2024 Fiat 500e Review: First Drive

Lee Bailie
by Lee Bailie
The new 2024 Fiat 500e keeps the same gernal shape of all Fiat 500s before it.

2024 Fiat 500e Quick Take

The Fiat 500 left our shores a few years and it appeared Fiat might be leaving our market for good. But the brand has returned to North America as an electric vehicle manufacturer and is showing off the brand’s first offering, the 500e.

Small, fun, funky, and unique, even with electric power, the 500e is still pure Fiat. That also means there are a few drawbacks and Fiat is fully aware this car isn’t for everyone.

If you happen see a 2024 Fiat 500e in a mall parking lot somewhere in the near future you might think, “hey, didn’t Fiat leave the U.S. market?”

The answer is sort of. Allow me to explain.

Fiat, the legacy Italian manufacturer that is now part of Stellantis, a union of the former Group PSA (Peugeot, Citroën) and FCA (Fiat, Chrysler), has indeed killed off its gas-powered lineup in the U.S. and Canada over the past few years. The last of those cars, the Fiat 500X, a subcompact SUV, ceased production last year, but there are still a few around if you’re so inclined.

What's New for 2024: Everything

Now, in 2024, Fiat is making a comeback on this side of the Atlantic, but this time as an EV brand. The first of its electrified models, the 500e subcompact “city” car, is beginning to arrive on U.S. shores.

AutoGuide recently travelled to Miami to get some seat time in the 500e as part of a media preview staged by Fiat North America.

Exterior Style: Pure Fiat

Unmistakable Fiat 500 from the back. Although now with less tailpipes and exhaust.

The pictures really tell the story here. The 500e’s styling is Fiat to the core. Like its forebears, including the first Fiat 500 from 1957 – one of which was on site in Miami – the 500e carries forward a short, stubby profile and hatchback body style.

Key design features include an updated front grille, LED lighting at the front and rear, and standard 17-inch diamond-cut aluminum wheels. The 500e’s hood and grille appear wider and flatter, which is apparent when compared to the previous generation model. Fiat brought along a 2018 500e plug-in hybrid (sold only in California and Oregon) for comparison purposes, and the differences are noticeable.

The new 500e also comes with some interesting design flourishes, including an Italian flag on each front fender that serve as turn signal indicators on European-spec models. Visible in the rear taillight lens is “made in Torino”, a reference to the car’s assembly plant in Turin, Italy.

Powertrain and Efficiency: It's a New World

The electric heart of the new 2024 Fiat 500e. It's a 87kW motor.

Powering the 500e is an 87-kW electric motor that’s paired with a single-speed reduction gear automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. Output is rated at 117 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque. As for the battery, the 500e uses a 42-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that supports DC fast charging up to 85 kW. On a full charge, the battery has 149 miles of range (227 kilometers). Three driving modes are available: normal, range, and sherpa.

Handling and Drivability: Still Fun to Drive

The standard diamond cut wheels are as funky as the rest of the car.

I’m going to get right to it here – the Fiat 500e is a fun car. It’s fun to look at, fun to ride in and, most importantly, fun to drive.

Yes, the cabin is cramped, and the back seat really isn’t made for humans, especially adult humans. My driving partner spent some time back there to capture some video, but he wasn’t back there for long, and I can’t blame him. I didn’t venture back there myself.

Notice how Fiat incorporated the letter 'e' in the the 500 badge?

So, I think most owners will treat the back seat as an extension of the car’s cargo area, which is probably best considering the car has just 7.51 cubic feet (213 liters) of luggage volume.

But the space, or lack thereof, didn’t really linger in my mind because the car is so much fun to drive. I toggled the three drive modes – normal, range, and sherpa – to get a feel for the level of brake regen, and, as you might imagine, it’s more pronounced as one moves further up the dial. Sherpa is a one-pedal drive setting, and it’s quite aggressive.

That stated, the 500e is, like all EVs, quite fast regardless of drive mode. What separates it though, is its sharp handling reflexes. Its small size and lightweight structure deliver a nimble feel, with steering and handling that feels responsive and precise.

Ride Quality and Comfort: Meant for Two

The rear seat is reserved for smaller children at best. Adults won't want to be back there.

The 2024 500e is built on Stellantis’ STLA City platform, which has increased the car’s dimensions. While still a very small car, the new 500e is 2.4 inches (61 mm) longer, 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider, and rides on a wheelbase that has grown by 0.87 inches (22 mm).

The bigger footprint has translated into more room on the inside, with front seats that are 1.65 inches (42 mm) wider and front occupant headroom that is 0.4 inches (10 mm) greater. The driver’s seat has a six-way adjustment, and rides on a track that is 1.96 inches (50 mm) longer. Total “living space” in the cabin, as Fiat calls it, has increased by 0.83 inches (21 mm). These are small gains, but they will undoubtedly be appreciated by owners all the same.

Interior Style and Quality: Quirky Cool

The color-matching dashboard continues on in the new 2024 Fiat 500e.

Because the 500e is a Fiat, it comes with a stylish, and somewhat quirky interior that is in keeping with brand identity. For example, the base RED models the assembled media drove in Miami, are not only finished in red, but there’s plenty of red accents inside, too.

Opening the driver’s door, I’m greeted by a pillar-to-pillar red plastic dash insert wrapping around the seven-inch digital instrument cluster and supporting the 10.25-inch Uconnect multimedia touchscreen display. These screens are standard on all models, as is a wireless cell phone charge pad and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Canadian-spec models also come with standard heated front seats.

Other design cues worth noting are front seats with “FIAT” monogrammed into them, and a two-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel that Fiat says is an homage to the 1957 500. A few other things that also stand out include e-latch doors, a floor-mounted cupholder (!), and a “Made in Torino” Easter egg stenciled into the door pulls.

Tech and Trims: Three Choices, Exclusive Colors

A new large screen dominates the center portion of the dash in the 2024 Fiat 500e.

For the U.S., the 500e is sold in three grades: RED (base), Inspired by Music, and Inspired by Beauty. Cosmetic and packaging differences separate them. RED models are available in red non-metallic clear coat, Tuxedo Black, and Glacier White. Trim accents, such as mirror caps, are red with all color options.

The top two trims have unique colors: Inspired by Music is Tuxedo Black only, and Inspired by Beauty is Rose Gold only. Both models come with body color trim accents, and standard Level Two advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), which includes adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist.

In Canada, the upper trims are combined into one offering, called La Prima. Both Tuxedo Black and Rose Gold are offered, along with Glacier White, a Canada exclusive. Content offerings are like those in the U.S., and include the Level two ADAS package, leather seating, and JBL seven-speaker audio with subwoofer.

2024 Fiat 500e final Thoughts

From the rear three-quarter angle, it's hard to tell the new car apart from the previous Fiat 500.

Fiat officials said it best when summing up the 2024 500e: it’s not for everyone. And it is true, the car’s small size and limited range will be non-starters for some.

But, for those seeking a second car, or a primary vehicle for local driving, particularly in cities with better charging infrastructure, the 500e presents a credible case. Add in its undeniable Italian charm, and green car rebate eligibility (depending on where one lives), and the 500e represents an intriguing EV option.

Plus, it’s a fun car with loads of style and an engaging driving personality. And who doesn’t like that?

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Iconic Fiat Style

Tiny Interior Confines

High Fun-to-Drive Factor

Limited Range

Lots of Standard Features

Odd Cupholder Layout



87 kW single motor


117 hp, 162 lb-ft




Single-speed automatic

Efficiency (MPGe):


Efficiency (Le/100 km):

2.0 city, 2.4 highway

Starting Price USA:


As Tested Price USA:


Starting Price Canada:


As Test Price Canada:


Lee Bailie
Lee Bailie

With more than 20 years of industry experience, which includes automotive retail, motorsports PR, and writing and editing for various automotive publications, Lee is an AutoGuide freelancer, and car guy to the core. For nearly a decade and a half, he has married his two consuming passions together – journalism and the automotive industry. Whether it’s providing coverage on debuts from an auto show floor, writing road test reviews, or previewing a new model coming soon, Lee is eager to share his passion for the automotive industry with his readers. He is a long-standing member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and won a feature writing award in 2018.

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