Review Fiat 500e The Smoking Tire

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Review Fiat 500e The Smoking Tire отключены
Fiat 500e Electric Cars

Review: Fiat 500e

Americans used to look at city cars like tourist attractions that add charm to a vacation. “Oh honey, look at that little car parked in that doorway, how cute. We couldn t possibly live with that. Aren t Europeans fascinating creatures?” Funny how tripled gas prices changed our perspective. They can’t handle a Costco run, but small cars are now a real market; the Mazda 2, Yaris, Spark, Mini, and Fiat all offer easy parking, cheap entry, and fuel frugality.

Two in particular-the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500- come standard with chic, like buying Toms instead of Vans slip-ons, so you can tell people how caring you are.

Fiat offers the 500 in essentially 3 trims: 500, 500 Abarth, and 500 e. The regular 500 is lots of show and a little go. The Abarth is a Tazmanian devil with shoes made of super glue, but it feels like it s balancing on a single stilt.

I first saw the 500e when Dan Neil brought one to our house. Though I didn t drive it, Dan and Thaddeus gave it serious praise, and when it comes to cars, Thad is as honest as a drunk racist watching Slumdog Millionaire . The next time I was near one, I jumped in.

The first thing Fiat wants you to know about this car: it’s a car. No leaf emblems. It doesn’t advertise its drivetrain. It doesn’t look like whatever it is a Prius looks like.

You can safely feed it after midnight. It’s a normal car, they said.

And you know what? It is, basically.

Inside there is a key to turn and a push-button automatic with the alphanumeric letters one expects. It has the same interior as the other Fiat, the same wheel, windows, and stereo. Luggage space is almost equal (the charger takes up 2 feet) The only real giveaway is the  7” color screen behind the wheel that provides the usual EV information (charge, regenerative braking, etc), but that screen makes the car look more valuable, and delivers information much better than the orange stock ticker in the Abarth. Only detectives will notice smaller wheels and a slightly more aerodynamic body. Want to sell EVs?

Follow this model, it s “Stealth green”.

It also drives like a car: Key on, push ‘D’, pull away.  The tires don’t grip like the Abarth s disposable low-treadwear, and the steering is slower, but the electric engine makes 111hp (83kW) and 147ft-lbs of torque, and honestly, it s kinda quick. In town, torque is what you want, and all of it is available at zero RPM.

I took it up a Monterey canyon (keyword: up), and this powerwheels-powered Coach bag was arcing uphill at 60MPH, and loving it.

It weighs about 500lbs more than the Abarth, so it s not as reactive (You shouldn t expect it to be), but that extra weight is actually a benefit here. The Abarth is so light and short, it feels top-heavy. I felt like the weight was centered in my head. Here, I felt those batteries, and I welcomed them.

This car feels more much stable at speed than the other 500s.

“Oh yeah. What about range?! What if I want to drive to Alaska?!” Firstly, I ll say that I know a limited-range car isn t for everyone. My daily drive is 30 miles, but if yours is 100, I understand.

Fiat 500e Electric Cars

But if your commute is like mine, yet you want to be able to take the occasional road trip, trudging to the in-laws, or diverting from them to someplace better, no problem; Dodge/Fiat are giving you 12 days of free Enterprise rental cars each year. For most urban/suburban dwellers (let s try to remember that s who this car is for), 80-100 miles is enough daily range. Your gas station becomes a plug at your house, and after my time with a Volt, I can t convey the happiness it gave me to tell Exxon and Shell where to shove it.

The MSRP looks high ($31,000), but after the government’s $7,500 credit, the 500e’s price is even with the Abarth. Throw in more credits from states like CA (even more, depending on your city), and this can be a $20,000 electric car, and a good-looking one to boot. In the months since I drove it, I have seriously considered leasing one.

But even if I had the money, there aren t any in stock near me. I m not surprised.

As I road this near-silent roller coaster I felt all my distaste for the Abarth washing away. This Fiat isn’t trying to be a Mini Cooper S, it’s on its own. That’s why it succeeds.

Small, cool, torquey, no fuel costs, win. For many people, this car makes perfect sense.


Many people react to electric cars the same way music fans did to Dylan going electric. Wrong, sacrilegious, the Bible says it s a sin, etc. etc. Well then you and I won t get along.

My favorite car in the world is a 12-MPG kit Cobra that doubles as an acetylene torch, but, like owning a Harrier jet, it s not a good commuter. Gas is expensive, the clutch is heavy, it s hot and smelly, and everyone that s driven it is left with a ringing in their ears, their brains vibrating long after they got out. The dream of commuting in a fire-breathing rock concert of rubber and metal is a fun fantasy, but the amount of money I would spend fueling most of my favorite cars would cause me to become a shut-in.

The Fiat 500e would save me a lot of money without boring me, or turning my soul into grey Prius mush.

A Prius is a Prius. Snooze. But a Fiat 500 has style, panache, cred. Whether you tell people it’s electric is up to you.

Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars

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