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    Fiat New 500 Convertible

    The independent definitive Fiat New 500 Convertible video review
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      OPEN AIR (some text hidden)

      By Jonathan Crouch

      The all-electric New Fiat 500 Convertible adds soft top appeal to an EV that re-invents and re-defines what this iconic model line should be. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

      Ten Second Reviewword count: 59

      Everything is different about the new third generation Fiat 500 EV - but much is also very much the same when it comes to this open air Convertible version with its fabric folding top. This model has always been a cute option for fresh air fashion seekers. Now, it offers a cleaner, different approach to budget-orientated open air motoring.

      Backgroundword count: 155

      'Al fresco' motoring has always been a significant option in creating the full Fiat 500 experience. Indeed, it only took a year from the launch of the original 'Nuova 500' in 1957 for an open-topped '500N' version to be introduced. This wasn't a full convertible - and it didn't need to be. Instead, a vast fabric sunroof provided open air enjoyment without the need for significant extra cost or weight. Just as it does in this modern-era open-topped 500 model, the fully electric 500 cabriolet. What's officially called the 'New 500 Convertible' is, for the time being, sold alongside the old 500C, which continues on with a conventional mild hybrid 1.0-litre petrol engine. This latest car is fractionally bigger than that old second generation model, but uses much the same kind of fabric folding top. Unlike some stylised direct EV segment rivals, there's a proper driving range of nearly 200 miles from the 42kWh battery.

      Driving Experienceword count: 375

      The 42kWh battery pack you have to have here is mated to an 87kW (118hp) motor and is fitted across the 500 Convertible range. This is good for 186-199 miles and this variant takes around 9 seconds to get from rest to 62mph, so it'll easily keep up with the traffic flow. Like all EVs, this one feels even quicker off the mark than that figure suggests (30mph can be reached from rest in just 3.1s), though Fiat has tried to make power delivery quite linear so that you don't use up all your battery charge at once. Maximum speed is restricted though (to just 93mph). Various types of automated driving technology are available, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and intelligent speed limit assist. Various drive modes are available that will enable you to maximise your driving range. There are three settings - 'Normal', 'Range' and the curiously named 'Sherpa', with the last of these being focused on getting the maximum from the battery, including a navigation program that will limit maximum speed to 50mph and restrict acceleration. The 'Range' mode maximises brake regeneration, meaning that you'll normally only have to drive with one pedal, so great will be the deceleration when you lift off the throttle. But most of the time, you'll be leaving in this car in its 'Normal' setting, in which form it won't require too much acclimatisation over any other small car. There's lots here that owners of previous 500 models will recognise - the high-ish seating position and manoeuvrability for instance; there's a tight 9.6-metre turning circle. You also get the previous model's rather brittle low speed ride quality, though it copes with poorer pot holes and speed humps quite well and anyway, things smooth out quite a lot once you get out of town. When you might discover that this Fiat actually handles quite well, despite having to carry around 350kgs more weight around than the MK2 mild hybrid petrol model. All the weight of the mattress-shaped Samsung battery has been positioned well down, compensating for the extra bulk with a lower centre of gravity, hence the well-controlled body roll at speed through the corners, though the effect is somewhat masked by the rather anaesthetised electric steering.

      To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

      Pictures (high res disabled)

      Statistics (subset of data only)

      Min

      Max

      Price:

      £26,145.00 (At 21 Jun 2021)

      £29,995.00 (At 21 Jun 2021)

      Insurance group 1-50:

      19

      21

      Max Speed (mph):

      93

      0-62 mph (s):

      9

      Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):

      199

      Length (mm):

      3632

      Height (mm):

      1683

      Boot Capacity (l):

      185

      Scoring (subset of scores)

      Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

      Performance
      50%
      Handling
      60%
      Comfort
      60%
      Space
      60%
      Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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