There are few cars I’ve found more frustrating than the Fiat 500 during the last dozen years or so it’s been on sale. I just didn’t understand how so many people could be so entirely seduced by such a flimsy veneer of derivative styling, to the extent they ignored the utterly mediocre car beneath.
But then again, and as my daughters remind me, fashion and I will be forever strangers. Even so, what hope then for this entirely new Fiat 500? It doesn’t even have a combustion engine to which to cling. All will be electric only, with a base model powered by a tiny 24kWh battery and all others a more meaty 42kWh battery. For those who want an actual engine, the old car remains on sale.
You’d be surprised by the new version. I know I was. It’s a brand-new design and far more spacious, not just because it’s bigger in every direction but also because of the space efficiency of electric car architecture. More notably, it’s built to higher standard than not just the old 500 but any Fiat I’ve driven. Inside and out it feels like a premium product.