I Don’t Know Who The 2024 Fiat 500e Is For

I used to be shocked after I bought the invitation to Miami. Typically, I can inform so much about what an organization needs to convey a few automobile based mostly on the place it chooses to host the primary drive. BMW hosted its i5 launch in Portugal, close to its largest software program supplier and a few unimaginable roads. Rivian invited journalists to its essential Regular, IL manufacturing unit for the dual-motor R1. These made sense. However I could not fathom why the 500e launch was being held in Miami, Florida, dwelling to boring roads, dangerous site visitors and worse drivers.

There was a technique right here. As a result of whereas the previous-generation Fiat 500 was a strong backroad automobile with city-center sizing, the brand new one feels most at dwelling darting round a South Florida metropolis. With premium pricing relative to its meager vary, although, nice metropolis manners will not be sufficient to make the Fiat 500e successful. 

(Full Disclosure: Fiat flew me to Miami to drive the Fiat 500e. All lodging and flight lodging have been offered by Stellantis.)

2024 Fiat 500e Fast Stats
Output 118 HP/162 ft-lbs


Max Charging Pace (DC) 85kW
Vary 149 Miles
Base Value $34,095
As Examined Value $34,095

The Fiat 500e shouldn’t be a brand new automobile. Actually, within the context of the quickly bettering EV market, it’s considerably previous. The automobile went on sale in a lot of Europe in the summertime of 2020, after the ultimate design was revealed in March of that 12 months. It’s a follow-up, direct, totally electrical alternative for the gas-powered Fiat 500 which lastly exited manufacturing this month. Nevertheless, whereas that is Europe’s first Fiat 500e, that is era two for People. The primary-generation Fiat 500e was constructed for America. It was so unprofitable that former CEO Sergio Marchionne infamously asked potential customers not to buy it.

This automobile shouldn’t have that downside although. Fiat North America lead Aamir Ahmed has stated up to now, that in contrast to the earlier compliance automobile iteration, the imported 500e will be profitable at the price Fiat plans to sell the car. It’s not a transformed gas-powered automobile with batteries thrown beneath seats, it’s a ground-up EV platform referred to as STLA Metropolis. Fiat executives and engineers say it was one of many final tasks accomplished earlier than the FCA and PSA merger that created Stellantis. 

Fiat 500e 16

The alterations to create the U.S. model have been pretty minor. Fiat engineers did a couple of under-the-skin tweaks to the crash construction, particularly the A-pillar. The airbags needed to be fully redone, and thus are completely different from the European mannequin. The lighting has been up to date to adjust to U.S. Federal Motor Car Security Requirements (FMVSS). That’s why there’s a brand new orange indicator close to the entrance wheel, and the too-small flip sign as soon as built-in beneath the hood shutline is now only a cute Italian flag motif encased in clear plastic. Aside from that, Fiat’s engineers insist the US model is similar as what everybody else will get. 

Our U.S-spec 500e will get the identical 118-horsepower, front-motor, front-wheel-drive design present in higher-trimmed fashions offered elsewhere. That motor is fed by a 42-kWh battery, good for 149 miles of EPA-rated vary. DC quick charging is merely okay at 85 kW max, and its AC onboard charger is nice for 11 kW. Which means the automobile will recharge from 0-80% in as little as 35 minutes, or cost in six hours when related to a Stage 2 outlet that may output 11 kW. We weren’t capable of confirm this on the primary drive, so we’ll need to take Fiat’s phrase for it till we will get one for extra in-depth testing. 

Fiat 500e 2

The last time I interacted with Ahmed, we bonded over our same-year, equally geared up Fiat 500 Abarths. He needed me to drive the 500e as a result of he claimed that it was a lot completely different than the final time we bought any kind of Fiat 500. After driving the automobile round Miami for an hour or so, I informed him I disagreed. It did not really feel like a brand new expertise. He appeared upset.

That’s okay, although, as a result of I favored the previous one. I used to be fearful that the shift to electrification and the bigger dimensions of the brand new mannequin would destroy the five hundred’s charming driving expertise. It didn’t. The brand new 500e has the identical very upright, miss-muffet-sat-on-her-tuffet, eating-curds-and-whey driving place of the previous automobile. Some might dislike this, however I believe it’s superb for a metropolis automobile. A automobile like this can be primarily used for brief journeys, the place you may be hopping out and in typically. The additional dimensions of the 2024 mannequin really feel neatly used, too, and the automobile has way more hip, shoulder and headroom. It has grown greater with out dropping sight of its mission as a small automobile. The automobile is petite however accessible. I may see older drivers, or drivers with mobility points liking the Fiat 500e, whereas they could battle with lower-slung EV shapes like the Mini Cooper SE.

Fiat 500e 14

The Fiat’s suspension is fairly uncomplicated, only a set of MacPherson struts up entrance, and a semi-independent torsion beam within the again. The steering is mild, however the ratio itself is pretty speedy, making the automobile straightforward to maneuver within the metropolis. The 500e corners pretty flatly, though we didn’t get an opportunity to check that an excessive amount of on the flat streets of Miami. The excellent news is that it soaked up the massive potholes and pockmarked roads like a a lot greater automobile. 

The extra fascinating a part of the Fiat 500e’s driving expertise is its driving modes. There are three modes: Regular, Vary, and Sherpa. In Regular mode, the 500e appears like another ICE or electrical automobile. Vary mode is like regular mode, however with one-pedal driving. But probably the most intriguing mode is Sherpa. In Sherpa mode, the accelerator pedal responsiveness is turned all the best way down. One pedal regeneration is turned all the best way up, and the automobile turns off any auxiliary equipment (except for the radio and lights) not essential for secure driving. Pace can be restricted to 50 MPH, though that’s simply overridden with a agency press of the pedal. After I initially examine it, I assumed Sherpa mode can be too boring and unresponsive.

Behind the wheel, Sherpa mode felt like probably the most superb use of the automobile. At 118 horsepower, and with a 0-60 time of 8.5 seconds in regular mode, the Fiat feels swift but it surely’s not precisely drag-strip learn. With Sherpa mode engaged, there wasn’t an enormous drop in on a regular basis efficiency, however there was a tangible enhance within the automobile’s projected vary. If I owned the 500e, I’d seemingly depart it in Sherpa mode more often than not. 

Fiat 500e 23

I discovered the automobile’s effectivity pretty spectacular, regardless of its restricted vary. True, 149 miles of vary isn’t a hell of so much, and I want we might have had extra time with the automobile. However, after driving roughly 40 miles round Miami’s neighborhoods with the A/C on, I returned the automobile to Fiat with 80% battery life. Utilizing our fuzzy math calculations, the 500e was averaging about 4.7-4.8 miles per kilowatt-hour and was on monitor to succeed in roughly 175-180 miles of vary. That’s fairly considerably increased than the EPA’s score, however do remember this automobile was pushed almost totally within the metropolis. The EPA determine assumes 55 % metropolis driving and 45 % freeway driving, with EVs basically being much less environment friendly on the freeway. 

Fiat 500e 10


As nice as I discovered the Fiat 500e, I couldn’t ignore the large caveats right here. The automobile is sweet and cute, but it surely’s apparent that Fiat’s giving us an older automobile right here to maintain its identify related within the US. It appears like an upgraded model of the final automobile we bought, but it surely additionally runs into the identical roadblocks we bumped into with the previous 500 and 500e: This automobile feels just a bit too costly for what Fiat’s providing. 

It looks as if the 500e was on monitor to beat its official vary score, but it surely nonetheless affords far much less vary than the common shopper needs. It falls properly in need of automobiles just like the Hyundai Kona Electrical, which is cheaper, bigger and might go as much as 261 miles on a cost.

True, the inside is an improve in comparison with the previous 500 and 500e, however the inside plastics, fabric seats and general ambiance really feel strikingly primary, and never just like the true premium metropolis automobile that Fiat needs the 500e to be. It is no Mini Cooper SE. Plus, it is lacking some key options which have develop into widespread in EVs. The 500e does have a warmth pump, however choices like heated entrance seats or a heated steering wheel, are solely accessible on the considerably costlier Impressed by Magnificence and Impressed by Music fashions. With out these, drivers have to make use of the common heater alone, which saps extra vary. Chilly climate can already zap a 3rd of your vary, so this automobile makes extra sense in hotter climates.

Fiat 500e 26

It simply appears like Fiat is attempting to make an older automobile work in a market that has newer, extra mature choices. I don’t assume the 500e is a nasty automobile, but it surely’s simply not fairly sufficient. The present Mini Cooper SE can’t go as far, and might’t cost as rapidly, however the Cooper SE feels prefer it’s in a category above the 500e, whereas being incrementally cheaper. The 2025 Mini Cooper Electric, with its hyper-customizable circular infotainment screen seems to be like a spaceship in and out by comparability. The 500e’s 5-inch U-Join display could be very responsive, however how can Fiat anticipate to compete with what Mini’s cooking up subsequent?

A few of these qualms may very well be solved with the proper value. However at $34,995 (together with vacation spot), the 500e appears like a horrible deal for a automobile that feels so primary and doesn’t go very far, irrespective of how cute or good to drive it’s. If Fiat by some means discovered learn how to make the automobile roughly $25,000, I’m certain some consumers may overlook the automobile’s shortcomings and find yourself glad Fiat 500e homeowners. 

Fiat 500e 1

Fiat Model Lead Aamir Ahmed admitted that Fiat doesn’t see the 500e promoting in extraordinarily giant numbers right here. The 500e is a powerful vendor in Europe, and Fiat with its efficiency there. Right here, nevertheless, it is arguably extra vital to the model. Fiat would not promote the rest right here, so it wants the 500e if it needs to proceed having a U.S. presence. The design and historical past of the five hundred are iconic, and Ahmed stated that it was a disgrace that the model hasn’t capitalized on it extra within the U.S. Sadly, I am unsure the brand new model will assist Fiat understand that dream. 

Contact the creator: kevin.williams@insideevs.com 


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