Back to Basics: Fiat 500e

For the first time in 13 years, Fiat has introduced a completely new 500. The retro field is currently only available as a fully electric 500e. As a 95 hp strong ‘Action’ it costs just under 25 grand. To achieve a lower starting price, Fiat has cut the battery capacity almost in half. Is this version worth the money, or does it pay to keep saving? Techzle investigates it in ‘Back to Basics’.

Fiat 500e 95 hp Action

€ 24,900

Earlier, the Renault Twingo Electric already passed by in this section, which is one of the cheapest new EVs with a starting price of € 20,590. For the time being, because it seems that the Dacia Spring Electric will get an even lower purchase price. Besides the Twingo Electric, the Fiat 500e is not a prize winner. As an Action it is € 4,310 more expensive than the Twingo Electric. The difference in power and battery pack is negligible. The Fiat 500e has 95 hp and a battery capacity of 23.8 kWh, compared to 82 hp and 22 kWh for the Twingo. According to the WLTP method, the 500th Action must be able to travel 180 kilometers on one battery charge. In the city that is more than enough, on longer journeys it becomes puzzling with loading.

The 500th Action accelerates to 100 km / h in 9.5 seconds. Its top speed is 135 km / h. Fiat also has a more powerful drivetrain and a larger battery pack. From the ‘Passion’ trim level, the 500e has 118 hp and a battery capacity of no less than 42 kWh. This allows a WLTP range of 320 kilometers. This version costs € 28,600, € 3,700 more than the Action. With that purchase price, the 500e is already more in the way of EVs such as the Honda e and Mini Cooper SE. As with these two cars, the emphasis with the 500e is much more on design than with the somewhat more functionally designed Twingo.

Less chrome

Where the more expensive versions of the 500e are richly equipped with chrome accents, those on the Action are missing. In particular, the lack of the chrome decorative strip on the line just above the door handles makes the 500e look less chic in its basic version than the more expensive versions. The halogen headlights (but with LED daytime running lights) and 15-inch steel wheels further enhance that effect. If these steel wheels are not your thing, you can order 16-inch alloy wheels for € 450. In that respect, too, the options for the Action remain limited: there is only one set of wheels in the options list. The 500e is painted in the paint color ‘Ice White’ as standard. You have to pay for the other three available colors. ‘Onyx Black’ costs € 500, while the metallic paints ‘Earth Gray’ and ‘Mineral Gray’ must both fetch € 700. More colors are not available on the Action.

Fiat 500e

Although the 500e Action has halogen viewers, the rear lights are equipped with LED technology as standard. A light sensor is available as standard, so you usually no longer have to switch on the lighting yourself. You charge the 500e via the ‘tank flap’ at the rear right. Fiat supplies a 3 kW ‘Mode 2’ charging cable as standard. An 11 kW ‘Mode 3’ charging cable is available as an option for € 376. Fast charging is possible with the 500e Action up to a speed of 50 kW. In the more expensive Passion this is possible up to a speed of 85 kW.

Great role for smartphone

Inside the 500th Action it is mainly minimalism and retro design that the clock strikes. The dashboard looks very tidy and there are few buttons to be seen. You still need the key to unlock, but you can start without it. As standard you get four-way adjustable fabric seats and a dark gray glossy trim on the dashboard. The two-spoke steering wheel is height-adjustable only. Furthermore, you will not have to operate the mirrors and windows manually, because they are electrically adjustable as standard. To keep the interior nice and cool in the summer, air conditioning is also included. Right in front of the driver is a 7-inch TFT color screen for the essential information. Your smartphone is responsible for the infotainment. There is a holder on the dashboard in which you can click the smartphone to control the music and navigation. If desired, Fiat can supply the Uconnect 5 system with 7-inch touchscreen for € 1,000.

Fiat 500e

You don’t have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel of the 500th Action. Driver Attention Assist is standard, a system that warns you when it thinks you need a break. In case you have missed something or someone, the Fiat brakes by itself thanks to the Automatic Emergency Braking System. Should things still go wrong, the 500e can call the emergency services itself with ECall 112. You will have to do parking at your own discretion, something that is generally not considered very difficult with a Fiat 500. If you still need extra security, you can order rear parking sensors for € 300.

All in all, for € 24,900 with the Fiat 500e you have a nice-looking EV that in fact has little shortage of equipment as standard. As mentioned, the 500e Passion is € 3,700 more expensive, but you get a larger battery pack and more power in return. In addition, things like the UConnect infotainment system and cruise control are already included in the price. If you order that infotainment system separately on the Action, the price difference between the two variants is suddenly only € 2,700. Above the Passion, two more equipment variants of the 500e are available: the Icon and the La Prima. Those trim levels are even better in the stuff, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, automatic air conditioning and, in the case of the La Prima, a glass panoramic roof. In the case of the La Prima, the 500e only costs € 10,000 more than the basic version.

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