Fiat’s New Electric 500: I tested it

A 100% electric Fiat 500? Can I go far? Is it complicated to manage? Do you feel safe there? My verdict, because I tested it!

I’m not what you would call an automotive specialist. I consider my car as a mobile and comfortable changing room that transports me from point A to point B. So much for my technical expectations. When I was offered to test the New Fiat 500 3+1 electric, I felt challenged! The only certainty: I already knew she would have a beautiful Dolce Vita look that would match my summer complexion perfectly.

What else?

a gem of technology

When Fiat decided to launch the group’s first 100% electric car, its engineers took the opportunity to inject it with the most advanced technologies through a ultra-instinctive ecosystem. What we like is the technology that doesn’t require a master’s degree in aeronautics, but a natural simplicity… a bit like breathing, right?

Concretely, I get in my car (no need for a key, huh, it’s in my bag that’s enough), it recognizes my phone that connects to the CarPlay. I find on its 10.5-inch screen the equivalent of my iPhone’s home screen speakerphone. Waze clicks automatically, Spotify too. O connectivity functions are enabled by the new UConnect Box: for example, it turns the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect up to 8 devices at the same time, like a giant router. We also know Alexa, always ready to receive our relevant instructions (or not).

But the engineers did well with quite revolutionary autonomous driving options. The “Track Centering”for example, allows keep the New 500 electric at the center of the track. The Urban Blind Spot uses ultrasonic sensors per monitor blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light in the rearview mirror. At the same time, the eleven 360° sensors offer a drone view to avoid any obstacle when performing complex maneuvers (parking in my case). You quickly feel capable of going to the moon (Elon Musk shivers!) Another amazing feature, a super smart cruise control (Intelligent adaptive cruise control) which allows the car to regulate its distance with the car you are following, to accelerate when you decide to overtake, a kind of autopilot, in support of slightly distracted drivers (me). These devices provide driving safety that I never thought I would experience. And yet here I am, whistling, hair in the wind.

Electric for mannequins

So it’s very simple. Common autonomy of 320km (enough for a Brussels-Knokke round trip) that can go as far as 460km in the city, we are super wide. Or I connect the car at home with EasyWallBox (in less than 4 hours), or at one of the public terminals. I’m lucky, I have a kiosk in the newsroom and a kiosk on the street. Just plug in the car with a big plug, swipe my recharge card (for payment) and let it charge.

To drive, there are several modes:

“Normal”, the car drives like any other automatic model with an internal combustion engine.

in mode ” Clean », the New 500 electric offers a new driving experience using just one foot. This is clearly my favorite mode: the “One Pedal” function means you can control acceleration and deceleration by pressing or releasing the same pedal. When I let go, the car regains full energy, which brings it to a complete stop. What comfort!

When the remaining battery life is low, you can switch to ” sherpa to optimize available resources and ensure you reach your destination. It never happened to me.

As for the noise… What noise? None. It is relaxing.

small but big

We know by heart the elegant design of the Fiat 500. This beautiful city car in the purest Italian style is a treat for the eyes and a feat of comfort and practicality (so easy to park, I almost thought it was a pedestrian). Briefly, urban, pretty, comfortable and compress.

BUT what was my surprise when I discovered a third door ! A discreet little door that opens in the opposite direction: you can directly access the back of the car, load and unload your groceries more easily or put your child in the back seat faster and easier. Once the door is closed, there is no difference with the other 500: same style, same size. In short, all the typical Italian glamor and design, combined with obvious functionality. Why didn’t you think of this before? I don’t know. In any case, we can no longer do without.

I who never liked to direct must seriously review my copy. With the electric Novo 500, I think I’ve now found the closest solution to teleportation. I will never return it again.

Never !

This article was written in close collaboration with Fiat.

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