Fiat 500e Winner of 2014 Ward’s Auto “10 Best Engines” Award
After evaluating 44 powertrains in October and November, Ward’s Auto editors announced the winners with one EV making the “10 Best Engines” list (of course, EVs have motors, not engine, but we’ll let this slip up slide for now).
This is first time since late 2010—when Ward’s 2011 “10 Best Engines” list contained the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt—that any EV made the list.
The lucky EV to have made the 2014 “10 Best” list is the Fiat 500e.
2014 Ward’s 10 Best Engines:
- 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-6 (BMW 535d)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
- 83-kW Electric Motor (Fiat 500e)
- 1.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-3 (Ford Fiesta)
- 2.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-4 (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel)
- 6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
- 3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
- 2.7L DOHC H-6 boxer (Porsche Cayman)
- 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Volkswagen Jetta)
Why the Fiat 500e?
We must remember that the Fiat 500e has one of the lowest energy-usages out of all of the electric cars available on the market.
Here’s what Ward’s says of its inclusion of the 500e:
“At the other end of the spectrum is the 500e electric city car, a first-time Ward’s 10 Best Engines honor for the Fiat brand.”
“The 83-kW electric motor, fueled by a 24-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, delivers 147 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque at step-off, sending the 3,000-lb. (1,361-kg) 500e from the chute like a pinball. The car repeatedly charged to 85 miles (137 km) of range, as advertised, but it consistently outperformed its indicated range.”
“Several EVs have been evaluated in recent years, but the 500e feels lighter, keeps up with highway traffic more capably, is loads of fun to drive and is reasonably affordable ($33,095 sticker). Supplier Bosch contributed extensive engineering to the powertrain components.”
“For now, the 500e is available only in California, where incentives reduce the price. But a spike in fuel prices might have the rest of the country clamoring for it.”
A win for Fiat, but this is another year without the Tesla Model S among the winners. Ward’s Auto puts a base price cap of $60,000 for its “10 Best Engines” award, so Tesla will probably have to wait until its Model E comes out to have a shot at getting on the list.
Source: Ward’s Auto (sub. req.)