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