Fiat 500 electric reliability & safety
As this is Fiat’s first pure-electric model, it’s hard to comment on the latest 500’s reliability
Historically, Fiat hasn’t had the strongest reputation for reliability, and while it still lingers close to the bottom of the annual Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, the old 500 remains a firm favourite even after more than a decade on sale. In general, electric cars are more reliable than petrol models, so we expect this 500 to help Fiat turn a corner in its pursuit of greater customer satisfaction.
Fiat 500 electric reliability & problems
It seems unfair to cast judgement on the electric 500’s reliability before any hard data is available. This is the brand’s first pure-electric model, which means much of the technology is new – with little real-world feedback on its long-term dependability just yet.
Historically, Fiat’s reputation for reliability hasn’t been great, and even in recent times the manufacturer could only manage a disappointing 23rd place in the 2020 Driver Power survey. The petrol Fiat 500 performed surprisingly well, however, finishing mid-table – even after more than a decade on sale.
Electric cars in general tend to be more reliable than their petrol or diesel siblings, largely due to their reduced complexity and fewer moving parts. For this reason, we expect the electric 500 to be a pretty reliable small car.
The electric Fiat 500 hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP yet, and due to the fact that so much of it is new, it’s not worth looking at historic scores for the old model. That car was designed over a decade ago, so its most recent three-star rating should come as no surprise.
Every new Fiat 500 comes with automatic emergency braking, while top-spec models get adaptive cruise control, plus lane centring and traffic-jam assistance. We expect crash protection to be first rate, too.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe iconic Fiat 500 city car has gone electric-only in its latest incarnation – and it’s better than its petrol predecessor in every way
- 2Range, battery & chargingThere are two batteries to choose from, with the larger 42kWh model beating both the Honda e and MINI Electric for driving range
- 3Running costsLow prices and zero-emission running make the electric 500 an incredibly cheap car to run – for private buyers and company-car drivers alike
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceEasy, quick and and comfortable, the latest Fiat 500 ticks a lot of boxes. It’s more adept at motorway driving than you might imagine, too
- 5Interior & comfortMid-range electric Fiat 500s come with a good list of standard equipment, and while there are some cheaper materials in some areas, on the whole the electric hatchback feels well built
- 6Practicality & boot spacePoor practicality is the Fiat 500’s biggest downfall, due to its cramped rear seats and tiny boot, whichever model you go for
- 7Reliability & safety - currently readingAs this is Fiat’s first pure-electric model, it’s hard to comment on the latest 500’s reliability