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Car Review

Fiat 500 review

£27,590 - £30,590
710
Published: 19 Feb 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The electric 500 feels more mature than the petrol version with its extra size, but it suits its electric propulsion and feels like a solid, refined little car. 

In the 42kWh 500 you’re propelled by a 117bhp motor. And the car’s not too heavy, at 1,365kg, so it gets to 62mph in 9.0 seconds. The entry level 24kWh car only has 94bhp, but it’s over 100kg lighter so takes just half a second longer to reach 62mph.

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The ride is reasonably comfortable, supple enough to make city driving that bit more bearable. The acceleration is responsive without threatening front wheel traction out of every bend. 

What about longer journeys? 

Performance tails away above 60mph, so don’t go doing ill-planned spontaneous overtakes at dual-carriageway speed. It feels thoroughly stable and refined trucking down the highway at 70, though there is a fair bit of wind noise to contend with and you’ll munch through miles on your range countdown. 

Out in the countryside, even on lumpy hairpins, there’s enough traction and a broad resistance to understeer. But overly assisted steering and a jiggly ride means it isn’t quite as much fun to chuck down a B-road as a Mini Electric. It doesn’t feel at home out here.

Is the electric stuff easy to live with? 

The electric 500 is a great entry point into EV driving – it’s perky for urban driving without being too fast, and you get three driving modes to use. Sherpa dials back top speed (to 50mph, too low for motorway use) and constrains the aircon, to eke the battery’s mileage right out. Range is the one with a one-pedal driving style, bringing more regeneration when you lift off. Normal mode just feels like a normal petrol car, surprisingly enough, with little regen when you come off the accelerator. 

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The big battery 500 can charge at a decent 85kW, giving you 100 miles in little over a quarter of an hour. Most rapid chargers in the UK are 50kW, though, so you’re as well saving your money and going for one of those. Incidentally, 50kW is the max charge rate of the small battery car.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

87kW La Prima 42kWh 3dr Auto
  • 0-629s
  • CO20
  • BHP116.7
  • MPG
  • Price£29,940

the cheapest

70kW 24kWh 3dr Auto
  • 0-62
  • CO20
  • BHP93.9
  • MPG
  • Price£27,590

the greenest

87kW 42kWh 3dr Auto
  • 0-62
  • CO20
  • BHP116.7
  • MPG
  • Price£30,590

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