Car Review: The full-electric Fiat 500e is a great choice as an urban commuter

The original Fiat 500 and the new 500e still of some of the smaller cars on the market. However, even taller drivers will find decent space. (WTOP/Brian Armstead)

Brian Armstead, Special Contributor

Don’t let the small size fool you the Fiat 500e packs plenty of space for adults and offers a fun driving experience just don’t expect big range.

Sixty-seven years ago, an automotive legend was born in Italy in the form of the Fiat Cinquecento. Over 7 million of the diminutive cars were sold under different nameplates, including the most recent variant, the Fiat 500. At a recent media launch in Miami, Florida, Fiat showed their full-electric 2024 Fiat 500e, marking a return to the U.S. market for the 500e, which was last produced in 2019. The new model is sporty and offers the allure and prestige of Italian car ownership.

500e exterior

The basic shape of the new 500e is the same as the 2019 model, and that’s good as it’s an attractive vehicle. The 2024 model was designed to be an EV from the ground up, and is longer and wider than the 2019 model, with a battery that’s almost twice as powerful (34 kWh vs. 43 kWh). Yet the 2024 model is 50 pounds lighter than the 2019 500e.

There are three trim levels available. The INSPI(RED) edition is available in Glacier White, Tuxedo Black, and of course, Red. All three colors feature red side mirror caps.

The Inspired By Beauty trim offers a stunning Rose Gold finish, with body color mirror caps and chrome molding.

The Inspired By Music trim features four “venues” chosen by the legendary Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli. Venues offer listeners a virtual-reality audio experience that changes the acoustic characteristics of the car depending on the chosen location, transporting listeners to unique listening environments. The Inspired By Music venues are experienced through a JBL 7-speaker, amplified audio system with a subwoofer.

Charging, range and drive experience

The new 500e offers an estimated range of 149 miles. The estimated charge time from 0-80% is approximately 35 minutes with an 85 kW DC fast charge; the estimated time from 0-100 percent is six hours with A level 2 (11 kW) charging station.

On the road, the 500e is a solid performer with 117 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, reaching 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, providing excellent performance while managing range.

It’s also very roomy inside. I stand 6’9″ tall, and I had ample headroom and decent leg room. In fact, the head of design for the new 500e is 6’8″, so it was preordained that I would experience a roomy cabin!

Fiat 500e ride quality is above average, and the interior is serenely quiet with the windows up, and wind noise is well managed with the windows down.

It’s a very pleasant car to drive.


All Fiat 500e trims are well-equipped with standard active and passive safety systems. Inspired By models are equipped with A level 2 active driving system, which combines Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist. The Fiat 500e is the first all-electric car in its segment to offer Level 2 hands-on driver assist technology.

Cost: INSPI(RED) trim starts at $32,500. Inspired By trims start at $36,000. Prices are exclusive of a $1,595 destination fee.

MPGe: Rated at 119 MPGe when equipped with Summer tires.

Things to know: A level 2 wall charger or charge credit from Free2Move Charge are included with every 500e purchase. Charging can be scheduled ahead of time through Fiat’s Uconnect telematics system or through the Uconnect mobile app.


  • The perfect size for city life/short commutes
  • Offers drivers good head and leg room
  • Comes with A level 2 charger for faster charging


  • Range is not ideal for long trips
  • Rear seat passengers may be cramped a bit
  • Rear hatch storage space in tiny




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