2015 Fiat 500e review

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The 2015 Fiat 500 minicar blends practical fun and quirky cuteness, each quality chosen in just the right amount to win over urban commuters as well as those who want a small but distinctive second or third car.

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 It's an excellent city car for tiny parking places—and its personality can change from fuel-efficient to surprisingly sporty or entirely electric, depending on model chosen. All share a high enjoyment factor; the Fiat 500 is a car that makes owners and onlookers alike smile.

We're particularly fond of the Abarth editions, which have picked up the nickname "Hellrat" (in homage to the new 707-hp "Hellcat" versions of the Dodge Charger and Challenger). The 500 Cabrio offers open-air runabout style without the hassle of putting down a full cloth top, and the 500e is an amazingly perky and sweet-handling electric car that's regrettably unavailable to drivers outside California.

We're not fond, however, of the 500's minuscule rear-seat space, the odd ergonomics of the driver's seat, and its low ratings on crash-safety tests.

2015 Fiat 500e review
2015 FIAT 500 Styling :

The 2015 Fiat 500 remains as charming as it has been since it debuted in the U.S.. It's exterior is made unique with pert, upright styling and character-filled lines, while its interior is constructed of relatively inexpensive materials that seem to look more upscale than they actually are.

Just as in the MINI Cooper, the Fiat 500 has an interior that could be seen as a little gimmicky or overstyled. But we think that the controls and displays, in contrast to the MINI's chaotic layout, make more sense and are more intuitive: They're simple concentric gauges on the 500, yet layers of color and detail draw your hand to touch them and your eyes to linger on them. And we like how the interior of the 500 has a playfulness that veers in whichever direction you want: sexy and attention-getting, or more of a Hollywood Regency style.

Though it's tall and somewhat upright by nature, the Fiat 500 somehow adds up to something svelte. The lower third of the shape manages to (mostly) hide the extra bulk needed for modern safety; meanwhile the combination of cues including the button-like headlamps, upward-sloping sides, forward-sloping rear glass, and mustache bar in front, altogether results in a thoroughly modern design that also builts on the essence of the classic Cinquecento shape.

2015 FIAT 500 Performance :

Amongst other econobox small cars, the Fiat 500 is relatively engaging to drive, especially in its turbo and Abarth guises. And the 500e battery-electric version delivers silent yet thrilling performance, especially at city speeds.

Throughout the lineup, you now have a choice between an automatic transmission or manual gearbox; our driving time has exclusively been spent in manual versions, so far; but for 2015 the 500 Turbo, Abarth, and Abarth Cabrio models all gain the option of a six-speed automatic transmission.

As for the five-speed manual, the shifter action is light and precise enough, although the limited foot space doesn't mate up with the clutch pedal's long stroke and high uptake point. On automatics, a Sport button that tightens up shift points and quickens the throttle feel.

2015 FIAT 500 Comfort & Quality :

The Fiat 500 is noisy in every form, though you can drown out the noise by choosing the Abarth version with its beefy exhaust note.

There's a fair amount of road noise, no matter what; and in the Abarth, lots of extra engine noise to go with it; the note is downright raspy, throaty and, when you're really on it, mean. In cruising it can be a bit more than you might like for conversation, but it's not loud enough to be annoying. And the bright side of it is that the cabin's so small, you're always very close to your passengers.

The best daily use for those back seats is as a parcel shelf, the seatbacks in their lowered position. If you absolutely must, however, the rear seats can, technically, hold two smallish humans. For a short time.

2015 FIAT 500 Safety :

In the land of SUVs and big trucks, safety should absolutely be concern when shopping for a small car like the Fiat 500. However, if you take into consideration how nimble and responsive the 500 can be–plus Fiat's inclusion of the necessary safety features, buying this small car doesn't seem all bad.

Like any modern car, the Fiat 500 offers standard dual front, side and curtain airbags; it also includes a driver knee airbag. And in addition to the anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, there's a hill-hold feature that's nifty in the city.

As for top-tier active-safety systems (things like lane-departure warning or adaptive cruise control), you won't find those in the Fiat 500.

2015 Fiat 500e review
2015 FIAT 500 Features :

There are three primary trims for the Fiat 500–Pop, Sport, and Lounge–and there are Turbo and sporty Abarth versions available, too.

The 500T slots between the 500 Abarth and the standard 500, it gets a 135-horsepower turbocharged engine, some sportier exterior details, and a "sport influenced" interior.

With the Fiat 500 Abarth, this little hatchback becomes a performance car and includes a much more potent 160-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder engine, and a range of bodywork and interior cues to suit it. On the equipment side, the Abarth comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, performance cloth seats, 16x6.5-inch wheels, and Abarth logos inside and out.

Car Tech - 2016 Fiat 500e

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2015 FIAT 500 Fuel Economy : 

The 2015 Fiat 500 isn't as miserly as some of the other small cars on the road, but it's still more efficient than most vehicles on sale in the U.S. today.

If you go for the 500 Abarth, you gain power at the cost of fuel-efficiency, which still ranks well: it rates 28/34 mpg with the manual transmission.

The most efficient model is the base 500 equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, earning an EPA-estimated 31 mpg city and 40 highway. The optional six-speed automatic drops those figures to 27 mpg and 34 mpg, respectively.

2015 Fiat 500e review


Highs :

  • Turbo models add fun
  • Rev-happy engines
  • An exterior like no other mini
  • Fantastic interior styling
  • Strong feature set


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