2018 FIAT 500e Review
Pros & Cons
- Nimble handling
- Compact and easy to park
- Typically more affordable than other EVs
- Dinky cargo space and back seat
- 84 miles of range is less than most EVs
- Missing the latest driver safety aids
- Sales are limited to California and Oregon
Which 500e does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
When it was introduced in 2013, the Fiat 500e fit right in with the electric vehicles of the time. The 500e was small, inexpensive and had a range that we called "an above-average number for an EV." But with the advent of cars such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3, the bar has been raised. Without any significant changes to its battery technology over the last five years, the 2018 Fiat 500e is no longer as competitive as it once was.
The 500e does offer some things that other EVs don't. It has an expressive design and excellent handling characteristics, and its short wheelbase and narrow track make it ideal for city dwellers who have trouble finding roomy parking spaces. The 500e has also been one of the most affordable EVs to lease over the past few years.
However, the 500e's diminutive stature makes for a compact cabin and cargo area, and the small battery pack only offers 84 miles of range. As an affordable runabout, it's worth considering, but know that rivals such as the Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf are superior EVs overall.
2018 FIAT 500e models
The 2018 Fiat 500e is a two-door, pure electric hatchback sold in a single, well-equipped trim level (the gasoline-powered Fiat 500 is reviewed separately). The 500e is powered by an 83-kilowatt electric motor (111 horsepower, 147 pound-feet of torque) channeled to the front wheels through a single-speed automatic transmission. A rechargeable 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the motor. The EPA estimates the 500e can travel up to 84 miles on a full charge. Fiat claims a 24-hour charge time from empty using a typical 120-volt outlet, while a Level 2 charger will do the job in about four hours.
Standard features for the 500e include 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote locking and unlocking, automatic climate control, a driver information display, full power accessories, cruise control, manually adjustable heated front seats with driver-side height adjustment, premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped and tilt-adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 50/50-split folding rear seats, floor mats and a cargo cover. Standard technology features include Bluetooth, navigation, voice commands, a 5-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker Alpine audio system with satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
The only options are a sunroof and the eSport appearance package, which includes darkened exterior lamp bezels, orange exterior trim pieces, and special 15-inch wheels for a more customized look.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the 500e models:
- ParkSense Rear Park Assist System
- Sounds an alert as the Fiat 500 approaches an object behind the car.
- ParkView Rear Backup Camera
- Displays an image of the area directly behind the car in the central touchscreen.
- Hill Start Assist
- Keeps the brakes applied even after you let your foot off the pedal while on a hill to prevent rolling backward.