Fiat has revised the 500 for 2021, making it bigger, more stylish and, more importantly, all-electric.
Looking like an evolution of its predecessor, the zero-emission small hatchback starts at just under £23,000 ($30,765) in the UK, excluding the £3,000 ($4,013) car grant for the version equipped with the 24 kWh battery that powers a 94 PS (93 HP / 70 kW) motor.
This model takes 9.5 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill, has a 135 km/h (84 mph) top speed, and can travel for 185 km (115 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP cycle. Fiat also offers a 42 kWh battery option with a 120 PS (118 HP / 87 kW) electric motor which shaves half a second from the acceleration time and has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) as well as a 299-320-km (186-199-mile) range.
Despite the premium flair, some of the materials used inside feel quite cheap. On the plus side, you will find plenty of storage spaces, actual buttons for the HVAC controls rather than having to fiddle with the infotainment system to adjust the temperature, and a digital instrument cluster. The rear seats are pretty cramped, but boot space is a tad larger than the Honda e’s. However, the rear seats do not fold flat, leaving quite a big step that makes loading cargo a bit more difficult.
Due to its small footprint, light steering and reduced turning radius, the new 500 is very easy to drive around town and maneuver in and out of tight parking spaces, yet pulling out can be more difficult due to the thick rear pillars that obstruct the visibility.
Since the car is notably heavier than before, the suspension is also stiffer, and this makes driving on B roads a rather unpleasant experience. It doesn’t feel as nimble as the old 500 either and there’s noticeable tire noise.
These were only some of the aspects pointed out in the first drive reviews of the 2021 500. For the rest, you will have to watch the videos down below.