New Renault R5: challenges the electric Fiat 500, but could have the same fate

A few years after the launch of the Fiat 500e, Renault unveils its new electric city car, the Renault R5. With its neo-retro styling similar to that of the Fiat 500, Renault hopes to appeal to consumers with its nostalgic charm. Initial feedback on the Internet seems promising, with the car already winning many positive votes.

A question of heart or reason?

Despite this initial enthusiasm, one question remains: can the Renault R5 really make its mark on the market? Its features are certainly interesting, but its base price of €33,490 could be a major obstacle to its success.


In terms of performance, the Renault R5 is positioned more as a rival to the Abarth 500e than the Fiat 500e. Although it is slightly longer than the Abarth 500e, it is one second faster from 0 to 100 kph. And yet.., the R5 boasts two major advantages These include a range that's almost 150 km longer, and a price that's more than €3,000 lower than that of the Abarth 500e. Another strong point of the R5 is its rear doors, although Fiat also has a 3+1 model.

Fiat 500eAbarth 500eRenault R5
Power95 hp155 hp150 hp
Couple220 Nm235 Nm245 Nm
0 to 100 km /h9.5 sec7 sec8 sec
Maximum speed135 km/h155 km/h155 km/h
Max. load power85 kW85 kW100 kW
Autonomy190 km265 km412 km
Weight1180 kg1464 kg1449 kg
Length3,6 m3,6 m3,9 m
Width1,7 m1,7 m1,8 m
Height1,51 m1,51 m1,5 m
Price30 400 €36 900 €33 490 €
Country of manufactureItalyItalyFrance

An uncertain future

But is it enough? Even with better range and a lower price than the Abarth 500e, the Renault R5 could face similar obstacles to those encountered by the Fiat 500e and Abarth 500e in recent years: falling sales mainly due to high prices and limited autonomies.


The Renault R5 shouldn't suffer from the same autonomy problems, but its price could be a major deterrent for many buyers. It's likely that the R5 will appeal mainly to buyers in countries offering subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles. Without these financial incentives, it could well meet a fate similar to that of the Fiat 500e.

A wake-up call for Fiat

The launch of the Renault R5 also highlights the need for Fiat to update its own range of electric city cars. A a new electric motor and a longer-range battery are already in the pipelineThe aim is to offer a more attractive vehicle in terms of price and performance. Otherwise, being pragmatic, this new R5 will be able to capture the 500's customer base.


The Renault R5, with its neo-retro charm and technical advantages, has the potential to appeal to a wide audience. However, the its success could depend heavily on the purchase incentives offered in the various countries where it will be marketed. We'll see if the new city car doesn't suffer the same fate as the Fiat 500e, but only time will tell if the R5 will find a lasting place in the electric vehicle market.


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  1. I'm not sure the author of this article is really impartial! In my opinion, the R5 is a successful car....but we'll see, because it's true that sales of electric cars aren't really taking off: the price is high for small cars and the range is ridiculous, especially on freeways!
    to see, but I find it as pretty as a Fiat 500 and a Mini.

    • EVs account for over 15% of the French market, making them an important and certainly not insignificant motorization. In France today, it represents twice as much as diesel. For luxury and sports cars, that's debatable, but not for generalists like Renault and Fiat.

  2. It's true that the price of electric cars is an obstacle for many people, plus the range is a bit tight.
    The R5 has a bigger battery than the Abarth.
    And a top speed of 155km/h is still a bit tight. I can't imagine the range at 150km/h.
    How can there be a 280 kg difference between the basic 500e and the Abarth 500e? Bigger batteries? The finish?

  3. Without ignoring the new design of the R5 Alpine, I think the price is excessive and doesn't meet the expectations of the average French citizen... I even think it would be extremely difficult to export, given the competition from the Asians.
    Renault is expected to make a major effort to rectify this situation by taking a serious look at the market, focusing on price, reliability, comfort and, above all, the capabilities of the target clientele, whether in France or elsewhere.
    For the nostalgic, the R5 was a popular car that left something beautiful in the collective memory... so make an effort.

    • 33,490€ for an R5 that's supposed to be an economy car, that's a problem.
      Out of budget for a standard city car. The Fiat 500e and Abarth 500e are also quite expensive, but far more attractive.
      The Chinese, with their €20,000 cars, will continue to take market share.

  4. It's clear that the R5 is in danger of burying the 500 and the Mini ... A fashion phenomenon... After that, it's urgent to put a bigger battery in the 500!

  5. I think the 500 has a chic design that the R5 doesn't have, even with a GT Turbo body. In my opinion, with a bigger battery it will stand up well.

  6. A low-cost eC3 at 20,000e offers an engine block and range far superior to the pretty 500e, so it's time to react!

  7. Hello, at last a realistic range of 265km for the 500E in its version (large battery). Yes, Fiat has fooled you with its 320km range with the "machin" standard.
    can't do them. OK, but how do they manage to display 320 when you've charged up to 100% using all the systems available and trying 25 40 or60% of energy left in the battery. Result 280 in Charpey.

  8. In my opinion, to compete with the equivalent or even superior R5, but cheaper than the FIAT 500e with its large 42kw battery, the latter should lower its price by -4,000.
    FIAT is set to discontinue production of the 500th small battery.

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