2020 Fiat 500: prices, specifications, range and performance

New Fiat 500 retains the cute retro styling of its predecessor, but swaps the petrol engine for electric power and up to 199 miles of range

James Allen
Dec 8, 2020

It may look a lot like the current Fiat 500, but this latest version (which will also be sold alongside the existing car) is quite different under the skin. While the former still has a petrol engine under the bonnet, the latter uses batteries and motors to take the fight to other electric city car alternatives like the Honda e and the Seat Mii Electric.

As an all-electric urban runabout, the battery-powered Fiat 500 makes a fairly decent case for itself. The base car’s 93hp motor and claimed 115 miles of range should be enough for drivers who don’t tend to do long journeys or venture far from towns or cities - and, if you need a bit more power or range, there’s also a 118hp version that can cover up to 199 miles between charges.

Fiat also says this latest 500 is a bit bigger than the combustion-powered version, which should mean there’s a bit more room inside for passengers and their luggage. Just as with the current version, it’s also available in two flavours: a hard-top hatchback and a soft-top convertible with a sliding fabric roof.

The new electric Fiat 500 goes on sale in the UK in December 2020, with prices starting at £19,995 with the government’s £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant applied. That makes it expensive for a city car, but affordable for an electric model.

Quick facts

  • Up to 199 miles of range
  • 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes
  • Up to 85kW fast-charging capability
  • Hard-top and convertible guises
  • Prices from £19,995
  • On sale from December 2020

2020 Fiat 500 range and charging times

How far your electric Fiat 500 will be able to go on a single charge will depend on which spec you go for. The entry-level ‘Action’ version only comes with a 24kWh battery pack, which Fiat claims is large enough to allow up to 115 miles of range. In comparison, the mid-range ‘Passion’ and the top-spec ‘Icon’ trims are exclusively available with a much larger 42kWh battery, which lets them cover up to 199 miles between charges.

While those ranges don’t exactly set the world alight - as a number of electric cars can now cover more than 300 miles per charge - they are still fairly decent by small electric car standards. For example, they’re quite a bit ahead of what a Smart EQ ForFour can manage (up to 79 miles), and are in a similar ballpark to other rivals like the Honda e (up to 137 miles) and Seat Mii Electric (up to 160 miles). However, as with all electric cars, how far you’ll be able to go will vary depending on how fast you drive and how much charge is in the battery before you set off.

As the electric 500 has built-in fast charging capabilities (up to 50kW for cars with the 24kWh battery; up to 85kW for 42kWh versions), Fiat says a 0-80% charge can take between 30 to 35 minutes if you can find a powerful enough charging point. Those times do increase substantially if you use less potent charging points, though - a full charge from flat using a 2.3kW domestic wallbox unit can take between 8 hours and 45 minutes to 15 hours and 15 minutes, depending on which capacity battery you have.

2020 Fiat 500 power and performance

On paper, the electric 500 should have more than enough performance for a car that will likely spend a lot of time being driven in towns and cities. Even the entry-level 93hp car is fairly nippy, with its 0-62mph acceleration time of 9.5 seconds and the 84mph top speed - which as with many electric cars is likely to be electronically limited to maximise the car's range.

If you need a bit more performance, the 118hp mid-range and top-spec models will likely be the better fit, as Fiat quotes a slightly faster 9.0-second 0-62mph time and a 93mph top speed for these versions. That means that neither version is fast, but as is the case with most electric cars, the instant power from the electric motor is likely to make the plug-in 500s feel pretty nippy.

Those top speeds should also mean the Fiat won’t feel out of its depth when driven on faster roads. It’s best to factor in lots of charging stops into your journey time if you plan on covering lots of motorway miles in the electric 500, though, as you will likely drain the battery very quickly when travelling at higher speeds.

2020 Fiat 500 specifications and in-car tech

As standard, the new Fiat 500 comes with a decent amount of equipment and features. Entry-level 'Action' cars come out of the box with rear parking sensors and a keyless entry system, as well as safety assists such as a lane keep assist system that can prevent the car from drifting out of its lane on the motorway. However, base cars do go without a touchscreen media system, with Fiat offering in its place a free-to-use mobile app and a built-in smartphone cradle.

If you must have a built-in touchscreen display in your Fiat 500, then you’ll need to go for either the mid-range 'Passion' (which has a seven-inch screen) or the top-spec 'Icon' (which uses a 10.3-inch setup) trim levels. These two higher trims are also the only ones that are available on the convertible versions of the new Fiat 500 - go for the entry-level grade, and you’ll be restricted to the hatchback body style.

Full dimensions data hasn’t been revealed yet, though Fiat says the new 500 is only a little bit bigger than the original petrol-powered version. As a result, while the electric 500 should have a decent amount of interior space for a car of this size, adults will likely still feel cramped in the rear seats, and the luggage volume isn't likely to be much to write home about.

2020 Fiat 500 prices and release date

The electric Fiat 500 went on sale in December 2020, with prices starting at £19,995 once the £3,000 government grant has been applied. However, you’ll need to pay at least £23,495 (again, factoring in the government grant) if you want a new Fiat 500 with the larger battery pack. Do also bear in mind that the soft-top convertible versions carry a £2,650 premium over the regular hard-top hatchback model.

 

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