2024 Fiat 500e La Prima Review
Price & Equipment: 7
Performance & Economy: 8
Ride & Handling: 8
Interior & Practicality: 7.5
Service & Warranty: 6
What we like:
  • Plenty of cute character throughout
  • La Prima spec is well featured
  • Good performance and range for its size
What we don't like:
  • Well equipped but not cheap
  • A lower trim level would be a good option
  • Lacklustre warranty program
7.3DiscoverAuto Rating:

When it comes to making automotive products that are characterful and full of passion, the Italians are definitely the best in the industry. Rarely making a boring car, all the Italian brands – regardless of if it’s Fiat or Ferrari – know how to make a product that, while it may not drive that well or be good value, tugs at your heartstrings and makes you really want one. One of the most iconic cars ever made, the Fiat 500 is just one example of Italians making characterful and cool cars. Has the latest 2024 Fiat 500e La Prima pulled off the same trick? Let’s find out.

Sitting in the somewhat-luxurious-small-EV segment and rivalling cars like the Mini Cooper SE and incoming Peugeot E-208 that’s due later this year, the 500e sits above its ancient petrol-powered sibling for now, which still sells in reasonable numbers despite its faults thanks to its cute styling.

How much does the 2024 Fiat 500e cost to buy?

For now, there is just a single model of 2024 Fiat 500e locally, known as the ‘La Prima’ (which translates to ‘the first’ in English) and is priced at $52,500 plus on road costs (or around $57,500 drive away, depending on location and before any state-based EV incentives). Sitting on a different platform to the regular petrol-powered 500 range, the 500e is significantly more expensive than its ICE sibling.

500e La Prima standard equipment:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels with a tyre repair kit
  • Dusk-sensing automatic all-LED exterior lighting
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rain-sensing automatic wipers
  • Glass roof
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Power windows and mirrors
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Synthetic beige leather upholstery
  • Manual front seats with height adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • 7.0-inch digital driver’s display
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Synthetic leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 2x USB-A port and 1x USB-C port
  • Wireless phone charger

500e La Prima standard safety equipment:

  • Six airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with vulnerable road user detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control with lane trace assistance and traffic jam assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed limit assistance
  • Hill hold assistance
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Front, side and rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Auto high beam

The 2024 Fiat 500e received a four-star ANCAP rating in 2021 with scores of 78 per cent for adult protection, 79 per cent for child protection, 67 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 67 per cent for safety assist.

500e La Prima colour range:

  • Ice White: $0
  • Onyx Black: $990
  • Ocean Green: $990
  • Mineral Grey: $990
  • Rose Gold: $990
  • Celestial Blue (triple layer colour fitted to our test car): $1,600

There is quite a lot of competition to the 500e in the $50,000-$60,000 range, including the Mini Cooper SE, MG 4, GWM Ora, BYD Dolphin, Hyundai Kona Electric and even the Tesla Model 3. All of these cars – even the Mini – offer more equipment, more range, more performance and – crucially for some – more car, though none offer the same amount of character, if that’s what you’re after.

How much range does the 2024 Fiat 500e have?

Under the body of the 2024 Fiat 500e La Prima is a 42kWh lithium-ion battery pack that feeds an 87kW/220Nm electric motor driving the front wheels. The claimed driving range is 311km on the WLTP cycle, while it can be charged at a maximum of 11kW on an AC charger or 85kW on a DC fast charger. Charging the 500e from 0 to 80 per cent takes as little as 35 minutes at 85kW, while the same charge using a slower AC charger (at 11kW) will take approximately four hours and 15 minutes.

The driving experience of the 2024 Fiat 500e is a mostly positive one. It is more than peppy enough for city streets despite its on paper low power figure and it darts from lane to lane, putting a massive smile on your face. Fiat claims that the 500e will consume 14.4kWh/100km and our week spent behind the wheel saw just under that at 14.0kWh/100km, but we didn’t use it on a motorway and consumption would likely climb.

What is the 2024 Fiat 500e like to drive?

Sitting on Stellantis’ ‘SCCS’ platform that has underpinned a number of cars dating back to 2005 but now sits underneath cars like the Alfa Romeo Tonale and Jeep Compass, the 2024 Fiat 500e is no sports car but it’s still quite fun to drive thanks to its small size and quick steering rack. It’s absolutely perfect for the urban environment thanks to all that, but also its good visibility helps massively in the inner city. Road noise levels aren’t the lowest, but it’s otherwise quiet because it has no engine.

The ride quality of the 500e is perhaps not as plush as it could be, however, thanks to the combination of large (for its size) 17-inch wheels and its short wheelbase. Bumps are felt quite a lot in the 500e, though its body control is pretty good and it settles quickly. The 500e’s active safety equipment is pretty good as well, especially the adaptive cruise control with adaptive lane guidance and traffic jam assist.

How practical is the 2024 Fiat 500e?

As you’d expect for an Italian product, the interior of the 2024 Fiat 500e is full of character, including a number of cute Easter eggs like ‘made in Torino’ labelling, 500e logos and even a skyline view of Torino on the wireless phone charger. Everything in the 500e’s cabin looks good from the textured dashboard materials to the cool ‘Fiat’ embroidery in the seat upholstery, though actual material quality isn’t quite as impressive with no soft dashboard materials, though the faux leather trim on the seats and doors is nice.

The 500e’s cabin is much more practical than the regular 500 though, with plenty of cool storage places. The door bins are reasonable, there’s a small tray underneath the control panel where the wireless charger is, a reasonable glovebox, a deep bin underneath the central armrest with a cupholder and then some pull out cupholders in front of said bin. The 500e’s front seats are comfortable and visibility – thanks to its small size – is excellent with large windows and mirrors.

Centre of the 500e’s cabin is a 10.25-inch touchscreen that features in a lot of other Stellantis cars like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Alfa Romeo Tonale. It’s well featured and the screen quality is quite good, and it’s quite a responsive system to use as well, though the icons on the screen are a bit small and it can be difficult to place while at speed. The wireless Apple CarPlay worked flawlessly in our time with it, though we’d like to see live services for the navigation system. The digital driver’s display looks good too, though we think it’s a bit small.

For anybody approaching six-feet tall, the back seat of the 500e is not a useable space with tight legroom and headroom. The back seat also has no features like cup holders or vents, though the panoramic glass roof lets in a good amount of light to at least make it feel roomier. Access to the rear seat is difficult for taller folks and because of that, we’d love to see the ‘3+1’ variant with its extra rear door on one side offered in Australia to help access to the rear seat. There are two ISOFIX points and two top-tether points for child seats.

The boot of the 500e measures just 185-litres with the seats up and 550L with them folded, though they fold nowhere near flat. The boot features under-floor storage – mostly for the charging cable – but that’s it. Instead of a spare wheel, there’s a tyre repair kit.

What warranty covers the 2024 Fiat 500e?

Fiat is one of the last remaining brands currently on sale in Australia that still covers its products with a lacklustre three-year/150,000km warranty, which is well behind Mini’s five-year/unlimited km warranty. Like the Mini, the Fiat comes with three years of roadside assistance.

Servicing the 2024 Fiat 500e La Prima will occurs every 12 months or 15,000km, which is the same as the GWM Ora but the BYD Dolphin can go longer between services with 12 month or 20,000km intervals. The cost to service the Fiat over the span of five years or 75,000km is $1,250 (the first eight services are $250 each) which is less than the $1,754 ($292 average annual cost) that the BYD costs but more than the $495 total of the GWM.

Should I buy a 2024 Fiat 500e La Prima?

Should you buy a 2024 Fiat 500e La Prima really depends on what you’re looking for in a car. If you need to regularly carry adults in the rear and actual luggage, a larger MG 4 is not only more practical but it’s a much better all-rounder than the Fiat. However, we don’t think that those two will be cross-shopped because those who want a Fiat will buy the Fiat, and for them, any other brand will likely not suffice.

Those who do buy the 500e will be rewarded with a car that’s bursting full of character with a surprisingly good list of standard equipment. It also offers good performance and reasonable range for its size, while it drives mostly well as well. Counting against the 500e is its sub-par warranty, its limited practicality, its sharp ride quality and that it’s really not cheap to buy. However, those negatives are easy to look past as, well, just look at it. It’s so cute to look at and fun to drive that it’s impossible not to have a good time behind the wheel of.

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