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In-depth reviews

Fiat 500 review - Range, charging & running costs

A solid range figure and fast charging mean the Fiat 500 is usable outside the city

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Range, charging & running costs Rating

4.5 out of 5

Fiat has taken a fresh approach with its third 500, switching production entirely to electric power. To help smooth the transition, buyers can still opt for the 'old' 500 with a mild-hybrid petrol engine but it's not yet known how long it will remain on sale.

Fiat 500 range & charging time

The new 500 has been designed from the ground up to be an EV, and boasts an impressive 42kWh battery pack in the range-topper – that's more capacity than those used in the Honda e. Fiat says its official WLTP range figure is up to 199 miles, but that drivers should be able to manage up to 250 miles in the city, where speeds are lower and frequent deceleration puts more energy back into the battery.

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These figures seem achievable in our tests, and we beat the 137-mile range of the Honda e, although the MINI Cooper SE does better, with a range of up to 250 miles from its 49kWh battery. The Fiat 500 now supports fast charging at up to 85kW across the range, providing an 80% charge in around half an hour. A full charge using a 7.4kW home wallbox will take just over six hours, while a standard socket extends this to almost nine hours and 15 hours for the smaller and larger battery packs respectively.

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For buyers who aren't likely to take their 500 on longer trips, the more affordable battery could well suffice. It has an official range of 118 miles but Fiat says this can increase to 159 miles in city driving. As with most electric cars, you can expect less range in colder conditions.

Road tax is free for EVs until 2025, saving buyers around £190 a year. There are also big savings for business drivers, thanks to the 500 electric sitting in a very low band for Benefit-in-Kind liability.Image removed.

Insurance groups

The Fiat 500 has always been a cheap car to insure, and the electric version is no exception. Entry versions start in group 16 out of 50, while even the range-topping La Prima is in the relatively low group 18.

Warranty

Like most Fiat models, the 500 comes with a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, matching rivals like the Honda e and MINI Electric. However, the 500 electric does differ slightly from petrol and diesel versions, because its battery pack is also covered for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever arrives first. 

Servicing

Maintaining the Fiat 500 with an electric powertrain should be simpler and therefore cheaper than a petrol or diesel model. There are fewer consumable parts like oil and spark plugs for a start. Fiat typically offers customers servicing plans, allowing owners to spread the cost of maintenance over monthly payments.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    70kW 24kWh 3dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £28,195

Most Economical

  • Name
    87kW 42kWh 3dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £31,195

Fastest

  • Name
    87kW 42kWh 3dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £31,195

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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