Zap-Map verdict: ”The Cinquecento is electric only, but all the better for it.”
- ● OTR: £23,995
- ● Category: City car
- ● Tax: £0 VED – 1% BIK
- ● Cost to charge: £6.70
- ● Emissions: 0 g/km CO2
- ● Cost per mile of range: £121
Fiat 500 42 kWh: Range & charging
Fiat’s 500 is offered with a choice of two battery packs – the 24 kWh entry level model or this one, the 42 kWh version. With a larger capacity battery comes a range of 199 miles on a charge, which is huge considering the 500 will normally be used for short trips. DC charging at up to 85 kW on CCS units means top-ups are half an hour or less, and AC charging is possible at up to 11 kW.
There is one Long Range specification available:
- ● Fiat 500 42 kWh – 87 kW – 42 kWh – 199 miles
Fiat’s official WLTP range for the 500 Long Range is 199 miles on a charge, though there is also the shorter range 24 kWh battery available with 118 miles.
In real-world driving, the little Fiat was comfortably able to better its official economy score when sticking to its natural urban routes. I regularly calculated a range of more than 200 miles in these conditions. On faster roads, the range still held up well, and dropped to around 180 miles unless driven particularly hard.
Fiat’s braking system is an impressive one, well suited to the car’s needs. There is a standard set-up, the equivalent of ‘D’, but called Normal, or two other settings that bring about one-pedal driving capabilities – Range and Sherpa. The latter restricts performance, while Range simple adds strong regen – and it works well on the road.
Not only is the Fiat’s battery capacity relatively compact, though still considerable for a car this size, but the Italian manufacturer has added high-power charging at up to 85 kW DC. It means that the long range of well over 150 miles on a charge at motorway speeds can be supplemented by fairly short recharging times of half an hour or so.
The Fiat 500 42 kWh on the road
The Fiat 500 is one of the most famous car names on the road, and that comes with certain expectations in driving style. The electric 500 more than meets the challenge, and is a brilliant little car – regardless of whether it’s electric or not. The electric motor actually makes things better; it’s responsive, agile, and nippy in traffic, with plenty to it on the open road too.
What’s the Fiat 500 42 kWh like to drive?
The 87 kW motor fitted alongside the larger battery means the 500 can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 9.0 seconds. It feels quicker. Those short bursts of acceleration required around town are dealt with easily, and the car feels perfectly suited to urban driving. It doesn’t run out of puff on open roads, however, and could easily deal with regular faster routes.
Fiat 500 42 kWh: Comfort & Practicality
If you’re looking for a spacious family car with a large boot and plenty of leg and head room in the back… look elsewhere. But then you shouldn’t really be considering little runabouts anyway. The 500 is practical enough for one or two sitting up front, but adults will feel cramped in the rear. And the boot isn’t particularly large either, though again, it’s likely to be useful enough for a single person or couple of adults for daily use.
Design and functionality
It’s tricky to update a stylish and popular model, but Fiat has done an excellent job with the latest 500. It’s still clearly a Fiat 500, but it’s a bit more grown up, stylish, and modern. The controls inside reflect the theme, and there are little nods to the 500’s history dotted about the cabin.
Fiat 500 42 kWh: Tech & Specifications
There are two core trim levels with the Fiat 500 42 kWh. Fitted as standard are:
- 15-inch alloys
- Air conditioning
- 7-inch infotainment screen with smartphone connectivity
- Connect services
- 7-inch digital instrument cluster
- Rear parking sensors
- Drive mode select
Fiat’s 500 is one of the best city cars on sale today. It’s improved by its electric underpinnings rather than hindered by them, and proves to be a characterful, nippy, easy yet fun to drive runabout.
And how much is the road tax on a Fiat 500 42 kWh? Use our Car Tax Calculator to find out.
All information above correct at time of publication. Official economy figures, pricing, and tax rates supplied by the manufacturer. Cost to charge based on 0-100% charge at home on a tariff of 16 p/kWh.