2024 Fiat 500e Review: Fashion-Forward Urban EV with a Charismatic Edge

2024 Fiat 500e Review: Fashion-Forward Urban EV with a Charismatic Edge

Analysis: The latest electric offering, the 2024 Fiat 500e, captivates urban commuters

Fiat’s new electric entry for 2024, the 500e, maintains the three-door hatchback design that echoes the look of its predecessor, the Fiat 500, which was available in the U.S. from 2012 to 2019. Currently, this model is exclusively electric-powered. Fiat’s strategy for the 500e is to position it not just as a compact, limited-distance electric vehicle, but also as a stylish lifestyle choice.

Last week, we spent three hours maneuvering the 500e in the bustling streets of Miami, which allowed us to experience its advantages in nimble city driving. Although it doesn’t have the explosive speed that some electric vehicles provide, its lively performance and diminutive size let it slip into spots that are too tight for even the smaller SUVs.

Regrettably, our evaluation of the latest 500e’s driving dynamics, reminiscent of the fun-to-drive 2013-2019 model exclusive to California and Oregon, remains incomplete. Miami’s landscape, devoid of hills and plagued with heavy traffic, provided us with a mere singular broad curve over a highway to gauge performance; the vehicle handled adequately. A thorough assessment awaits, pending an opportunity to navigate the vehicle through more challenging terrains with hills and sharp turns.

In summary, the 500e offers an enjoyable driving experience with an electric vehicle that’s priced fairly, kicking off at $34,095 for the ‚Red‘ entry-level variant. However, its official range of 149 miles as per EPA might deter potential buyers who ought to give it more thought. Considering its compact dimensions and travel distance, Fiat’s leadership acknowledges that the 500e isn’t expected to top sales charts—implying it might be an uncommon sight in certain areas of the nation. Rather, this vehicle serves as an exploration into Fiat’s future direction in the American market.

The upcoming electric version of the Fiat

Upcoming 2024 model of

Upcoming 2024 model of

The latest 2024 Fiat 500e is immediately recognizable as a member of the Fiat 500 family. It has grown modestly in size, stretching 2.4 inches in length and expanding 2.2 inches in width, but maintains the familiar upright-coupe design and compact front. The front maintains its characteristic „moustache“ design, while the round headlights are innovatively half-integrated into the front panel with a luminous crescent completing the design on the hood. The vehicle now sports larger 17-inch wheels fitted with slimmer tires compared to the 15-inch ones on the previous version, providing a more mature aesthetic without compromising its charming proportions.

The car’s cabin features predominantly black plastic elements with the Fiat emblem recurring in the gray sections of the seats. The majority of these plastic surfaces are rigid rather than cushioned, yet they have been given a textured finish to enhance their appearance. The dashboard of our red model showcased red plastic accents, nodding to the metallic dash of the classic 500, revamped to comply with modern safety standards that were non-existent back in the day.

The 2024 model of the

Every vehicle comes with a standard 7.0-inch digital display for the driver’s gauges and a 10.3-inch touchscreen in the middle for the UConnect 5 radio system. The switches to adjust the driving settings and the sound system’s loudness are located on the central console.

The upcoming Fiat 500e, set to release in 2024, isn’t designed to take the place of a family-sized SUV. Instead, it serves as an ideal additional vehicle, perfect for daily commutes or as the main car for an individual or a duo residing in a compact city environment.

Urban suitability of the 500e’s range and speed

This vehicle comes equipped with a 42 kwh battery (37 kwh effectively usable), comprised of Samsung-produced cells from Poland. It operates an 87-kw motor (equivalent to 117 horsepower) that propels the front wheels and boasts a torque of 162 lb-ft. Unlike its predecessors, the latest 500e model does not feature a front trunk. Instead, this area houses the 12-volt battery, charging equipment, power electronics, and naturally, the motor itself.

Upcoming 2024 model of

It’s quite clear that if Fiat wants to, they could easily fit a transverse engine and transmission into the available area. Speculation indicates they might do just that. However, as of this moment, the 2024 model of the 500 is exclusively electric.

The vehicle lacks traditional „Start“ or „power“ buttons and becomes operational as soon as the driver is seated and has fastened their seatbelt. To select Park, Reverse, Neutral, or Drive, there are sleek black buttons situated at the bottom of the central dashboard, just beneath a handy compartment for charging phones. A feature that Fiat takes great pride in is the unique sound system; when driving under 20 mph, it emits the legally required sound to alert pedestrians. However, upon reaching speeds beyond 20 mph for the first time, it plays a bespoke melody named „The Song of 500.“ Although it’s quite faint and easier to perceive near a solid concrete wall that can echo the sound, it is unmistakably present.

Fiat states that their vehicle can go from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, however, the time it takes to reach 30 mph, which is likely more relevant for city driving, is a swift 3.1 seconds. Overall, it’s quite appropriate for navigating through the city. Nevertheless, one can’t help but be curious about the possibility of a more robust and enjoyable Abarth model. As of now, there’s no news regarding such a variant, as Fiat officials have clearly stated. The maximum speed the car can achieve is 94 mph.

Upcoming 2024 model of

There are three different modes for operating the vehicle: Standard, Distance, and Guide. The Standard mode allows the electric vehicle to perform similarly to a traditional gas-powered vehicle, with minimal regenerative braking.

Additionally, the 500e offers a Range mode that enhances the regenerative braking system, enabling the vehicle to come to a complete stop using just the accelerator pedal, although ample space is required. Our experience with the 500e’s regenerative braking revealed it to be quite mild. Mastering the timing for releasing the accelerator to allow the vehicle to come to a halt on its own required some getting used to. Initially, the car slowed down so gradually that we found ourselves pressing the brake pedal hard to prevent a collision with the vehicle in front. While it’s something that can be adapted to over time, it’s worth noting that electric vehicles with more robust capabilities typically exhibit stronger regenerative braking, which wasn’t the case with this model.

In essence, the Sherpa setting functions as a conservation mode, dialing back the output from 87 kilowatts (117 horsepower) to 67 kilowatts (90 horsepower). It also disables the heating and cooling systems, though they can be reactivated, and limits top speed to just over 50 miles per hour. Surprisingly, operating in Sherpa mode is not as limiting as one would think, provided that you maintain an assertive driving style and your speed requirements do not exceed 50 mph.

The Sherpa setting was likely suitable for the entire journey we took in the Fiat 500e, as it was fully within city limits, spanned only 30 miles, and reached speeds no greater than 50 mph. Throughout this stretch, the battery’s full charge decreased to 81%, and the initially projected distance of 119 miles only dropped to 116 miles by the end of the drive. Naturally, these are ideal conditions to maximize the distance the 500e can cover on a single charge.

The car delivers a satisfactory performance, but it truly shines when maneuvering in limited areas. Its ability to turn within a mere 31.5 feet makes it a breeze to fit into compact parking spots. Additionally, the vehicle’s curb weight is a mere 2,950 pounds, which is 50 pounds less than the previous, smaller 500e model, ensuring it feels quite manageable when driving.

2024 model of the Fiat

Upcoming 2024 model of

2024 Model of the Fiat

The 500e has room for two grown-ups, a couple of small kids, and a single beverage. To open the 500e, you have to press an electronic button hidden under the slot where the door „handle“ would be. First-time users must get the hang of pressing the circular button located on the door’s armrest to activate the electric lock and get out of the vehicle. Once seated, the driver’s position is elevated over the battery compartment, offering a heightened sense of security compared to other small cars with lower profiles. Interestingly, the chief of interior design at Stellantis is quite tall, standing at 6 feet 8 inches, yet he comfortably fits inside the 500e, indicating there’s ample space overhead.

The back seat features a cupholder positioned at the center of the bottom cushion, highlighting its intended use for four passengers. Although this generation boasts a roomier rear seat compared to its predecessor, the space remains limited. Accommodating four adults of average American build for any length of time would be an uncomfortable experience.

The car’s interior, with its straight-backed seats and clear view over the truncated, angled front end, provides a sense of spaciousness that might not be apparent from the outside. However, the compact nature of the 500e becomes obvious when you notice the diminutive sun shades or the petite panel designed to conceal a small opening that reveals the cargo area. It’s worth noting that the back seats do not fully recline into a flat position; they merely lean forward slightly.

2024 Model of the Fiat

A significant issue with the latest 500e’s cabin is the lack of adequate cup holders; there’s merely one that swings down from the bottom of the center console. Should you have a companion with a beverage, unfortunately, there’s no space for an extra cup. The Fiat crew has acknowledged the problem and is swiftly tackling a solution. However, it’s a puzzling misstep, particularly given that the earlier model featured a pair, and Fiat has had a four-year gap since the model’s European launch to rectify such concerns.

The 2024 Fiat 500e has not received crash safety ratings from either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Due to the expected limited production of the vehicle, it’s possible these ratings might be delayed indefinitely. The latest Fiat model is equipped with seven airbags and a range of driver-assistance features such as autonomous emergency braking, assistance with staying in lane, and warnings for blind spots and pedestrians.

Once you get the hang of it, the 500e’s adaptive cruise control can function all the way to a complete stop. The vehicle is equipped to recognize and show the speed limit signs, and it can also present other road signs while the cruise control is active. Fiat assures that the „Inspired“ versions will feature „Level 2 ADAS“, which includes a form of active lane assistance alongside these features, as long as the driver stays alert. However, we didn’t get a chance to try out these particular models, so we can’t comment on their performance.

Upcoming 2024 Model of

Exclusive release „drops“ – akin to limited-edition shoes

The fundamental model of the 2024 Fiat 500e is the ‚Red‘ edition. It presents in authentic shades of red, white, and black for the exterior, with the ‚Red‘ designation linking to a charitable collaboration that benefits Product Red, an organization dedicated to financing HIV and AIDS research. Other than the choice of paint, the 500e ‚Red‘ version provides just one selection: between Goodyear tires designed for summer or Pirelli tires suited for all seasons.

Fiat is embracing the concept of the electric 500 being more than just a car, but a statement of fashion and iconic design. Aamir Ahmed, the head of Fiat in North America, revealed that the automaker plans to unveil a special limited edition variant of the vehicle a few times annually, mirroring the release strategy seen in the high-fashion shoe industry and similar markets. Promotional clips with celebrities like Spike Lee and Giancarlo Esposito underscore this fashionable positioning.

The initial pair of limited editions are themed as „Influenced by Aesthetics“ (featuring a Rose Gold finish) and „Influenced by Melody“ (sporting a Tuxedo Black color, complemented by a seven-speaker JBL sound setup that simulates the acoustics of four ‚imaginary settings‘). These are available for purchase now, with shipping expected to begin in the third quarter of the year.

The 2024 Fiat 500e’s ‚Red‘ version starts at a cost of $32,500, with an obligatory shipping charge of $1,595, bringing the total to $34,095. Models that are considered ‚Inspired‘ will cost an additional $3,500. Its main rival is the three-door hatchback Mini Cooper SE, which has a limited range of 114 miles. With the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the slightly more expensive Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric stand out with both offering four doors and a driving range exceeding 200 miles.

Upcoming 2024 model of

Compact vehicle with efficient charging capabilities

The 500e might have a relatively modest battery size, but it’s capable of swift charging speeds up to 85 kw. This means you could potentially boost the battery from empty to 80% in just 35 minutes if conditions are optimal. However, the typical domestic charging setup using an 11-kw Level 2 charger will fully replenish the battery in six hours, from completely drained to full. If you’re using a regular 120-volt household outlet, expect a 5% to 100% charge to take around 37 hours. You’ll find the charging port located at the back right of the vehicle, and the charging cable is conveniently stored beneath the floor of the trunk space.

Fiat is giving customers the option to select between a Level 2 charging unit, which requires installation at the buyer’s expense, or receiving $600 worth of complimentary charging on networks included in the Stellantis Free2Move scheme, with the specific networks available in the U.S. still to be disclosed.

There isn’t an option for a heat pump, but given the cabin’s compact size, using resistance heating might not consume as much energy compared to bigger vehicles. The car does come with the option for heated seats, however, it lacks a heated steering wheel feature.

Upcoming 2024 model of

Every Fiat 500e model scheduled for release in 2024 is manufactured at the Mirafiori plant located just beyond the city limits of Turin. This is subtly indicated by an imprint on the inside of each door’s armrest that states „Made in Torino“ along with an outline of the classic 500 model. Consequently, these vehicles are ineligible for the U.S. federal buying incentive. However, opting to lease the vehicle reinstates the entire credit. Additionally, the 500e is still applicable for numerous regional and state-level financial incentives.

Fiat covered the costs of flights, accommodation, and food, allowing Green Car Reports to deliver a firsthand account of the driving experience.

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