In-depth reviews

Fiat 500 review - Range, charging and running costs

With competitive pricing, reasonable insurance costs and solid residual values, the all-electric Fiat 500 should be cheap to run

Fiat offers the 93bhp Action version as an entry point to the 500 range, although it comes with a smaller 24kWh ‘City Range’ battery and offers a claimed 115-mile range. You’re probably looking at nearer 100 miles in real world conditions, so you’ll have to work out if it suits your lifestyle, or whether you’d rather stump up an extra £3,500 for the more practical 117bhp mid-range Passion version with a 42kWh ‘Long Range’ set-up and up to 199 miles from a single charge.

During our own test with a Long Range car we saw an estimated 168-mile range from a full charge with the Normal driving mode engaged, however this figure climbed a little when switching to the more efficient Range mode and rose to over 180 miles using the Sherpa setting, which reduces the maximum available power and limits top speed to 50mph.

Our three-way test between the 500, Honda e and MINI Electric saw the Fiat cover four miles per kW-hour used - just ahead of the Honda at 3.8m/kWh and the MINI covering 3.6m/kWh. The 500 has a 85kW charging rate, which means that it can be topped up from 0-80 per cent in 35 minutes.

Insurance

Arranging insurance cover for your all-electric 500 shouldn’t prove to be too expensive, with the entry 93bhp Action version in group 14 and all other cars in groups 16 or 17. It will cost a little more to insure a convertible as they range from group 19 to 21.

In comparison, the 134bhp Honda e will cost more to insure as it sits in group 25, while the 152bhp variant is in group 29, although there isn’t really much of a performance advantage over the 500. The MINI Electric, with 181bhp, offers more bangs for your buck and starts from group 22.

Depreciation

Compared to its regular petrol sibling, the all-electric 500 is much more of a solid bet in terms of resale value. The combustion-engined car is predicted to hold onto around 35-37 per cent of its original list price after a typical ownership period of three-years and 36,000 miles covered, while the battery-powered 500 should retain around 48 per cent.

The Honda e is only a couple of percentage points ahead, with the MINI Electric closer to 55 per cent retained over the same period. It’s worth remembering though that the Fiat 500 is quite a bit cheaper to buy than its two close rivals.

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