Fiat 500e Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.37/5 Average
13 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The Fiat 500e is an electric-powered version of the Fiat 500 hatchback and represents a stylish entry in the growing electric-car field. While the 500e's price is considerably higher than that of the standard 500, Fiat has tried to build value into it, making most of the regular-grade 500's optional features standard and dressing up the body with aerodynamic enhancements. Plus, when you add up all the possible federal, state and local tax incentives, the actual purchase price of a new Fiat 500e gets closer to that of a comparably equipped gasoline Fiat 500.

One other major drawback involves the packaging of the battery and electrical systems, which gobbles up rear seat and cargo space and leaves the 500e with one of the smallest rear seats in existence. Even so, the Fiat 500e is an appealing choice for an electric car. For the moment, you'll need to dwell in California if you want to buy one, as Fiat has not announced plans to sell the 500e outside the Golden State.

Current Fiat 500e
The Fiat 500e is a subcompact two-door hatchback with front wheels powered by an 83-kilowatt electric motor generating 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Electricity is provided by a 24kWh lithium-ion battery. The EPA gives the Fiat 500e an energy consumption estimate of 29 kWh per 100 miles (the lower the kWh number, the better here), which translates to MPGe figures of 116 MPGe combined (122 city/108 highway). Estimated range is a livable 87 miles, according to the EPA. The 500e can fully recharge in less than 4 hours on a 240-volt outlet. However, if you have to plug into a 120-volt circuit (like a regular household plug) estimated charging time shoots up to "less than 24 hours."

A single, well-equipped trim level is offered. Standard features include keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, split-folding rear seats, rear parking sensors, a TomTom navigation system (that can scan and request nearby charging stations in real time) and a six-speaker Alpine audio system with satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Compared to the gasoline-powered 500, the 500e wears unique front and rear fascias, wide side sills, smooth underbody panels, a rear spoiler and aero-engineered 15-inch wheels.

In reviews, we've found that thanks to the instantaneous torque of the electric motor, the Fiat 500e gathers speed briskly, though acceleration drops off considerably once you reach highway speeds. Despite being much heavier than the standard 500, its more powerful electric powertrain hustles the 500e to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. That's quicker than the gas-powered, base 500 and similar to the acceleration of other similarly priced electric cars.

The 500e's eye-catching aerodynamic enhancements not only reduce drag, but they help make it quiet at speed, too. Even the regenerative brakes feel very natural. The only major dynamic shortcoming is the 500e's overboosted steering, which offers little feedback and makes the car less fun to toss around corners than the regular 500. The Fiat 500e is otherwise enjoyable from behind the wheel thanks to its small dimensions, tightly tuned suspension and instant-on power.

Used Fiat 500e Models
The Fiat 500e debuted in 2013 and hasn't received any significant changes.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 13.00
  • Quirky but Cute EV - 2015 Fiat 500e
    By -

    Lease terms are great when combined with rebates from California State and Central Valley. Car is a hoot to drive: fast and responsive with great handling. It also is cute and sophisticated looking. Range is about 100 miles in the relatively flat Central Valley. This car works great as a city commuter and carries our shopping purchases easily in the "trunk" and the extra space made by folding down the rear seats. We are family of two "empty nesters" so although this car is an addition to our gas engine vehicles (bought to complement our newly installed solar array on the rooftop), it has become the favorite car to use. Front seats are fine but rear seats are a bit cramped. Controls are "interesting," reflecting Italian design!! The integrated info system in 2016 is a bit improvement over previous models. In addition, the interior white/black color scheme is practical but classy. We have had no problem in the city or on the highway. Beware that this car does not allow Level 3 charging so expect to wait a bit longer for it to charge with Level 2 at public charing stations or a lot longer with the Level 1 charger that comes with the car.

  • Great fun zero emissions from Italy/Detroit/Mexico - 2013 Fiat 500e
    By -

    I've had my 500e for a little over 2 years now and still love it. I have a 50 mi commute every work day and probably average another 50 mi each Sat and Sun, in general, and I pay pennies to drive this thing. I charge a mix of at home and at work (free at work from solar unit). I average about 80 miles per charge, but that's because I drive quite hard in my commute, usually going 75-80 mph. When I'm not commuting usually see about 100 miles per charge. The only thing I wish it had was a DC fast charge option, but otherwise very happy with it. Another 50 miles of range wouldn't be a bad thing either! But I'm not complaining, overall quite happy. I've only been "stuck" twice and both times I was a block from home and just pushed it into my driveway. When it gets to 0% state of charge, it pretty much means it, you've got about 1 mile left at that point. Also, love burning rubber from a stop, it's very easy to do, and it's funny because there's no engine sound, just the whirring of the electric motor and the squealing tires. Very funny. I also have a Fiat Abarth which I use on long trips and for fun mountain driving, and the e definitely feels a bit different with all the weight down low, it feels quite planted and Mercedes like (not that the Abarth isn't planted enough).

  • Great in the city but awful on highway - 2015 Fiat 500e
    By -

    PROS: This car is really nimble in the city. We live in San Francisco so parking is rarely a problem for this car. This car is great at stop and go. Often you can drive more than 100 miles in the city. It has good handling and is fairly comfortable in the front seat. CONS: My worst complaint is the highway mileage. If driving around 65 mph continuously don't expect the range to go beyond 60-70 miles. Also, when you turn on AC you lose about 10 (estimated) miles in range so be careful. Back seat is horrible in terms of space. Trunk space is small but for a family of three it's big enough to hold our weekend groceries. I like the interior design but the quality of material is really cheap so I don't think it's worth the price tag. Everyone was laughing at the bright orange but this bright color is necessary because sometimes on the road people just don't see this compact car. Reliability and safety are unknown at this point since I am not a pro. Overall I'd recommend this car for short distance commuters.

  • Just drive it - 2015 Fiat 500e
    By -

    Great commuter car, also a total blast to city drive. Regenerative brakes are sweet and seem better than conventional, great acceleration, amazing that they make vehicles like this. The only real downside I noted (aside from a limited range) is that going uphill really drains the batteries fast shortening the range. That aside, it is really roomy in the front, the back clearly not popular with most. You buy the EV that suits your needs- as we were looking at a commuter car, this was by far the best choice.

  • Go dog Go! 500e is fun! - 2013 Fiat 500e
    By -

    1500 miles on my 500e. Lease $200 month. $2500 total down, $2500 rebate from state of CA. Aero environment 220 charger installed today compliments of State of CA. Est monthly fuel cost to drive 1000 miles approx $35 per SMUD utility rep. 500e total car expenditure less than gas and routine maintenance alone on my MB C230...like winning a free car in a contest. Enough ACCT 101. This little thing is pretty fun. Very spunky and quick off the line. Easily separates from ICE cars off green lights. Great around town car or 2nd car. I drove it 95 miles very gently today and had 10% charge left. Aggressive driving style/high ac use will lower range - 70~75 miles ?

  • Great little car - 2013 Fiat 500e
    By -

    We bought the car rather than lease it and overall we are very happy with it. The rear seats are very usable except for tall people but we use normally keep the rear seats down. Very zippy excellent acceleration, specially 0 to 50. I regularly get over 85 highway miles from each charge but YMMV: less if you have the A/C on, more in the city or if you drive less aggressively than me I've driven the gas 500 (not the abarth) and the 500e is significantly more fun than it. We had to deal with the half-shaft recall and some additional teething problems but the fundamentals (electric engine, inverter, battery) all look very good. The car deserves the awards it has received recently.

  • Blast to drive - 2013 Fiat 500e
    By -

    Leased a black model without sunroof in mid-October. With the $2500 the state air resource board is sending me, the net lease cost is about $180/month. I was spending $160 in my Tundra on gas each month. I leased this car for the HOV sticker, and it's priceless. The car is quick off the line, and it surprised me how much acceleration power it has at most speeds under 50mph. I'm 6'4", and fit not problem. The rear seats only fit kids. It's been freezing weather in NoCal for the past two weeks, so my range has been reduced due to heater and seat warmer on high. My commute is 28 miles round trip, so I can get by plugging it in every other day with the stock charge plug (110v). Luv it!

  • Fiat 500E rocks! - 2013 Fiat 500e
    By -

    Just leased this. Really impressed with fit, finish and fun to drive performance! Easy to exceed rated MPGe. With sweet lease deal, total cost of car is less than I was spending on gasoline alone, each month. Range is OK, better than others except Tesla and Volt. Getting by with included slooow 120V charge device, others may desire $800 optional fast charger. Costs $1 per day for electricity to drive 40 miles, previous vehicle was $10 per day for gas. Very impressive car, hope future models offer extended range and lower cost batteries. My SUV will last forever, now parked except when needed!

  • Great little gem for the money. - 2016 Fiat 500e
    By -

    Great little car for short distance commute and travel. Has plenty of space in the backseat even though trunk space is limited. Charging is easy but know that on standard 110V outlet it would take an entire day to charge up. 24V commercial chargers can do the same in 4 hours or you can install a 240V at home. Love the styling and it's a hoot to drive. Instant torque and no shifting makes the car feel like it has way more power than it does. No problem at all passing cars with easy and it handles very well. Slightly wobbly on highway with high wind. One of the best EV out there that drives handles and performance as good with any gasoline vehicle - 500E is better than any other 500 variant including the Abarth IMO.

  • My Favorite car out of dozens! - 2016 Fiat 500e
    By -

    I bought this car because 95% of my driving is short range for shopping, post office, etc. when I am not traveling out of the country for business. Also - the dealer and government incentives made the lease price so low, the car was essentially free - the lease is about the amount I paid for gas monthly. I truly did not expect to fall in love with this little car! It makes me smile every time I drive it. It is amazingly quiet and solid, and very quick. You really need to watch your speed. It brakes very well, and also handles better than expected considering it has hundreds of pounds of batteries in the floor. Whenever someone new gets in, the first thing they say is "Wow - it's nice! And it's roomier inside than I expected!" It is usually just me and a dog, or the two of us, but we have had 4 people in the car to go a short way to dinner, etc. The fact that there is NO SOUND except the (excellent) radio turning on when you "start" it, still takes some getting used to. The seats are surprisingly comfortable considering that they are so small and thin. Totally adequate for the car. The sound system is better than my Acura's. The NAV is a simple TomTom system, but it works, and it has nearby charging stations pre-programmed in. The Bluetooth works perfectly as does the climate control system. This little car really is well equipped with everything except a backup camera, but the rear bumper is about 10" behind the rear window so it isn't a serious issue, and it has the parking sensors anyway. Yes, there are a few little ergonomic issues about the car that frustrate me, and the steering requires real attention on the freeway, but in general, for what it is intended for, this is what everyone should be driving around town. I have owned around 50 cars, and this will be the one that will be hardest to let go of. GREAT WORK FIAT! And thanks to Fiat of Glendale for making the purchase so easy.

Fiat 500e Reviews By Year:
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