Let’s start at the top. You may have noticed that the New 500 isn’t a full convertible, but it makes into this section because its full length fabric roof doesn’t stop at the rear window, but rather at the boot lid. With the roof all the way down you do get the full open air experience even if the sides remain resolutely in place.
At first glance it is hard to see what the ‘New’ 500 refers to, but look a bit closer and you notice that it looks more polished, more up market, more substantial. And there is good reason for that, because the New 500 is an entirely different car, designed from the ground up as an EV whilst staying true to the diminutive dimensions and iconic looks of the ICE model.
It is impressive that FIAT has gone to the considerable lengths of making a bespoke EV in the notoriously difficult City Car sector and the results of those efforts are clear to see. Despite measuring just 3.6 metres in length FIAT has squeezed in a 42 kWh battery (37.3 kWh usable) which enables an official range of 190 miles. Perhaps more relevant is the 270 miles achieved on the City portion of the test, but it is good to know that you have a usable range for long distance journeys too. When you do have to stop, the standard charging system can handle up to 85 kW which is unusually fast for a City Car and will get you back on the road quickly (0 – 80% in 35 minutes).
The good news continues inside, where the interior looks great and has a premium feel. The standard 10.25 inch infotainment screen looks good and combines with 7 inch TFT instrument display to provide all of the necessary info in the driver’s eyeline. The screens are complemented by physical buttons for ventilation control and the gear selection making a very intuitive system that is also tactile and pleasing on the eye.
The New 500 is pricey, but we think that it can justify the asking price. If you want an EV that is made for the city but can also venture future afield it nails the brief. With 85 kW Rapid charge capability and a 37.3 kWh battery pack it does deliver a sensible range (exceptional for a City Car), and the ability to charge quickly when needed. It also feels incredibly well engineered, looks great and delivers a premium feel that is in keeping with the list price.
Estimated real world range: 115 – 190 miles
Official range: 190 miles
Official electricity consumption: 147 Wh/km
Battery pack: 42 kWh (gross) 37.3 kWh (net) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty
Recharge time: 7 kW charge approx 7 hours; 11 kW charge approx 4 hours 15 mins; Rapid CCS 85 kW approx 35 minutes (0 – 80%)
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.