CNET Rips on Fiat 500e for Disappointing TomTom Navigation, But is Otherwise Pleased With Electric 500

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 9

fiat 500e interior

We’ve all seen that add-on TomTom navigation unit on the Fiat 500e, right?  It looks so out of place inside the electric 500’s otherwise simple, clean interior.  It’s an eyesore for sure and definitely an afterthought.  But all these flaws could be forgiven if it’s functionality was unmatched.500e interior

Unfortunately, it’s the TomTom unit that drew the most flack from CNET’s review of the 500e.  As CNET says, “The TomTom navigation system was disappointing.”

Fortunately, that was the biggest complaint from CNET in an otherwise glowing review of the 500e.

Here’s CNET’s summary of its time spent behind the wheel of the electric 500:

The good: The 2013 Fiat 500e’s silent electric engine offers good low- and midrange acceleration and feels capable at highway speeds. Cabin tech is simple, but checks the right boxes for audio sources and hands-free calling. The mobile app lets the driver monitor the vehicle and its battery remotely.

The bad: The TomTom navigation system was disappointing. Could take up to a full 24 hours to charge on 110v outlet power.

The bottom line: The pure-electric 2013 Fiat 500e has the looks, the range, and the power to be city-car practical, but competing models offer better dashboard tech.

So, if you can deal with that “disappointing” TomTom unit that oddly sits alone on the dash, then maybe the 500e is the right choice for you.  Unfortunately, you’d have to live in California to get one and we hear its already sold out.

Source: CNET

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9 responses to "CNET Rips on Fiat 500e for Disappointing TomTom Navigation, But is Otherwise Pleased With Electric 500"

  1. David Murray says:

    I hate it when reviewers mention the charge time on 110V. It is really misleading to people for a couple of reasons. For one, people don’t realize that in most cases people will be using a 220V source. The second issue is that the charge time listed is always a full charge, which is rare. Most people will get home and plug in without being completely drained. And thus, somebody who drives less than 40 miles per day could probably get by with just 110V charging being that it could recharge in about 8 hours.

    1. Aaron says:

      Agreed. A better metric might be how long it takes for a half-full charge at 220V. Heck, I only charge my i-MiEV once every 4 days, so if I were to charge it daily at 220V, it would take less than 2 hours. That would sure help from turning people off from electric cars. How about a “miles per hour” charge rate? At 3.3kW, my i-MiEV charges at 8 miles per hour. Nah, that would still confuse the Wal*Mart crowd…

      1. Dave R says:

        Guys, it’s 120V on L1 and 240V on L2 unless you’re connected to 3-phase commercial power in which case you might get 208V.

        If you’re getting 110V or 220V there’s something wrong. 😛

        1. Aaron says:

          I kept with 220V because that’s what David was mentioning. At my house, I get 236V on my EVSE if you REALLY want to be technical. 🙂

          By the way, Eric Loveday, please spell “disappointing” correcting (correctly) in your headline. You might seriously want to consider using Google Chrome with its built-in spell checker… saves my butt quite often. 🙂

          1. Gary H says:

            No need to “diss” on him so often. (Actually yes I support it. Speling is always a good thing…See what I did there?)
            BTW, “Please spell “disappointing” *correcting* ?” I just had to chuckle at something on a rainy day.

          2. Eric Loveday says:

            In our all-out effort to publish something like 14 new posts in 24 hours, we may have overlooked a few words here and there. Good thing we’ve got guys like Aaron to help us out 🙂

  2. Open-Mind says:

    “Rips on?” Not so much. Mostly some valid criticisms delivered along with lots of praise.

  3. Camiev says:

    For the price, I will get the Spark EV. Thank you. Plus, you will be in a very small grp of owners. Less than 1000. Good luck find help and parts later. Maybe get together with Coda and Fisker owners for sympathy support.

  4. Peter says:

    TomToms are great navigation devices in terms of fast routing, traffic avoidance, easy of use. Indeed the standard black box that’s used in all FIAT’s doesn’t match with the white interior. But this is a point where I think function is more important than form.

    In the future FIAT will have their own built in navigation devices called UConnect, instead of the current ‘semi-integrated’ TomTom devices. UConnect will feature tomtom technology (maps, traffic, routing) on board, but the hardware will not be TomTom’s but something designed for the car interior, built in the dashboard. Which to me seems best of both worlds.

    TomTom is also working on over the air updates of maps and software through wifi or 3G/4G. Which means future built-in navigation solutions won’t be out of date as soon as you buy the car. Which is the case with most current nav solutions, including the expensive ones at Audi and Merc.