First impressions have been overwhelmingly positive. The 500’s rapid 0-30mph acceleration lets you nip away from traffic lights almost immediately, and it doesn’t feel out of its depth once you reach the motorway – although I’ve yet to see what impact a 70mph cruise will have on range. The seats are comfortable, with just enough leg room for a six-footer, and while overall ride quality seems pretty firm, it’s proving to be an excellent commuter. We will see how it fares over longer distances later: I have a few trips planned that will require a mid-journey charge.
The biggest challenge so far has been learning to judge the regenerative braking, which is minimal in the Normal driving mode but quite forceful in the Range and Sherpa settings. It’s strong enough to turn the 500 into a one-pedal car, but because it gets a lot more sensitiveat slower speeds, I’ve been finding it brings me to a halt just before a junction, rather than at it. This is especially true in reverse, where I would prefer a little more rollback. It can make parking a jerky experience.
Only a week after I took delivery, the car was called into action for a full road-test review. The fact that I missed it while it was gone certainly bodes well for the next few months.
Having driven a 500 with the little battery, I think Tom will be grateful for the range of his car. The 24kWh option really is good only for city work, especially in the winter. But what a joyous thing it was when I drove one around Cambridge. It’s hard not to be seduced by the 500’s charm.