What’s the best EV for Christmas trees? | Top Gear
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What’s the best EV for Christmas trees?

Fiat’s 500C isn’t notably practical, but it could have its uses at Christmas time…

Published: 14 Dec 2022

Sometimes you have to think laterally when it comes to utilising the practicality of a car. Give your head a solid bit of scratching and you could release a mass of untapped potential from a car that others would write off.

Take Papa Burnett, for instance, who inherited a black and yellow Citroen 2CV from his brother in the mid-Eighties when your electric vehicle correspondent was obviously very young. He would use it to help people move house. You’d imagine a wobbling jellylike contraption like that would be dreadfully unsuited to such a task, moulded in an era before such exotic niceties as luggage hooks, folding seats and electric tailgates. 

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And yet dad could quite happily take a three-seater sofa off your hands by rolling back the fabric roof and dunking it in through the top. Bish, bash, bosh, etc. Just make sure and check for any low bridges on the way round, of course. 

Fiat’s electric 500 convertible is capable of similar feats, despite being even less practical than a Citroen 2CV were such a thing possible. It drives a lot better, with perky handling and a respectable ride that makes it a great urban companion. The fabric retracting roof is a lovely bit of theatre too, something to show off to the one friend who will be able to fit into it. The cramped back seats are reserved for mortal enemies. Shove the roof back and the Fiat 500C probably couldn’t take a sofa, but it could certainly manage a Christmas tree. 

And what more could you ask of a car at this time of year than to bring home a symbol of festive fun, a project that unites a family in joy as they vomit lurid tinsel and horrendous cheap ornaments across a spruce tree lopped down in its prime? It’s the sentimental stuff that Christmas adverts for otherwise unremarkable shops are made of. 

Sure, you’ll be pulling thousands of needles out from the upholstery and under the chairs deep into the new year, and if you drive too fast on the way back from the Christmas tree emporium you’ll strip the entire top section bare in the wind. But as far as the Fiat 500 electric is concerned, it’ll be a job well done. Make sure and wrap up nice and warm mind, we couldn’t be held responsible for any ensuing pneumonia or similar disease that you might contract by haring around with the roof back in December. 

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Now if only Santa could find himself a reliable chain of rapid chargers with the requisite 100kW of juice that the 500 replenishes at then he can finally crack on with the long-term project to retire his collection of aging caribou because they’re dreadfully expensive to run and the economy isn’t what it once was. And besides, you surely won’t have to wait too long before you see a Fiat 500 in the UK with a big red nose on the front of it. 

Best electric car for Christmas trees – Fiat 500C
Price: £32,085
Range: 186 miles
Engine: 118bhp e-motor
Battery: 42kWh
Top speed: 93mph
0–62mph: 9.0secs
Boot space: 185 litres 

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