FIAT

FIAT 500 ELECTRIC CABRIO 87kW La Prima 42kWh 2dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph9s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range185 miles

Everything is different about the new third generation Fiat 500 EV - but much is also very much the same when it comes to this open air Convertible version with its fabric folding top. This model has always been a cute option for fresh air fashion seekers. Now, it offers a cleaner, different approach to budget-orientated open air motoring.

OPEN AIR

The all-electric New Fiat 500 Convertible adds soft top appeal to an EV that re-invents and re-defines what this iconic model line should be. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Everything is different about the new third generation Fiat 500 EV - but much is also very much the same when it comes to this open air Convertible version with its fabric folding top. This model has always been a cute option for fresh air fashion seekers. Now, it offers a cleaner, different approach to budget-orientated open air motoring.

Background

'Al fresco' motoring has always been a significant option in creating the full Fiat 500 experience. Indeed, it only took a year from the launch of the original 'Nuova 500' in 1957 for an open-topped '500N' version to be introduced. This wasn't a full convertible - and it didn't need to be. Instead, a vast fabric sunroof provided open air enjoyment without the need for significant extra cost or weight. Just as it does in this modern-era open-topped 500 model, the fully electric 500 cabriolet. What's officially called the 'New 500 cabriolet' is, for the time being, sold alongside the old 500C, which continues on with a conventional mild hybrid 1.0-litre petrol engine. This latest car is fractionally bigger than that old second generation model, but uses much the same kind of fabric folding top. Unlike some stylised direct EV segment rivals, there's a proper driving range of nearly 200 miles with the volume 42kWh version.

Driving Experience

Unlike the fixed-top model, the cabriolet body style doesn't get the smaller 23.8kWh battery that features with tin-top Fiat 500 EV 'Action'-spec models. But you won't really want that unless you're very urban-based as it restricts you to a WLTP-rated driving range of just 115 miles. The far preferable 42kWh battery pack you have to have here is mated to an 87kW (118hp) motor and is fitted across the rest of the 500 cabriolet range. This is good for 186-199 miles and this variant takes around 9 seconds to get from rest to 62mph, so it'll easily keep up with the traffic flow. Like all EVs, this one feels even quicker off the mark than that figure suggests (30mph can be reached from rest in just 3.1s), though Fiat has tried to make power delivery quite linear so that you don't use up all your battery charge at once. Maximum speed is restricted though (to just 93mph). Various types of automated driving technology are available, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and intelligent speed limit assist. Various drive modes are available that will enable you to maximise your driving range. There are three settings - 'Normal', 'Range' and the curiously named 'Sherpa', with the last of these being focused on getting the maximum from the battery, including a navigation program that will limit maximum speed to 50mph and restrict acceleration. The 'Range' mode maximises brake regeneration, meaning that you'll normally only have to drive with one pedal, so great will be the deceleration when you lift off the throttle. But most of the time, you'll be leaving in this car in its 'Normal' setting, in which form it won't require too much acclimatisation over any other small car.

Design and Build

As with the old 500C, there's no proper convertible top; just what amounts to a fabric folding sunroof, though it electrically retracts right back to give a decent wind-in-the-hair feel. The rest of the car is, of course, exactly like the fixed-top version. Don't be deceived by the familiar looks; everything is new here - including the fresh architecture that this car sits upon. That's allowed for a subtle increase in size, this cabriolet version (like its fixed-top counterpart) being 3.36m long and 1.69m wide, an increase of 6cm in both length and width over the old 500C. The 1.53m height means it's 4cm taller too. Fiat has deliberately made exterior look an evolution of this car's predecessor - specifically in the light and bumper designs. Look more closely though and you'll spot sharper lines and flush door handles, plus the adoption of full-LED headlights. For existing 500C owners, much less will be recognisable inside, where the dashboard is much wider and now topped by a big 10.25-inch touchscreen housing the brand's latest U connect 5 media system. This can deliver navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay. Out back, the 2cm wheelbase increase means that things aren't quite as cramped as before: indeed, Fiat markets this drop-top version as 'the world's first 4-seat convertible EV'. The company also reckons that the floor-mounted battery pack won't reduce luggage capacity. It's 185-litres.

Market and Model

As usual with EVs, we'll quote prices after deduction of the usual government Plug-in car Grant (£1,500). The Convertible range commands a premium of around £2,700 over the fixed-up version, but the starting price is quite a lot higher because this soft top can't be had with base 'Action' trim and the smaller battery. That means prices start at just under £30,000 for base 'Icon' trim, rising to just under £32,500 for the top 'La Prima' derivative. One nice little touch across the line-up is that the legally required low-speed acoustic warning sound that warns pedestrians of your approach in town is taken from the musician Nina Rota's score for the film 'Amacord'. Fiat wanted this acoustic warning sound to play like a melody, like the ring tones of your phone. Across the range, you get the brand's latest 'U connect 5' 10.25-inch centre-dash infotainment screen, which is fully connected and based on the Android operating system. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-mirroring. The 'La Prima' launch-spec model comes with full-LED headlights, 17-inch diamond-cut wheels and chrome-plated side panel inserts. It will be offered with three exclusive paint shades. Inside, there's eco-leather upholstery for the dashboard and the seats. Safety kit includes big car-style features like autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree parking assist system. As an option, Fiat is offering an intelligent adaptive cruise control system, which combines automatic lane keeping and a feature that will keep you a predefined distance from the vehicle ahead.

Cost of Ownership

In this 42kWh form, the new 500 cabriolet features an 85kW rapid charging system that can recharge the battery from empty to 80% capacity in just 35 minutes and can provide the car with 31 miles of driving range in just 5 minutes. Buyers can also get a Fiat-branded wall charging box that offers 3kW charging and apparently doesn't need to be professionally installed. This wallbox can be upgraded to allow for 7.4kW charging at home. That 7.4kW wall box allows you to fully charge this electric 500 in just over 6 hours. The car also comes with a mode 3 cable for charging at up to 11kW from a public charging point. It can be charged via AC or DC power points. The important driving range figure for the 42kWh model is quoted at 186-199 miles on the WLTP cycle - which is close to the 211 mile EV driving figure you'll get from an EV supermini in the next class up, like a Peugeot e-208 or a Vauxhall Corsa-e. As usual with a Fiat, this car is covered by a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and there's 36 months of breakdown cover included as well. Should you have a problem on a journey, you can use the 'Uconnect' infotainment system to contact roadside assistance and the same set-up can also be used to book routine services too.

Summary

We're used to the idea of paying through the nose for items deemed to be on the cutting edge of fashion but Fiat's New 500 Convertible, though hardly inexpensive, to some extent provides a welcome break from all that. Though the premium this soft-top model demands over its hatchback counterpart seems high, the overall package still represents one of the most affordable routes into soft-top motoring for EV customers. And the car that comes with it remains one of the trendiest on the road, just as liable to turn heads whether you've plumped for the entry-level version or shelled out for something much plusher. And in summary? Well in one of these, even the most mundane of commutes can be turned into a journey you might actually look forward to making. Here's an open-topped citycar that's very difficult to dislike, a carefree cabrio that's free, sunny and open in its outlook, with a sheer joie de vivre that's central to its charming appeal. Choosing a 'fashionable' little runabout can often be a risk. Here though, is one you can enjoy without a worry.

  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Driver and passenger's one touch up/down electric windows

  • ESC + ASR/MSR + HBA + Hill holder
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Brake assist function
  • Electronic parking brake

  • Front/Rear floor mats with 500 logo

  • E-call
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Wireless apple car play/android Auto
  • Voice recognition

  • Intelligent speed assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Front parking sensors
  • Attention assist
  • Traffic sign information
  • Vehicle Start Button
  • 360 degree parking sensors
  • Rear view parking camera
  • Power assist steering
  • Blind spot warning
  • Fiat Co-Driver (Autonomous Driving L2 with iACC and lane centering)

  • EV mode selector
  • 85kW fast charge
  • Dusk sensor

  • Uconnect live service
  • 7" TFT instrument cluster
  • Drowsy driver detection
  • 10.25" touchscreen infotainment with navigation

  • Body colour electric adjustable heated door mirrors
  • Electrochromatic rear view mirror

  • Mode 3 charging cable with bag

  • DAB radio
  • 2x Front USB port
  • 6 speakers

  • Door sill kick plates
  • Chrome side mouldings
  • Chromed daylight opening
  • Dedicated plate
  • Monogram capote

  • Automatic high/low beam
  • LED headlamps
  • LED reverse light
  • Welcome lighting
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights
  • LED Indicators
  • LED rear fog light

  • Cabin pre-conditioning
  • Automatic air conditioning

  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Auxilliary 12V power socket
  • Front armrest
  • Steering wheel with audio controls
  • Bi-colour eco leather steering wheel
  • Centre console storage with sliding and closing door
  • Eco leather upholstery with Fiat monogram

  • 7 airbags - Driver, passenger, side, window and drivers knee airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking

  • 6 way manually adjustable front seats
  • Front headrests
  • 50/50 split folding rear seat
  • Rear head restraints

  • Remote central locking
  • Immobiliser
  • Automatic door locking
  • Keyless Start
  • Passive entry and wearable key

  • 17" alloy wheels

  • Fix and go puncture repair kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 915
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 255
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 11
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 35
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 85
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 99630
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 37.3
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 430
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 298
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.9
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.2
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 267
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 185

  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Engine Code: N

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: La Prima
  • Coin Description: 87kW 42kWh
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 118
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 21D
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 118
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9
  • Top Speed: 93
  • Engine Power - KW: 87
  • Engine Power - RPM: N
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 162
  • Engine Torque - NM: 220

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A

  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/45 R17

  • Length: 3632
  • Width: 1683
  • Wheelbase: 2322
  • Width (including mirrors): 1900
  • Height: 1527
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 185
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 400
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1405
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1805
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 550
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.7

  • Easy wallbox (home charging): £545

  • Traffic jam assist: £225

  • Tri coat paint: £1,700
  • Wind stop: £155
  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Special metallic paint: £600
  • Special pastel paint: £450

  • Winter Pack - 500: £450

  • Metallic paint - Renault Metallic-Ocean Green: £600
  • Metallic - Mineral grey: £0
  • Metallic - Celestial blue: £600
  • Metallic - Rose gold: £600

  • Tri-coat - Glacier Blue: £1,700
  • Special pastel - Onyx black: £450

  • Perimetral anti-theft alarm with horn - protects door, liftgate and bonnet: £300

  • Eco leather with Fiat monogram - Beige: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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