The Fiat 500 metropolis automotive has entered an thrilling new period by going absolutely electrical. However how does it stack up in opposition to the extremely completed Peugeot e-208?…
NEW Fiat 500 42kWh Icon
Checklist worth £27,995*
Goal Value £27,995*
All-new electrical model of the Italian model icon is comparatively nicely priced and has an honest official vary of 199 miles
Peugeot e-208 50kWh 136 Attract Premium
Checklist worth £31,025*
Goal Value £31,025*
With a 210-mile official vary, the e-208 has already seen off the Renault Zoe and Mini Electrical; can it proceed its unbeaten run?
*Not together with £2500 authorities grant
As if the Fiat 500 wasn’t trendy sufficient. Now you’ll be able to have one which runs on electrical energy for some eco credibility, too. Assume child Tesla with its coronary heart in Nineteen Fifties Italy and also you get the thought.
And if you happen to’re assuming that Fiat has simply shoehorned a battery and electrical motor into the identical 500 that’s been round since 2007, you’ll be pleasantly stunned. That previous mannequin stays on sale and seems very comparable, but it surely’s been rebranded because the ‘500 Hybrid’ and runs on petrol. This ‘New 500’ is totally, nicely, new and has been designed from the outset to run on the identical stuff as your toaster.
The five hundred isn’t the primary small automotive to go electrical, although. Nowadays you should buy an electrical model of the equally retro Mini, whereas the Honda E has simply as a lot ‘need one’ issue. The difficulty is, each of these rivals have feeble ranges; you’ll barely handle 100 miles in real-world driving earlier than they want charging. So, to learn how good the brand new 500 is, we’re lining it up in opposition to the somewhat much less hamstrung Peugeot e-208.
Efficiency, experience, dealing with, refinement
Once we mentioned ‘think about a child Tesla’, we weren’t referring to efficiency; neither automotive precisely throws you again in your seat and makes you’re feeling giddy once you put your foot down. That mentioned, in contrast with most petrol-powered alternate options, each the five hundred and e-208 are surprisingly nippy.
Acceleration is especially sturdy away from the mark, as a result of there’s a surge of energy the moment you squeeze your proper foot. It tails off noticeably above 50mph, however the e-208 nonetheless manages 0-60mph in 7.5sec, with the five hundred solely simply behind with a time of 8.0sec.
Each vehicles may even fortunately cruise at motorway speeds, even if you happen to’re on the hilly sections of the M6 with a number of passengers on board. Doing these types of speeds makes use of up the battery in a short time, although, so if you wish to maximise your vary, you’ll have to maintain your velocity down and keep away from exhausting acceleration.
In our real-world take a look at, which simulates a mixture of city, rural and motorway driving, each vehicles averaged an an identical 3.4 miles per kWh. That provides the five hundred, with its smaller battery, a theoretical most vary of 126 miles and the e-208 153 miles, though the mercury was hovering round 5deg C on the day of our take a look at. In summer time climate, anticipate to get 150 miles from the five hundred and 170 from the e-208 with out attempting too exhausting.
There are numerous driving modes to select from within the 500, together with a Sherpa mode that makes an attempt to maximise vary by limiting energy output, shutting off the air-con and activating a one-pedal driving perform. The latter, in impact, simply switches the regenerative braking system to its most excessive setting, that means extra vitality is put again into the battery everytime you elevate off the accelerator, with the aspect impact that the automotive slows down abruptly.
There isn’t such a powerful setting within the e-208, although nudging the gear selector into ‘B’ mode will increase the impact to a level. In consequence, you inevitably want to make use of the e-208’s brake pedal extra usually – one thing you received’t get pleasure from doing. Apply strain and there’s an unnerving quantity of journey earlier than the brakes chew abruptly, a mixture that makes it exhausting to decelerate easily. The five hundred’s brake pedal, once you do want to make use of it, is way firmer and extra confidence-inspiring.
Round city is the place the five hundred feels most at house. Its gentle steering and tight turning circle are nice belongings, and there’s loads of grip with out a lot physique lean once you’re negotiating tight roundabouts and winding your method up multi-storey automotive parks. It doesn’t really feel out of its depth on sooner nation roads, though there you may want a bit extra steering weight.
The e-208 feels extra composed at greater speeds and its steering offers a greater sense of reference to the street, although there’s extra physique sway via bends and nosedive beneath braking than within the 500.
Journey consolation is a combined bag in each. The five hundred has firmer suspension, and that delivers a experience that’s in all probability greatest described as ‘uneven’. However whereas the e-208’s extra supple setup is best at ironing out minor imperfections, it could actually wrestle to deal with nasty obstacles comparable to potholes and drain covers, which typically ship jolts via the automotive.
There’s no query which automotive is quieter, although – and it isn’t the five hundred. The e-208 does a a lot better job of preserving street and, significantly, wind noise the place it’s imagined to be: exterior the automotive.
Subsequent: What are they like inside? >>
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