal takes some getting used to. Still, getting away from junctions isn’t too tricky.
On the motorway
With that five-speed transmission, you’ll be sitting at around 3,000rpm on the motorway, and the droning of the engine can be quite tiresome to listen to. Also, with the cloth roof and less comfort-focused suspension, the overall driving experience isn’t very refined.
You can get up to speed easily thanks to the punchy petrol engine, but while you can cruise fairly easily, there’s no cruise control to take the strain out of longer journeys.
On a twisty road
This is where the 695C comes alive. When you’re in the zone, the gear changes are slick with the metal gear lever and you can happily rev the engine out to make the most of the engine’s noise and power.
Activating Sport mode increases responsiveness from the accelerator and adds weight to the steering. That does make turning a little more difficult, but there’s a better sense of the grip from the tyres.
The engine makes the 695C a hoot when you’re hustling it on a B-road, as it offers plenty of power and torque to pull you out of corners. It’s a very involving experience and although there are other cars that are quicker, the Abarth feels more than fast enough in most situations. The engine noise is also wonderful from the raspy exhaust.
There’s little to be happy about with the 695C in terms of practicality, although you do have decent space in the front seats
If you’re after a hot hatch that’s practical, the Abarth 695C might not be the car for you as there’s not a lot of storage to work with. There are two cupholders low down below the gear lever, which aren’t the biggest, while there’s a slot for your phone just behind them.
The doorbins aren’t the most practical either and they aren’t lined with soft material so things will likely rattle around while you’re driving.
You will find there’s a good amount of space in the front seats though, with decent levels of adjustment. There’s no reach alteration for the steering column though.
Space in the back seats
The Fiat 500 isn’t particularly spacious in the back, and the 695C is no different. You don’t get a rear door to help you get onto the back row, and trying to squeeze behind the folded front seats isn’t the easiest.
There’s also not a lot of space to load a child seat. The ISOFIX points are fairly easy to get to once it’s in, but it’s a faff having to squeeze through the front doors. Space for adults is very poor, and the only way to get decent headroom is by folding the roof down.
The 185-litre boot is, to be frank, tiny. The opening is also very small as unlike a hard-top version where the whole rear panel folds up for the boot, there’s a hatch a third of the size that you need to load things through.
You could fold the roof down then drop items in, but you would then need to fold the seats down, which opens a more useful 520-litre load area, but it’s still not easy to make the most of. Both the Hyundai i20 N (352 litres) and Volkswagen Polo GTI (303 litres) have way more to offer.
The cabin is much sportier than a Fiat 500C, but there are still elements that aren’t made of the best materials
With the sporty upgrade inside and out, the Abarth is much more exciting to be in than a standard Fiat 500C.
You get quilted leather sports seats, as well as an Alcantara and leather flat-bottomed steering wheel, metal trim pieces for the gear lever and Abarth-specific pedals. While it’s no supercar, this is a fairly large upgrade on a 500C.
However, you’ll find that some surfaces are made of scratchier plastics that don’t feel nice to touch, while many of the buttons and the surround for the infotainment touchscreen also feel a bit cheap.
The 7.0-inch touchscreen is okay to use, but the software itself is a bit complex at times, and it may be tricky to find the right menus for things. You may be better off using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which are only accessible when plugged in.
There’s also a driver’s display to show all the major information, but there’s not a lot of views to choose from – even if there are more views than in the Fiat 500. You also have to cycle through with a small button on the end of the windscreen wiper stalk, which can be fiddly.
To keep things simple, there’s only one engine choice and you only need to pick between a five-speed manual or sequential automatic. The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine has plenty of character, and develops 180hp and 250Nm of torque.
Choosing the manual transmission means a 6.7-second 0-60mph time, 0.2 seconds faster than if you go for the automatic. But if you choose the automatic, emissions are slightly higher, though both fall under the same tax bracket.
But bad news for such a small car is that both have a fuel economy figure under 40mpg – with the manual achieving 39mpg and the auto 38mpg.
Although emissions levels aren’t the best, company car tax will be similar to most other hot hatches – so if you’re looking for a car with an affordable Benefit in Kind rate, this won’t be the best choice.
Although there’s some altered bodywork and chassis components, the Abarth is very similar under the skin to the Fiat 500. Unfortunately, that model only has a three-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. It performs poorly on safety assists, while all other sections are average at best.
You don’t get many safety systems, as it’s quite an analogue experience from the 500. Abarth models get uprated Brembo disc brakes to improve the stopping power, while there’s also ABS and rear parking sensors.
Other safety and security features include ISOFIX points on the rear seats, airbags and an alarm with an immobiliser.
Very few Abarths have been affected by recalls since the latest range came out in 2017. There was an issue with the Sport mode being activated and a locking nut not being tightened enough in the steering column.
As standard, you get a two-year warranty with your new 695C, while you can choose to extend that to three years – although mileage will be capped at 60,000 miles. The Hyundai i20 N is offered with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, while the Volkswagen Polo GTi gets three years and 60,000 miles of warranty as standard.
Configure your own 695C on carwow
Save on average £1,161 off RRP
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.