Currently reading: Fiat 500 EV: bosses evaluating 3+1 variant for the UK
Four-door is coming to Europe next year, but 'wrong side' opening could damage its British prospects
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
26 October 2020

Fiat is evaluating whether to offer the new 3+1 variant of the new electric 500 in the UK, due to concerns that the bodystyle’s backwards-opening extra door would be on the ‘wrong’ side of the city car.

The 3+1 design, which will be offered alongside the hatchback and cabriolet versions of the EV city car, features a small extra door on the right-hand side of the car to boost access to the rear seats. Similar to the rear doors on the Mazda MX-30, it can be used only when the front door is open.

The 500 3+1 will be offered in left-hand drive European markets, where the extra door is located on the passenger side of the vehicle. The firm has ruled out engineering a version with the extra door on the left-side, so it would feature on the driver’s side of the car if offered in the UK.

That would be similar to the original Mini Clubman launched in 2007. When the second-generation version launched in 2014, it adapted more conventional rear doors.

Asked about the prospect of the 500 3+1 coming to the UK, Fiat boss Olivier François said: “It’s a totally open debate. Can we technically launch it in the UK? Sure. It will be very much a question of whether it would be welcome or not. The extra door would be on the driver’s side, which wasn't well received if I remember well with the Mini.

“The extra door hasn't been developed on the other side, and it won’t be. So if it was offered in the UK, people would know it was on the driver’s side, so would they accept it do willingly? We’ll show it at a customer clinic and understand what British clients think about it.”

Fiat claims the 500 3+1 adds 30kg to the weight of the standard model but has no effect on the electric car’s handling or range. Overall dimensions are unchanged from the hatchback version.

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Mikey C 27 October 2020

As other have said, if people

As other have said, if people are parking in driveways or car parks, it doesn't matter that the extra door is on the wrong side

russ13b 26 October 2020

@Real_sluggo

no

Will86 26 October 2020

The door's on the correct side

This is not a family car, it's primarily going to be driven by one person who, when getting out of the car, might want to grab something from the back seat and the extra door is exactly where you want it, not on the other side of the car. We had a Mk1 Clubman for 7 years and the extra door was surprisingly useful, particularly because it was on the drivers side. And I suspect most of these 500s will be bought by people with driveways given it's an EV and you'll need somewhere to charge it, so it's not going to be parked kerbside that often. So Fiat, stop procrastinating and just bring it to the UK.

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