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In-depth reviews

Fiat 500e: interior, dashboard & infotainment

The Fiat 500e’s interior isn’t quite as plush as its price point suggests, but the infotainment system is good, nonetheless

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Interior, dashboard & infotainment rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£28,195 - £34,195
Fuel Type:
Electric

The old Fiat 500 was adored for its cheeky, retro styling and while the new electric model doesn’t quite have the old-school charm of its predecessor, a smattering of up-to-date tech helps make up for this somewhat.

Fiat 500e dashboard

The old petrol 500 was really starting to show its age inside. It had been updated a few times since it launched in 2007, but more recently, the car's design and technology fell some way short of the class best. Now, though, Fiat has brought the 500 bang up-to-date.

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Quality may be patchy in places – hard scratchy plastics are juxtaposed by the lovely leather on the steering wheel – but the overall design is pretty ergonomic. We like how Fiat has kept a row of physical toggle switches to adjust the air con, while selecting a gear is as simple as pressing a button.

We do have a couple of reservations, though; we feel the electric door release switches are a tad unnecessary, though thankfully there's a manual release in case they fail. Another is the severe lack of colour; while (RED) edition models get some flashes of (guess which) colour here and there and La Prima models get luxurious-feeling cream leather, the interiors of base cars feel a little dark and dingy – especially compared to the retro-inspired light tartan seats of the petrol 500.

Equipment, options & accessories

As of November 2023, the Fiat 500 is available in three trim levels: the base ‘New 500’, (RED) and ‘La Prima by Bocelli’. You can only get the La Prima with a 42kWh battery, while the entry-level 500 and (RED) edition are offered with both 24kWh and 42kWh setups.

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The Fiat 500e currently starts at just over £28,000, rising to over £31,000 if you want the extra range from the bigger battery. Meanwhile, the convertible version costs around £3,000 more. Standard kit includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, automatic wipers and traffic-sign information. All cars also get cruise control, climate control, split-folding rear-seats and rapid charging capability.

For the same price, you can go for the (RED) edition. Kit is the same as on the New 500, but you get a choice of four paint schemes, the most distinctive being the single-tone ‘red by (RED)’ option. Go for one of the other colours (Ice White, Onyx Black or Mineral Grey) and you still get red door mirrors and badging at the front, rear and in the centre of the steering wheel. Inside, the dashboard is also painted in the charity’s signature red, there’s a contrasting driver’s seat in either red or black, and a red anodised aluminium accelerator pedal.

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The ‘La Prima by Bocelli’ special edition sits at the top of the range. It costs £3,000 more than the New 500 and (RED) trims when equipped with the 42kWh battery, but for that you get full LED headlights, 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, a panoramic roof, a woven dashboard and ice-beige seats with the Fiat signature. Not to mention a premium 320-watt JBL audio system, fully integrated with the vehicle and taking up no extra boot or cabin space. There are extra driver aids and semi-autonomous technology features, too.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

Every version of the 500e gets a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a sizeable 10.25-inch central touchscreen. The infotainment system itself is light years ahead of anything we’ve seen in Fiats before, with a fairly slick interface and plenty of functionality. Built-in sat nav comes as standard, although wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included, meaning you can use your phone’s mapping and music apps, plus any associated voice features.

It's worth noting that at launch Fiat also offered the 500e in entry-level ‘Action’ trim which forwent the central touchscreen in favour of a cradle for your mobile phone. Thankfully, all new cars get the touchscreen, but this may be something worth keeping in mind if you’re looking to buy your Fiat 500e on the used market.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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