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Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e: safety and reliability

With plenty of safety kit on all these cars, the Fiat’s Level 2 autonomous driving capability sets it apart from the other two

Fiat 500

The electric Fiat 500 has yet to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but it comes with all of the latest active safety technology, and so should easily surpass the three-star safety rating of the old 500. There’s also an ISOFIX child-seat mounting point available for the front passenger seat. 

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The Honda e went through Euro NCAP crash-testing in 2019, when it was awarded a four-star rating. The electric Honda received a 76% score for adult occupant protection, 82% for child protection and 65% for its safety assist systems. However, ISOFIX child-seat mounts are only available for the rear seats in this car.

The Honda does have an impressive array of safety equipment, including a semi-autonomous driving mode that combines lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of driving in heavy traffic or on the motorway. It also gets traffic-sign recognition that beams the relevant speed limit onto the dashboard, as well as those cameras in place of door mirrors. Advance spec adds a rear-view camera built into the rear-view mirror, which you can switch on or off, as well as an automatic parking system that’ll steer the car into a parking space for you. 

The internal-combustion-engined version of the MINI also has a four-star rating from Euro NCAP – but it was awarded way back in 2014 and has now expired. That doesn’t mean the MINI is unsafe, just that the testing procedure has been revised since then, and so the score is not directly comparable to those from tests carried out more recently.

All MINI Electric models get ISOFIX child-seat points front and rear, plus some safety kit. The basic Level 1 trim has cruise control with a braking function, but if you step up to Level 2, you get the Driving Assistant pack, which includes speed-limit and traffic-sign information, plus city collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and auto-dipping headlights. Top-of-the-range Level 3 gets adaptive LED headlights with matrix function on top of all that, as well as front parking distance control and a parking assistant that'll steer the car into parking spots.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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