What is this?
Driving a Fiat 500 is fun, but not very practical. After all, even in the new generation it is not self-evident to get four occupants and some luggage in a body of 3.63 meters. And it is mainly the rear passengers who pay the price. Anyone who has ever had to squeeze into the back seat of a 500 knows what we are talking about. For the new, fully electric generation, the designers have therefore conceived the idea of applying the principle of a reverse-opening smaller door (as with the Mini Clubman from 2007 or the Mazda RX-8 and MX-30) to open this 3+1 create version.
What distinguishes a 3+1 from the classic body variant? A simple 42-centimeter cut-out in the right flank, a lack of B-pillar (and the necessary reinforcement elsewhere to compensate), and Luigi is done. Or that the car messes up? Not at all, because the overall dimensions remain unchanged. And in terms of weight, this transformation makes the Fiat barely 30 kg heavier. One detail: this door cannot be opened independently. You must first open the front door before you can use it.
In daily practice, the added value of the 3+1 quickly becomes apparent, or at least in precise circumstances. The most obvious is when to put a child in a specific child seat. Then it is day and night difference with the ‘normal’ 500 (and the Cabrio). But the extra access can also come in handy to, for example, slide a suitcase (or a large package from a Swedish furniture store) on the back seat. Because here too, the trunk is still only 185 liters, although that volume can be expanded to 550 liters with the rear seats folded (only the back). And it is also a lot easier for four-legged friends to jump in the back seat.
For human passengers, the entry (on the right anyway) is very natural… provided they are no taller than 1.70 metres. Because remember, the 3+1 isn’t longer or wider than any other 500 – in other words, the rear seats are still tight. There’s plenty of room at the wheel for those of a tall stature… at least with the seat pushed up to the back seat. In width, however, despite the intelligent use of space, the driver will also sit shoulder to shoulder with the front passenger.
What is changing?
Dynamically, the qualities are the same as those of the three-door 500 and the Cabrio (read the road test here). Literally stuck to the asphalt by the weight of its battery (the total mass is still about 1,400 kilos), the Italian city car shows a pleasant handling, while the shock absorption is quite pleasant. The elastic boost of the 118 hp and 220 Nm even makes driving wonderfully fun.