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.
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.
noise & vibration
edmunds expert 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.