Abarth 500e Review 2024

Abarth 500e At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you're looking for an electric car with a long range, big boot or performance figures you can brag about, look elsewhere. But the little Abarth 500e is packed with personality, and we think it's a very appealing electric hot hatch.

+Guaranteed to make you smile. Smart interior. Low running costs. More comfortable than a petrol Abarth.

-Quite expensive to buy. 164-mile range is less than the Fiat 500 Electric's. Not very practical - especially in convertible form.

New prices start from £34,195

Electric cars are dull and dreary, right? They're basically an appliance - all about getting you to your destination in the most efficient manner. That's a notion that's about to be challenged by the brilliant Abarth 500e - arguably the world's first electric hot hatch and certainly an electric car you'd actually look forward to driving every day.

Based on the latest Fiat 500 Electric, the Abarth 500e boasts a power output of 152PS and a 0-62mph time of 7.0 seconds. In the world of fast electric cars, that doesn't sound all that impressive - but the Abarth 500e is about much more than facts and figures.

It's very much an electric car that places the focus on putting a smile on your face. You can tell that just by looking at the pictures - as well as the Acid Green paint of our test car, you can also get the Abarth 500e in bright Poison Blue (our favourite) or Adrenaline Red (as well as Antidote White or Venom Black, if you absolutely must).

The Abarth 500e's also fitted as standard with a special sound generator. When you're idling in traffic, passersby will hear the rumbling noise of an old Abarth exhaust system. This switches to a distinctive roar as you build speed. It's all a little try-hard, perhaps, but you certainly can't describe it as dull.

Out on the open road, the Abarth 500e feels like an enthusiastic little terrier. There are three drive modes to select - dial in one of the sportier ones and it'll dart about from corner to corner, all along its eager steering giving you the confidence to press on.

This doesn't come at the expense of comfort, either - unlike the petrol Abarth 695, the 500e's suspension is surprisingly compliant, especially considering the weight of the electric battery pack.

So what about efficiency? Officially, the Abarth 500e has a range of up to 164 miles. That's quite a lot less than the regular Fiat 500 Electric. There are certainly better options if you're looking for an electric car to eat up the motorway miles, but the Abarth's range ought to be plenty for driving to the office or blatting about town. It's more than the MINI Electric's 145-mile range, too.

Charging the Abarth 500e's battery is quick and easy, with a 7kW home wallbox providing a full charge in around six hours. A public rapid charger will top up the 500e in a little over half an hour.

As you'd expect for a car based on the dinky little Fiat 500, the Abarth 500e isn't the most practical of electric vehicles. It feels pretty cramped for those in the bank and its boot space is pretty limited.

The interior feels well-finished, though, while the new infotainment system and digital dials give the cabin a real lift compared to a regular petrol Abarth.

If you're in the market for a fun little electric car, there's nothing quite like the new Abarth 500e. You'll get more for your money with an MG 4 or Cupra Born, but they're also a bit more grown up (and not necessarily in a good way). It's more charismatic than the MINI Electric, too, while the Honda e looks cool but isn't a patch on the Abarth to drive.

What does a Abarth 500e cost?