Car review – Fiat 500e Cabrio

More than a city slicker

Those who think that the new Cinquecento is a "girly runabout" are wrong. Fiat has done its homework thoroughly, resulting in a surprisingly mature EV.

 

Bigger footprint

The New 500 rests on a platform that has grown 6 centimetres in length and width. Add to that the larger tyres and you get a car that exudes more self-confidence and maturity.  

This impression of maturity is reinforced as soon as you start driving. What makes itself felt at the first turn is its heavy underbelly. After all, it houses a hefty 42 kWh battery pack that weighs a couple of hundred kilos, resulting in a very stable character by nature.

It digests bumps with great confidence and its high body hardly rolls in corners. The steering ensures a good straight-line stability and a natural feel, with just the right amount of assistance.

 

Pretty decent range

The 500e can officially cover a distance of 320 kilometres, which is a lot better than its obvious competitor, the Mini Cooper S E. The latter has 32.6 kWh yielding 253 kilometres. 

The British city car is a lot sportier and almost uncomfortable, due to the stiff suspension. The 500e has much softer springs and clearly provides a more relaxed drive. Without any special efforts and even with a lot of motorway kilometres, we ended up with an average of 15.4 kWh/100 km. That is quite economical. If you only drive in and around the city, you can get by with 12 kWh/100 km..

 

Smartly connected

The driving position improved significantly thanks to the less diagonal steering wheel, which is now height and depth adjustable. 

The Uconnect 5 infotainment system, which runs on Android Automotive (like the Polestar 2) and has a 10.25 inch touch screen, also deserves kudos. It is characterised by very clear graphics and simple operation. Here too, the Fiat 500 bears comparison with the Mini.

Quite versatile

For a city car, the 500e is surprisingly roomy in the front, even if you have a long upper body. However, the boot is still tiny and taking place in the back requires some agility. This issue can be solved by opting for the extra 'suicide door' on the passenger side, at least in the case of the non-cabrio.

The 87kW e-motor propels the 500e from 0 to 100 km/h in nine seconds. On the motorway, it is a bit less at ease, also because the convertible roof – which otherwise is of excellent quality – causes some wind noise. The driver assistance systems also show their limitations: for example, the adaptive cruise control brakes far too quickly. 

Fiat makes up ground with the electric 500, which combines Italian charm with a convincing drive system and clever infotainment. Now there’s a car that takes you home – and you can take home.

    • Checked Icon

      + Comfortable range, thrifty motor

    • Checked Icon

      + Perceived quality, equipment

    • Checked Icon

      + Smart infotainment

    • Checked Icon

      -Tiny boot -Inadequate ADAS