Adorable new Fiat 500 EV revealed with dinky third door

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Words: Matthew Hansen
23 Oct 2020

Fiat has unveiled the new 500 3+1 — another bodystyle for the Italian firm’s timeless subcompact, and another electrified option for those shopping at the cheaper end of the segment.

The reveal follows in the footsteps of the 500 Electric back in March, which debuted an all-new platform (slightly larger than the last), a fresh but clearly still retro design, and a flagship fully electric 86kW/220Nm powertrain with a 42kWh lithium-ion battery.

This set-up is retained for the 3+1 as its range-topping powertrain. There will also be an entry level model with a less powerful 70kW motor and 23.8kWh battery. The two options are capable of travelling 180km and 320km per charge (WLTP figures) respectively.

The big change with the 3+1, you guessed it, is the addition of a third door on the passenger side. Fiat says this makes the model ideal for young families wanting easier access to second-row seating. It’s a ‘suicide’-style door, meaning that it can only open and close when the front passenger door is open.

Fiat says the additional door comes at little cost to the rest of the car. It adds just 30kg over the standard 500, and supposedly no downsides to handling or economy.

It’s not the only car on the market with three doors. The Hyundai Veloster is also an extra-door bandit, although in its case the third door operates like any other door, as opposed to like a suicide door. Mazda, meanwhile, is set to bring back its ‘Freestyle door’ set-up for the upcoming MX-30 EV, although in its case there’s one on each side.

The electric 500 3+1 is generously equipped on the flagship model, with radar cruise control, lane centering, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), blind spot monitoring, and a 360-degree camera all coming as standard.

There’s heaps of neat detailing, too, like the ‘Fiat’ embroidery in the seat upholstery, the outline of Turin’s cityscape on the leading edge of the wireless charging pad, and the countless touches designed to throw back to the original 500.

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