Ok, so I hit project overload with the Wartburg, the YFH Yugo, the Studebaker truck resto and trying to keep up with the DD twins an 01 BMW Wagon and a 91 Miata. I decided to retire the twins and sell the truck and get to a new DD that didnt have to get wrenched on every weekend so I could focus on the YFH and Wartburg. I had gone and tested out a Fiat 500 Sport as a new DD. This was a car I really wanted to like but I walked away with a "meh" feeling. It just wasn't enough to part me and my money. I really wanted to test an Abarth, just to see if it was any better, but that had to wait until friday to make the trek out to PA to a dealer that had one on the lot. In the interim I looked at other options and hey, same motor different package why not a Dart.
I left with the feeling that I would end up liking the Dart more than I wanted to and that the Abarth would not be able to justify the extra cost.
So my afternoon started with a trip to the local mom and pop Dodge dealer. We bought a used car there a few years ago for my wife and I really liked the place, no nonsense, small town dealer. They had a nice blue Dart SXT/Rallye there with the 6 speed and 1.4 multi air turbo.
Wow, what a great car, dodge is back in the game with this one. Very roomy, drives nice, turbo is a bit laggy but was nice in its powerband. And it was priced very well. 5 year/100k warranty is a big draw since I log 30k a year and overall I really liked it. Dealer was straight forward with the numbers and was offering $500 off invoice. I told him from the start I had to get the Abarth out of my system so he was very good about letting me go and said just call once I knew.
So on to the Fiat dealer. Visually I just love the car, black, red stripes...hate the red mirror caps but that's changeable. Nicely optioned just about the way I'd order it if I wanted to.
Now, let me just stop with a word of advice to anyone who thinks they might be interested in an Abarth....don't drive it...don't even let them....wait, no, especially don't let them start the engine.
HOLY CRAP!! How do they make that little 4 banger make those noises? Dodge needs to immediately put that exhaust on the Dart, or someone in the aftermarket needs to knock it off. It is auditory sex. Oh wait, we still have to drive it dont we? Let's just cut to the chase....
I call her Isabella, and she is mine.
Soooo much fun to drive, handling is great, the power is good, laggy but not if you drive it like and Italian car should be driven...high in the rev range. I rarely let cars be an emotional decision but I'd be lying if I said that didnt factor in a bit.
On the upside, I had emailed their internet department before going and they quoted me $1000 off MSRP....No one is selling these below MSRP, the last dealer I was at still had a $9000 "market adjustment" on theirs and it was sold by the time I got there (I just wanted to drive it, no way I'd pay that markup) So I showed the email to the salesman and he said they screwed up, someone apparently didn't know they dont discount Abarths. I didn't raise a fuss, I knew they didn't discount them but I figured it was worth a shot. Still he comes back and says, the quote was wrong, but we'll honor it. Great dealer, great experience, GREAT car!
TLDR...Dodge Dart, great car, logical choice, would buy. Abarth, makes me feel funny in my special bits, did buy.
And FWIW I have a 91 Miata for sale if anyone is lookin