2017 FIAT 500e

2017 FIAT 500e
2017 FIAT 500e

Pros

  • As much fun to drive as its gasoline-powered counterparts
  • Plenty of range for daily errands and commutes
  • Compact and easy to park

Cons

  • Backseat passengers also lose legroom due to the battery pack
  • Battery pack location shrinks rear cargo space
  • Sales are limited to California and Oregon


Which 500e does Edmunds recommend?

The 2017 Fiat 500e is offered as one model only. There is one trim level option, the eSport, if you prefer a more customized look. It adds darkened exterior accents and special wheels and looks pretty cool. But we prefer to save the roughly $500 and put the cash in our pocket because the 500e is stylized enough for our tastes as it stands.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4 / 5

You don't have to give up much to go electric. The 2017 Fiat 500e hatchback is just as fun and personable as the regular 500. It is also as quick and maneuverable. But you will still want to consider whether an electric vehicle fits your lifestyle before taking the plunge.

The electric 500e was introduced in 2013 and instantly injected life into the stylish Italian coupe. It has enough range to compete with segment leaders and charges quickly, too. Add its small proportions, precise handling and EV pep, and you get a truly enjoyable car. In fact, in some ways, the 500e is more fun to drive than its gas counterpart. Yet there are drawbacks. Its backseat is small, some controls are awkwardly placed, and cargo space is limited due to the battery. But if you are shopping for a lively runabout and an electric vehicle is right for you, the 500e is worth considering.

Trim levels & features

The 2017 Fiat 500e is a two-door, pure electric hatchback sold in a single, well-equipped trim level. The 500e is powered by an 83-kilowatt electric motor (111 horsepower, 147 pound-feet) channeled to the front wheels through a single-speed automatic transmission. A rechargeable 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the motor. It shares most of its bodywork with the standard, gasoline car but has unique front and rear body panels, wider side sills, smooth underbody components, rear spoiler and 500e-specific 15-inch alloy wheels.

Standard features for the 500e include heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, full power accessories, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, manually adjustable heated front seats with driver-side height adjustment, premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and 50/50-split folding rear seats. Standard technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 5-inch touchscreen, navigation, voice commands, and a six-speaker Alpine audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

The only options are a sunroof and the eSport appearance package that includes darkened exterior lamp bezels, orange exterior trim pieces and special 15-inch wheels for a more customized look.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2013 Fiat 500e (electric 1-speed direct drive).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Fiat 500e has received some revisions. For 2015 these included a redesigned center console and two new exterior color choices. And in 2016 it received an updated infotainment system with integrated navigation and discontinued the ePass program that had provided 500e owners free rentals of gas-powered 500s. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Fiat 500e.

Driving

4.5
The 500e is an entertaining electric vehicle. It's actually quicker to 60 mph than a regular Fiat 500, and it keeps up with the 500 Turbo. Driving that enthusiastically will greatly reduce range, however, so it's best to keep a light foot.

Acceleration

4.5
Copious electric-motor torque gives the 500e great off-the-line punch. Our 500e scooted to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is above average in the EV world and actually ties the Fiat 500 Turbo's time.

Braking

3.5
The brake pedal is firm and reassuring, and routine in-town stops feel, well, routine. Our panic stop from 60 mph took 129 feet — a little long, but not alarmingly so.

Steering

3
Oddly heavy and thick when driving straight, but it wakes up nicely and gives good feedback when bending through corners. Strangely, it feels more responsive than the steering in the standard Fiat 500.

Handling

5
The 500e stands apart from other electric vehicles with its great balance and an eagerness to turn. It's one of the most entertaining electric vehicles you can buy today.

Drivability

4.5
Smooth and seamless is the order of the day, but we wish the Fiat 500e offered the option of additional regenerative braking like some of its competitors.

Comfort

3
The Fiat 500e gives you the quietness you expect from an EV, but the suspension delivers a busier and more unsettled ride on uneven surfaces than we'd like.

Seat comfort

3
The front seat adjustments are fairly basic, but the cushion and backrest provide adequate support.

Ride comfort

2
Unlike the Spark EV, which delivers a polished ride despite its small size, the Fiat 500e pitches and bucks on its short wheelbase more than expected. The standard 500 rides noticeably smoother.

Noise & vibration

4.5
In true EV fashion, the 500e glides around in silence, at least when it comes to noise from the motor. Tire noise is noticeable, but mainly because there's no noise from anything else.

Interior

3
Like a regular Fiat 500, the 500e suffers from two things: form over function and, to a greater degree, a backseat that isn't terribly practical for family use. Think of it as a two-seater, and you'll get along with it much better.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 FIAT 500e.

A real-world 500e review
Chris Ginsburg,09/14/2017
We just bought a used 2014 500e with 28k miles. Dealers are currently offering nice pricing as many 2014's are coming off-lease and being turned in. We paid $7500 + tax. which seems very cheap for car that cost $30K a few years ago. The limited market and relatively high production volume keep the current resale value low. The car is blast to drive at lower speeds... It's very quick and can zip in and out of traffic lightning fast. It feels light, nimble and could probably beat many expensive sports cars up to about 60mph. If you install a 240v fast-charger in your garage and only commute in the city or shorter distances -- the car is fantastic. If you have to travel over 25 miles on the freeway to work, I'm sorry to say the car is a joke. I would not recommend this car for commuting. The problem is that once you exceed 50mph, the battery charge diminishes shockingly fast, to the point where you may be scared you won't make it. It almost seems as though the car needs some kind of overdrive system because it uses tons of energy at 65mph, even with no throttle. In the city, it has regenerative braking to help recharge, but on the highway the motor eats battery power like crazy. The fully-charged "96-mile range" can only last about 40 miles at 65mph. If you commute, you'd better have a fast-charger at work or you may not make it home.
fiat 500e
Var Mar,11/27/2016
best car for lonely commute
Love it!
Paul Crespo Crespo,10/14/2016
Explore the lease option.
Already broken after one year!
M Saun,08/21/2018
I've leased my 2-17 500e for one year (only 7k miles driven) and yesterday, it stopped taking a charge. Thankfully it is under warranty, and Fiat came to tow it to the dealership because it didn't have enough miles to get there. The dealership is 40 mins away, they're backed up and won't get to look at my car for another day, and they had no loaner car for me (although they did agree to cover my rental, if I made my way to Enterprise and dealt with that paperwork myself. Thanks for the terrific convenience, Fiat. If your car breaks on me while under warranty, you should probably consider making my experience very convenient.) On another note, we also have an electric BMW i3. I have driven it and the Fiat the same distance, and the BMW uses substantially less "miles" to go the same distance. I know it is said that the amount of miles used depends on how you drive it, but I find the Fiat to be far less reliable in terms of how far I can actually go, compared to the BMW (which is twice the price, so you get what you pay for!) Also, the suspension bounces all over the road, and it breaks very abruptly. I have skidded out a few times accelerating on a hill.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$31,800
MPG
121 city / 103 hwy
Seats 4
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
See all 2017 FIAT 500e features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite 500e safety features:

ParkSense Parking Assist System
Emits an audible tone to notify the driver of objects to the rear when the vehicle is backing up.
Front Seat-Belt Pre-tensioners
Uses information from the car's brake and stability control sensors to anticipate a crash and tightens the seat belt in preparation.
Reactive Head Restraints
In the event of a rear impact, extends the front seat headrests forward, minimizing the gap between occupants' heads and the headrest.

2017 FIAT 500e for Sale

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More about the 2017 FIAT 500e

If you're ready to make the switch to an electric car, the Fiat 500e is a great way to do it. The battery-powered 500e has all the personality and character of the gasoline-powered Fiat 500. It offers a competitive range of 84 miles and quick charging times. Unfortunately, if you live outside of California or Oregon, there's not much point in reading further. The 500e is only sold in those two states.

For the most part, everything we like about the Fiat 500 carries over to the electric version, and then some. The interior is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but you can't accuse the 500e of being a shrinking violet, given its quirky dashboard shapes, (optional) bright colors and push-button transmission.

The 500e is good fun to drive. In fact, its 83-kilowatt electric motor, providing 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, is actually quicker than the gas-powered Fiat 500. We clocked a zero-to-60-mph time of 8.2 seconds, which is equal to the sporty 500 Turbo, though it's not as quick as some other electric cars. The 24-kWh lithium-ion battery provides 84 miles of range, which is a bit less than other small electric cars. It's fairly efficient, too, with an EPA mpg equivalent rating of 112 miles combined (121 city/103 highway).

The 500e's steering feels heavy on-center, especially at low speeds, but it seems to wake up in the curves, and the steering system is more responsive than that of the gasoline-powered 500. Compare it to other electric cars, and there's no contest: The 500e is one of the most entertaining electrics on the road.

Unfortunately, most of our complaints about the gasoline-powered 500 carry over to the electric version, topped by some electric-specific shortcomings.

While the 500e treats its front-seat passengers nicely, with supportive seats and rather simple adjustments, the backseat is nearly useless for anyone other than small kids. And even they might have a difficult time wriggling back there. Also, the ride isn't as smooth as you'll find in the gasoline-powered 500: The 500e pitches and bucks on its short wheelbase. Finally, most electric cars have a regenerative mode that provides extra braking from the motor and also serves to charge the battery. The Fiat 500e doesn't have such a mode, and we wish it did.

Fiat sells the 500e in a single trim level, with an optional eSport package that livens up the already lively styling. Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Fiat 500e for you.

2017 FIAT 500e Overview

The 2017 FIAT 500e is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and Battery Electric 2dr Hatchback (electric DD).

What do people think of the 2017 FIAT 500e?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 FIAT 500e and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 500e 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 500e.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 FIAT 500e and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 500e featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 FIAT 500es are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 FIAT 500e for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 FIAT 500e.

Can't find a new 2017 FIAT 500es you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new FIAT 500e for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $8,021.

Find a new FIAT for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $9,342.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 FIAT 500e?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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