Irish buyers with €25,000 budget can opt for electric Fiat 500 or new seven-seat Dacia  

Irish Buyers With €25,000 Budget Can Opt For Electric Fiat 500 Or New Seven-Seat Dacia    Irish Buyers With €25,000 Budget Can Opt For Electric Fiat 500 Or New Seven-Seat Dacia   
Fiat will set its new all-electric 500 supermini from €24,995 after grants and VRT relief; Dacia's Jogger is set to be Ireland’s most affordable seven-seat family car with prices starting at €23,290
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Michael McAleer

Irish buyers with a budget of €25,000 have a couple of new choices to consider, depending on their family needs: a funky all-electric city car or a practical seven-seat petrol-powered people carrier.

Fiat will set its new all-electric 500 supermini from €24,995 after grants and VRT relief.

The Italian brand, undergoing a revival under its new French owner Stellantis, is hoping its new full-electric model will spark a renewed interest in the brand.

On sale this month in both hatchback and convertible formats, the electric 500 comes with a choice of battery sizes: 24kW with a 70kW electric motor and a claimed range of 185km, or a 42kW battery (with a usable capacity of 37.3kW) matched with an 87kW electric motor claiming 320km in range, dropping to 303km for the convertible.


On a previous test, over 120km of driving, we averaged 5.6km per kwh. Fiat claims the usable capacity of the larger battery is 37.3kwh, which would give me a range of 210km on a full charge.


That’s arguably enough for the sort of urban commutes most 500 buyers are looking for in a car, although the smaller 24kw battery and 70kw motor – with a claimed range of 185km – might require potential buyers to carefully consider their access to charging points.

Opt for the larger battery and prices start at €26,995, rising to €32,495 depending on the equipment level. The convertible, which only comes with the larger battery pack, starts at €31,495 or €34,995 for the higher La Prima grade.


A finalist in last year’s European car of the year, it has taken a while to finally land on this island. That was partly due to the change of Irish distribution, from company-owned operation to a national distributor under the expanding Gowan Group, which also handles Stellantis sister brands Peugeot, Citroën and Opel.

Meanwhile, Dacia has confirmed a similar starting price for its new seven-seater. The Jogger is set to be Ireland’s most affordable seven-seat family car with prices starting at €23,290.

No electric power here, however, as the only engine option is a 110bhp 1-litre three cylinder petrol engine. There are plans for a hybrid version, but it’s not due to land here until next year.


Dacia also appears to be making more of an effort with safety features for the Jogger. Stung by criticism from crash test experts EuroNCAP of both the Duster crossover and the new Spring electric car, Dacia will fit automatic emergency braking, an emergency ‘e-call’ phone system, and cruise control with a speed limiter as standard to the Jogger, along with blind spot warning for the mid-spec Comfort version.

Other standard kit will include rear parking sensors, air conditioning, automatic headlights, and front foglights. A touchscreen infotainment system will not be standard. As with other Dacia models, basic versions will come with a clamp to hold your smartphone, along with a USB socket that will allow you to control basic functions via buttons on the steering wheel. There is the option of an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though.

Inside, the Jogger gets as simpler (and therefore cheaper) folding rear seat setup compared to most modern seven-seaters. Instead of the sixth and seventh seats folding flat into the floor, they simply fold and tumble forward, to rest against the backs of the middle-row seats.

Or, if you want to maximise the boot volume, you can remove the rear-most seats entirely. The centre row of seats split-folds 60:40 or, if you need a completely flat rear load space, can also be folded and tumbled forward to rest against the backs of the front seats.


With all seven seats in use, the Jogger still has a 212-litre boot, while if you fold the third row seats, you get 699 litres. Take the third row out and fold the middle row, and you have 2,085 litres of room, plus a boot floor that’s a full two-metres long — impressive for a car that’s just 4.5 metres from stem to stern.

Up front, there’s another 23 litres' worth of storage space, including a generous seven-litre glovebox, a 1.3-litre storage box in the centre console, and door bins that can hold a one-litres drinks bottle.

While there will be three different models in the Jogger line-up — Essential, Comfort (which comes with electric door mirrors, automatic wipers, the eight-inch touchscreen, and fold-out roof rails), and Extreme SE (16-inch alloys, heated seats, navigation, wireless smartphone connection) Dacia Ireland says that to keep things simple for customers, there will be just two optional extras for each model — metallic paint and a spare wheel.

While Fiat his hoping its electric supermini will herald a new future, so far, Dacia has said that it will go slowly with any electric roll-out. It has the Spring small crossover EV on sale in Europe already, but feels that electric power is still too expensive for many of its core customers.

Dacia says that it will reduce its CO2 emissions in other ways, including making its cars lighter and simpler, as well as offering LPG options, which trims CO2 by around ten per cent compared to unleaded petrol.



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