One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
|Type: Electric Hatchback
Fuel Efficiency: 121 city/103 hwy
|Best Suited For: Singles
Notable Features: Fun interior/exterior colors, very compact, all-electric
Links: Official site
Even with gas prices going down, people are still concerned with how much fuel they use. Fortunately, electric cars are becoming more accessible and are not as expensive as they once were. The battery capacity is also increasing so that you can drive further on one charge than you used to. A good example of that is the 2016 Fiat 500e.
2016 Fiat 500e Review — Electric Power
The 2016 Fiat 500e is a small but peppy plug-in electric vehicle. It gets about 85 miles on a full charge and doesn’t have any lag in power. The charging cable is nice and long but, of course, you can also use a 220V charging station to speed up the recharge.
2016 Fiat 500e Review — Performance & Features
Handling is responsive but sometimes feels a bit jerky. Also, when the car gets to about 60 mph, it gets a little scary riding in it. The car is so small and seemingly fragile that I worry even a gust of wind will turn it over. That probably wouldn’t happen but you get the point — it just doesn’t feel very substantial.
Fiat has a unique layout to the controls, one I quite like. It takes some getting used to and some searching might be required when looking for basics like how to open/close the windows or lock/unlock the doors. Still, everything is easy to operate and adds to a polished interior look. The steering wheel does tilt but is not telescoping (goes closer/further) so if you have short arms, you’ll probably need to sit closer.
I really missed having a backup camera, especially since I needed to back up into our parking space to charge the car. The navigation was very disappointing. That is mostly because it is basically a TomTom inserted right under the dash, and not even a high end one. The resolution is low while the functionality is clunky and cumbersome. I would have liked to see something at least close to a full infotainment system displayed instead.
2016 Fiat 500e Review — Interior Space
As for space, the front seats are okay. The driver seat can adjust for most people but it might be a stretch to put anyone else in there. Leg room in the back seat is pretty tight. My daughter barely had enough room to sit behind me, even if I scooted up a bit. Munchkin basically laid across the back bench when she had to sit there. Trunk space? There’s barely enough room to actually count it as storage as a maximum of two grocery bags will fit there.
2016 Fiat 500e Review — Public Appeal
The 2016 Fiat 500e is a very specific car for a very specific type of person. Most likely it will appeal to someone who squeals at cute, small things, who has a short commute or works for a company with a charging station, who doesn’t drive very fast, hates pumping gas, likes accessorizing to match their car, and who generally likes to drive alone. Is this you? Then, by all means, check out the 500e and you might just like it.