2019 FIAT 500e Review
Which 500e does Edmunds recommend?
Choosing which 500e model to buy is easy because there's only one trim. The only decisions you have to make are whether you want a sunroof and if you like the gray-and-orange theme of the optional eSport package.
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Nimble handling
- Compact and easy to park
- Dinky cargo space and back seat
- Only 84 miles of range
- Missing the latest driver safety aids
- No changes for 2019
- Part of the first 500 generation introduced for 2012
The 500e is an entertaining electric vehicle with good moves at every turn. It's actually quicker to 60 mph than the regular Fiat 500. Driving that enthusiastically will greatly reduce range, however, so it's best to keep a light foot.
The Fiat 500e is quiet, but its suspension delivers a busier and more unsettled ride on uneven surfaces than we'd like.
Like a regular Fiat 500, the 500e suffers from two things: form over function and, to a greater degree, a back seat that isn't terribly practical for family use. Think of it as a two-seater, and you'll get along with it much better.
If someone is sitting in the rear seats, there isn't much room for cargo. The back seats need to be folded to get much utility. The 500e works best in the two-seat configuration.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Battery Electric 2dr Hatchback (electric DD)
Jiggly ride but great fun to drive. The small wheels can get lost in large potholes that a big car could ignore. It doesn't wander. It doesn't skip down the road like a pickup truck on a dirt road. Nicely damped shocks on this car. Use back seat for duffles and fluffy packages, not people. Small back area OK for 4 grocery bags or two cases of wine. Center console lacks ability to change out cup holders for a little package or purse spot, cell phone holder, etc. Charges VERY fast on a level 2 charger. Mine charges to 114 miles, not just the advertised 86 miles. Nice paint but I wish the interior was not a black cave. Would prefer much brighter interior lighting. If the wheels are turned left or right and you pull out smartly, the car will jump left or right as this is a very intense electric. Quick steering response with a short wheelbase. Stay alert! You can easily drive this car way too fast. Above 50 mph or with windows open you deplete range much more quickly. It gives plenty of warning when you get to range of 15 miles or less and will identify the nearest charging point. You can drive it right to 1 mile remaining. At zero you must charge or tow it. Might be very handy as a camper's / mobile home accessory vehicle. Not really a freeway car. You will feel safer on small roads and city streets but I am used to E-type Mercedes, not such little cars. Mine is a lease conversion so only $109 per month, all in. That is a bargain. At the $34000 list price, I'd prefer a bigger Subaru Outback. If you can remove the back seats this could be a great small delivery vehicle for lots of small, quick deliveries. Very easy entry and exit. Think Uber for pharma, small groceries, Amazon, etc. Your own cell phone is a far better navigator that the built-in one. Mine lacks Apple Play but otherwise links fine for phone audio function. Good display for tire pressures - be sure to keep them balanced and matched pressure. It keeps the garage clean and sweet-smelling too. Park two where one normal car could reside. Plug it in nightly and get used to never stopping at the petrol station. You will have the sensation that driving became free. I don't mind running errands all over our small CA town as maneuvering and parking are very easy. It lacks modern warnings for cars in your blind spot. We don't have the back-up camera and find the parking sensor sounds way too early. There is no lane-hold or auto braking. Stay alert! This is not a Tesla. Ours does have a Tesla license plate which brings smiles. The car is so cute you may give it a name. Very basic controls for windows, mirrors, wipers. This is not a luxury car. I would not buy this for a young inexperienced driver, even though it is very easy to drive. The performance will lure a new driver to do silly things. On wet streets you can slide this easily with the brakes or spin the wheels when pulling out with too much power. The small tires do not have a lot of rubber on the road. There is not much maintenance to do other than keep it clean. Troubleshooting is via the standard plug but leave this for the dealer.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the 500e models:
- ParkSense Rear Park Assist System
- Sounds an alert if 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.