Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

There are plenty of feel-good features in the Abarth 500. Despite being based on a Fiat 500, there are no Fiat badges in sight – you find the Abarth scorpion in the centre of the steering wheel and elsewhere on the car. The gearstick is mounted on the dashboard making it ideally placed without cluttering up the floor of the car and there is a gearshift alert/turbo boost gauge on the dashboard.

Build quality and finish are impressive while visibility is good thanks to the large glass area and decent-sized door mirrors.

The Abarth 500 is a small car and will feel a little cramped for taller passengers in the rear. However, front seat space is fine for most adults and despite the firm ride, it’s pretty comfortable for a high-performance small car. Air conditioning and electric windows are standard plus engine noise manages to remain subdued while the rasp of the exhaust can be heard.

Tyre noise can be an issue on larger wheels, particularly on the 17-inch alloys which are optional on the standard version and standard on the Esseesse.