Top Gear Drives the Fiat 500e; Falls in Love

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 11

Fiat 500e is Top Gear's Electric of Choice

Fiat 500e is Top Gear’s Electric of Choice

Fiat 500e is Priced at $22,500 After Incentives in California.

Fiat 500e is Priced at $22,500 After Incentives in California.

The praise for the electric Fiat 500e keeps pouring in.  It’s still fresh in our minds that Consumer Reports called it a hoot to drive.  That, perhaps, was a bit unexpected, but this here news is even more so: Top Gear fell head-over-heels in love with the spunky 500e.

Yes, that’s right, Top Gear slings out words of praise for an electric vehicle.

Here are a few choice selections from Top Gear’s glowing review of the 500e:

How far can it go on a charge – and I mean really go, not what the brochure says?

“Good question. Fiat reckons it’ll do 87 miles on a single charge, but that doesn’t factor in the amount of energy the car can recover while braking. On the test route we drove the range went up and down depending on the road speed and geography – the car calculates range based on current and recent past driving patterns. But by the time we had finished the hilly 50-mile there was still around half of the charge left. So say nearer 100.” [a figure Consumer Reports agrees with]

That’s enough of the technical stuff, what’s it like to drive?

2014 Fiat 500e Not So Cute Dressed in Black

2014 Fiat 500e Not So Cute Dressed in Black

“Excellent. Other than the Abarth models, this has to be the pick of the 500 pack. It might weigh 600lb more than a standard petrol 500, but Fiat has distributed the weight so well, you don’t notice it much. The 500e is now 57:43 front/rear instead of the petrol cars’ 64:36, and it feels like it. Combined with the 200Nm available from 0 (zero) revs and no gears to bother with, this is one of the all-time best city cars ever made.”

Really? It’s that good?

“Yep. There’s just nothing to worry about other than having fun. And maybe where the next charge is coming from. Even the brakes feel like regular brakes, even though, above 8mph, it’s all done by regeneration, not using the discs.”

Unfortunately, as Top Gear points out and most of us already know, the Fiat 500e is a California-only offering at this point in time.  But with all the glowing reviews out there and a lease price of only $199 per month, we sure do think this “one of the all-time best city cars ever made” should, well, be made for all to enjoy.  Fingers crossed on this one.

Source: Top Gear

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11 responses to "Top Gear Drives the Fiat 500e; Falls in Love"

  1. David Murray says:

    I still think they are ugly.

    1. Warren says:

      In the eye of the beholder. One of the sexiest cars I have ever seen.

      1. Brian says:

        Eye of the beholder indeed. I don’t personally know of anyone who thinks any Fiat is “sexy”. “Cute” maybe, but mostly in a condescending way – “oh, isn’t that cute…”

  2. Acevolt says:

    The lease deal for this is much better than the Spark EV, with more miles 15K instead of 12K plus the rental.

  3. vdiv says:

    Wait, wait, wait, wait! Top Gear didn’t show it running prematurely out of charge in the middle of a busy intersection, or a couple of big blokes pushing it down the track into a garage, or JZ and JM trying to stretch an extension cord across a marina or busy street to charge it?

    How quaint!

  4. Brian says:

    Wait, Top Gear praised an EV? Does this mean there’s hope that even the most hard-core gear heads can see the light, that EVs don’t have to be boring or scary to drive? Forget the Fiat 500e (ok, not really – bring it on), but this is the real milestone!

  5. George Parrott says:

    Now, the (Top Gear) might be regretting the farce they pulled with the Tesla Roadster, since I really, really doubt Elon Musk is going to give them access to a press/media test drive in the Model S.

    Maybe James May will BUY a Model S, and they can flog his?

  6. Cavaron says:

    Top Gear praised an EV? I have to check if gravity still pulls things to the ground…

  7. Anon says:

    Don’t go for it, Elon! It’s a TRAP!

  8. DonH says:

    Just another backhand to American EV’s, the 500e being a European car. This program run by a Brit who thinks he is funnier than he really is apparently just doesnt like Americans. Tesla should have won in court, oh wait, that was a British court wasnt it, one has to wonder.

  9. Jeff says:

    “…but that doesn’t factor in the amount of energy the car can recover while braking.”

    My God, these guys are dumb/uninformed.