Silverstone Fleet Management

FIAT 500 ELECTRIC HATCHBACK SPECIAL EDITIONS

70kW Red 24kWh 3dr Auto

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Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews

Review

The all-electric New Fiat 500 re-invents and re-defines what this iconic model line should be. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Background

A new Fiat 500 is a big deal. We had the cute original in 1957. The New Millennium model that saved Fiat as a car maker, launched in 2007. And this car, introduced in early 2020. It's only offered in full-electric form (which is why the old petrol mild hybrid model carries on). And that's part of the reason development of this MK3 model has been so lengthy. Fiat wanted to wait for battery technology to mature a bit before launching this car - and that's paid off, allowing the brand to engineer in a much longer EV driving range than close rivals, the MINI Electric and the Honda e. "It doesn't feel time to be timid", says Fiat boss Oliver Francois. "This car isn't just for now, it's for the next decade. So it's built new from the ground up and it's all-electric and only electric from day one". But the exterior look is very recognisable, as is the hatch and convertible body style choice.

Driving Experience

There are two battery options available in New 500, but we'd suggest you try and ignore the smaller 24.2kWh unit fitted to the base fixed-top 'Action'-spec model, unless you really are urban-based. This uses a smaller 70kW (93hp) electric motor and restricts you to a WLTP-rated driving range of just 115 miles. Much better to stretch to the 42kWh battery pack that's mated to an 87kW (118hp) motor and is fitted across the rest of the range, including all cabriolet variants. This is good for 186-199 miles and takes half a second off the 0-62mph time (trimming it to 9 seconds). Like all EV's, this one feels even quicker off the mark than that figure suggests (30mph can be reached from rest in just 3.1s), though Fiat has tried to make power delivery quite linear so that you don't use up all your battery charge at once. Maximum speed is restricted though - to just 93mph in the 42kWh model - or 84mph in the 24.2kWh version. Various types of automated driving technology are available, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and intelligent speed limit assist. Various drive modes are available that will enable you to maximise your driving range. There are three settings - 'Normal', 'Range' and the curiously named 'Sherpa', with the last of these being focused on getting the maximum from the battery, including a navigation program that will limit maximum speed to 50mph and restrict acceleration. The 'Range' mode maximises brake regeneration, meaning that you'll normally only have to drive with one pedal, so great will be the deceleration when you lift off the throttle. But most of the time, you'll be leaving in this car in its 'Normal' setting, in which form it won't require too much acclimatisation over a conventionally-engined supermini.

Design and Build

Don't be deceived by the familiar looks; everything is new here - including the fresh architecture that this car sits upon. That's allowed for a subtle increase in size, both fixed-top and convertible versions of this third generation model being 3.36m long and 1.69m wide, an increase of 6cm in both length and width. The 1.53m height means it's 4cm taller too. Fiat has deliberately made exterior look an evolution of this car's predecessor - specifically in the light and bumper designs. Look more closely though and you'll spot sharper lines and flush door handles, plus the adoption of full-LED headlights. For existing owners, much less will be recognisable inside, where the dashboard is much wider and now topped by a big 10.25-inch touchscreen housing the brand's latest U connect 5 media system. This can deliver navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay. Out back, the 2cm wheelbase increase means that things aren't quite as cramped as before: indeed, Fiat markets the drop-top version of this car (which retains folding fabric sunroof-style top) as 'the world's first 4-seat convertible EV'. The company also reckons that the floor-mounted battery pack won't reduce luggage capacity.

Market and Model

So how much is Fiat's latest EV technology going to cost you? Well, as you'd expect, a fair bit more than you'd pay for the continuing mild hybrid petrol combustion 500 model, which at the time of our test in late Summer 2021 retailed from around £13,500 in hatchback form. From launch, a hatchback New 500 EV was pitched from just over £20,000 after deduction of the usual £2,500 government Plug-in car Grant - but that only gets you the base 'Action'-specced variant featuring a smaller 24kWh battery with a lesser 115 mile driving range - a derivative only offered in hatchback form and one that few customers for this car will want. The 42kWh battery model we tried with its 186 to 199 mile range is the version you'll probably be looking at - and that costs quite a bit more again. The spec level nearly everyone chooses with this car is 'Icon' trim, a variant which comes with grant-deducted figures of around £26,000 for the hatchback version - or just under £29,000 if you want this Fiat as a Convertible, with a fabric-folding sunroof-style top. If you can afford more, the brand also offers an even better-equipped 'La Prima' variant - costing £2,000 extra in either case. Across the 42kWh model range, you get the brand's latest 'U connect 5' 10.25-inch centre-dash infotainment screen, which is fully connected and based on the Android operating system. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-mirroring. The 'La Prima'-spec model comes with a panoramic glass roof, full-LED headlights, 17-inch diamond-cut wheels and chrome-plated side panel inserts. It will be offered with three exclusive paint shades. Inside, there's eco-leather upholstery for the dashboard and the seats. Safety kit includes big car-style features like autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree parking assist system. As an option, Fiat is offering an intelligent adaptive cruise control system, which combines automatic lane keeping and a feature that will keep you a predefined distance from the vehicle ahead.

Cost of Ownership

In volume 42kWh form, the new 500 features an 85kW DC rapid charging system that can recharge the battery from empty to 80% capacity in just 35 minutes and can provide the car with 31 miles of driving range in just 5 minutes. Buyers can also get a Fiat-branded wall charging box that offers 3kW charging and apparently doesn't need to be professionally installed. This wallbox can be upgraded to allow for 7.4kW charging at home. That 7.4kW wall box allows you to fully charge this electric 500 in just over 6 hours. The car also comes with a mode 3 cable for charging at up to 11kW from a public charging point. It can be charged via AC or DC power points. The important driving range figure for the 42kWh model is quoted at 186-199 miles on the WLTP cycle - which is close to the 211 mile EV driving figure you'll get from an EV supermini in the next class up, like a Peugeot e-208 or a Vauxhall Corsa-e. The lesser 24.2kWh New 500 EV variant (which uses a 50kW fast charging system) has a driving range of 115 miles - close to the 144 mile figure claimed by the MINI Electric (which only comes with a 29kWh battery pack). As usual with a Fiat, this car is covered by a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and there's 36 months of breakdown cover included as well. Should you have a problem on a journey, you can use the 'Uconnect' infotainment system to contact roadside assistance and the same set-up can also be used to book routine services too.

Summary

In the past, Fiat 500 buyers have shown a desire to spend plenty on cars from this model line - which is just as well because they'll have to spend plenty to enter the era of 'New 500'. Looking at the list figures, you can see why it was so vital that the old model should continue as a more affordable option - a stepping stone to this new design So is this new EV-era 500 worth aspiring to? We think many loyal (mainly female) buyers will think so. It's just as stylish as its MINI Electric and Honda e rivals and set a new high bar in terms of driving range for a tiny EV that embarrasses both of them. Which goes some way to justifying a high price that hopefully will become more accessible as the range broadens. This is no longer the cheap Peoples' Car it once was. But without doubt, it retains the spirit of the original.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeElectric
Fuel Efficiency
Fuel Efficiency0.00mpg
Emissions
Emissions0.00g/km
Top Speed
Top Speed84mph

Full Details

Standard Equipment

Driver Convenience

  • 10.25" touchscreen infotainment with navigation
  • 7" TFT instrument cluster
  • Attention assist
  • Cruise control
  • Dusk sensor
  • E-call
  • EV mode selector
  • Front parking sensors
  • Intelligent speed assist
  • Lane keeping assistant (LKA)
  • Power assist steering
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Uconnect live service
  • Vehicle Start Button
  • Wireless apple car play/android Auto

Engine/Drivetrain/Suspension

  • 50kW fast charge
  • Mode 3 charging cable with bag

Entertainment

  • 2x Front USB port
  • 4 speakers
  • DAB radio

Exterior Features

  • Chrome DLO
  • Driver and passenger's one touch up/down electric windows
  • Electric adjustable door mirrors
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Red logo on C-pillar
  • Unique exterior red finished door mirror covers
  • Unique exterior red finished front logo and moustache
  • Unique exterior red finished wheel centre hubcaps
  • Welcome lighting

Interior Features

  • 4 way manually adjustable front seats
  • 50/50 split folding rear seat
  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Auxilliary 12V power socket
  • Centre console storage
  • Eco Leather steering wheel
  • Fabric upholstery with red dashboard
  • Front headrests
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Rear head restraints
  • Red logo on steering wheel
  • Specific floor mats with red logo
  • Steering wheel with audio controls

Passive Safety

  • 7 airbags - Driver, passenger, side, window and drivers knee airbags
  • ABS/EBD
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Brake assist function
  • Curtain airbags
  • Electronic parking brake
  • ESC + ASR/MSR + HBA + Hill holder

Security

  • Automatic door locking
  • Keyless Go
  • Keyless Start
  • Remote central locking

Wheels

  • 16" alloy wheels
  • Fix and go puncture repair kit

Technical Data

Electric Vehicle Data

  • Battery Capacity in kWh
    21.3
  • Battery Charge Slow kW
    2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage
    0-100
  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes)
    525
  • Battery Charge Fast kW
    11
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage
    0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes)
    150
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW
    50
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage
    0-80
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes)
    30
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW
    Not Available
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage
    Not Available
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes)
    Not Available
  • Battery Leased
    No
  • Battery Type
    Lithium-ion
  • Coupler/Connector Type
    Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage
    99630
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years
    8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb
    13
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb
    4.8
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City
    257
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb
    190
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City
    159
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb
    118

Emissions - ICE

  • CO
    Not Available
  • CO2 (g/km)
    0
  • HC
    Not Available
  • HC+NOx
    Not Available
  • Noise Level dB(A)
    Not Available
  • NOx
    Not Available
  • Particles
    Not Available
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

  • Camshaft
    Not Available
  • Catalytic Convertor
    Not Available
  • CC
    1
  • Compression Ratio
    Not Available
  • Cylinder Layout
    Not Available
  • Cylinders
    Not Available
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm)
    Not Available
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
    Not Available
  • Engine Code
    Not Available
  • Engine Layout
    Not Available
  • Fuel Delivery
    Not Available
  • Gears
    1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves
    Not Available
  • Transmission
    AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Combined (mpg)
    Not Available
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    Not Available
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg)
    Not Available
  • EC Urban (mpg)
    Not Available

General

  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying
    Yes
  • Badge Engine CC
    0.0
  • Badge Power
    95
  • Based On ID
    94311
  • Coin Description
    70kW 24kWh
  • Coin Series
    Red
  • Generation Mark
    3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
    16D
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years
    8
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years
    3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
    Not Available
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
    Not Available
  • NCAP Safety Assist %
    Not Available
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?
    No
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months
    Not Available
  • Special Edition
    Yes
  • Special Order
    No
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
    Unlimited
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
    3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months
    Not Available
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage
    Not Available
  • Vehicle Homologation Class
    M1

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs)
    9.5
  • Engine Power - BHP
    95
  • Engine Power - KW
    70
  • Engine Power - RPM
    Not Available
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT
    162
  • Engine Torque - MKG
    22.4
  • Engine Torque - NM
    220
  • Top Speed
    84

Test Cycles

  • Emissions Test Cycle
    WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level
    N/A

Tyres

  • Alloys?
    Yes
  • Space Saver?
    No
  • Tyre Size Front
    195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear
    195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare
    TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style
    Not Available
  • Wheel Type
    16" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Height
    1527
  • Height (including roof rails)
    Not Available
  • Length
    3632
  • Wheelbase
    2322
  • Width
    1683
  • Width (including mirrors)
    1900

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
    Not Available
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
    1655
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)
    550
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
    185
  • Max. Loading Weight
    400
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    Not Available
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    Not Available
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    1255
  • No. of Seats
    4
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb
    9.7
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Customer Reviews

   
Julie Judge

Julie Judge

"Excellent Service I would definitely recommend. Scott and Holly have been outstanding. Thank you so much I love my new car!!."

"a week ago"

Sean Annells

Sean Annells

"First class service from start to finish. Great communication and very competitive on pricing. Always wanted to help and nothing was to much trouble. Tom always replied to my emails as soon as he could and always went the extra mile to answer my questions. Would definitely recommend Silverstone Fleet to anyone."

"3 months ago"

Jen Lamplough

Jen Lamplough

"Excellent friendly, advice when helping me to choose a new electric vehicle. Customer service has been great thank you :)"

"a week ago"

Sonia Smyth

Sonia Smyth

"Very professional service, great communication from start to finish. I would highly recommend."

"a week ago"

Craig Ablett

Craig Ablett

"The whole team at SFM have been great from start to finish! Aby talked me through lots of options before I finally made a choice and ordered. Holly has kept me updated through out and been on hand to answer any questions I have had. Scott also spent time with me and rid me of my range anxiety going across to a full EV. I would highly recommend getting in touch with SFM for any of your car needs."

"a week ago"

Google reviews
Google rating: 5 | 171 reviews