It's probably a whole lot more than you thought.
With the influx of new vehicles for the 2016 modelyear, we’ve noticed performance similarities between a few unlikely makes andmodels. The new base-trim Dodge Dart and Fiat 500 Abarth constitute one suchexample. With the Dart starting at just $16,495 and the Abarth offering itscheapest variant at $22,195, there’s a fairly substantial $5,700 price gapbetween these vehicles. A sum of $5,700 can get you a pretty decent used car onCraigslist in most parts of the United States.
For that reason, one would think that the Italianshould have quite a lot more to offer than the American in terms of performanceand reliability. It’s curious, then, why both cars produce an identical 160horsepower. Both cars have engines in the front and are FWD, which is fine for a carpriced at the level of the Dart, but slightly less forgivable in thesignificantly more expensive Fiat 500 Abarth. While the Dodge Dart is able toattain a top speed of 115 mph, the Abarth’s has its speed ceilingelectronically limited at 130 mph.Acceleration is one of the places we really see thebenefit of the performance-oriented Fiat.With two less doors to manage, the Abarth has almost a700-pound weight advantage over its American competitor.
This results in a 10 second 0-60 mph time in the Dodgeand a 7.0 second run in the Fiat. Both of the models in this comparison tout ainline-four, but the Abarth has the distinctive upper hand inacceleration due to its single turbo. The turbocharged four-cylinder is able tohave a lower displacement (1.4-liters) while churning out the exact same 160horses as its 2.0-liter naturally aspirated opponent. Neither one ofthese is going to throw your head back when you slam the gas, but the Abarthproduces 22 more pound-feet of torque.While the base dart gets a six-speed manual, theAbarth’s transmission has one less gear. Fuel efficiency is very comparable as well.
The Dodge Dartearned a 25/36 mpg rating and the Fiat 500 Abarth sports a 28/34 mpg rate ofconsumption for city and highway driving. Given these similar performancestatistics, we’ll leave you to make the final decision on which car gives you abetter bang for your buck. And if you do end up deciding on a Dart, just please don't be like this guy.