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2013 FIAT 500e
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Yes, to be safe for drivers with no skill, every car for the last several decades has understeer built in, but it's often excessive. For example I switched from narrower front OEM wheels/tires to equal all-round on my last 2 cars, & the fronts still slid before the rears.

Since matching front & rear wheels/tires doesn't eliminate 500e understeer, the standard fix is to increase rear roll stiffness by adding an aftermarket rear swaybar (click here).

Or, if item #2 in post 11 above is correct, a stock Abarth bar. However you definitely need more than JUST the bar, since these clamps are absent (click to enlarge):
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Their mounting holes may be there, but if so, you'd still need to add the clamps AND file them down as shown to run nice light 15" wheels:
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BOTH of the rear bars are designed for gas 500s, so they might induce too much oversteer with a 500E's extra 300+ pounds at the back making it slide. If so, the standard fix is to stiffen the front bar to balance it out*. Harder swaybar bushings may be a sufficient option, especially if you delete the very heavy rear seatbacks, but if not, an adjustable front bar like this (click here) should do it.


* The Abarth rear bar design has the nice option of being able to soften it a bit if needed with a reduced diameter, or hollow tube. Then you could leave the front swaybar as-is.
 

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I had a 2013 FiST for about 3 months before I got my GTI. Having only owned VW’s prior to it, and the fact that rowing gears in traffic again every day sucked, I got rid of it and got my GTI which I wanted before the fiesta but didn’t think I could swing it. Almost five years later…

the fiesta was fun but so much torque steer and the build quality felt cheap. Granted, it’s a sport version of an economy hatchback. It didn’t have the same pedigree as a gti and it’s in a different category in my opinion. If I could have kept both cars I think it would be been fun. Seeing as I’m almost 40, the comfort fit And finish of the gti suits me much better.

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There is no 2013 FiST that's a 2014/15 model. Looks like the same color and options I had. I'll admit on the build quality and materials its a cheap Ford but have you had a good look at the 500e interior? I just loved the rawness of the FiST and Im definitely used to econo-shitboxes with stiff setups and boosted tq steer. This is by far the most neutral handling FWD car I've ever driven and the turn in and corner holding ... I'll probably be in another one again unless I find that Unicorn SE-R. GTI is way more refined but too soft for me and I hate that 2.0t motor...

Some of your issues seem like just your tires, but to me it felt like there was NO steering feel/feedback, until I pulled the steering fuse. Click to enlarge:
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There's a blank fuse "holder" 2 spaces down where I store the 70A.

It feels much better except when parking, which gives you a nice little arm workout.

It also deactivates traction control & ESC, but the former is pretty useless (tires still spin) & the latter seems unnecessary: It still understeers mildly even with matching rims & tires all-around. Be ready for some pretty strong torque-steer though.
So I just had a new set of tires and alignment done a few weeks back. Not great tires but a big improvement as the original tires from 2017 were timed out and done but the overall balance of the car is unchanged. Terminal vague understeer no matter how I huck it... it actually reminds me of an MR-2 in that the low speeds can give you understeer because less weight on the nose but at highway speeds the car will eventually give you some oversteer in a slide which is actually quite nice but I don't think it would give you the snap lift throttle oversteer the MR-2 would but I agree the suspension is definitely set from the factory to protect against ham handed highway mistakes by the unskilled masses. I blame the actuaries for crunching the numbers...

The heavy stock wheels don't help
 

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2015 500e, MK7 GTI
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There is no 2013 FiST that's a 2014/15 model. Looks like the same color and options I had. I'll admit on the build quality and materials its a cheap Ford but have you had a good look at the 500e interior? I just loved the rawness of the FiST and Im definitely used to econo-shitboxes with stiff setups and boosted tq steer. This is by far the most neutral handling FWD car I've ever driven and the turn in and corner holding ... I'll probably be in another one again unless I find that Unicorn SE-R. GTI is way more refined but too soft for me and I hate that 2.0t motor...
you’re right. I just vin decoded it and it’s a 2015. I only owned it for 3 months.

the Fiat and FiST are about equal from an interior/stereo quality standpoint. I certainly didn’t expect much quality from the Fiat and bought it knowing it would be an appliance with minimal luxuries. That said, it was nicer than the Spark EV I also drove.

the Fiesta was just a bit… pardon the word… but juvenile for me at that point in my life. I was coming off of 10 years with a 2007 Rabbit. I wanted something with some more bells and whistles and performance. Already in my late 30’s, the Fiesta just ended up not fitting the bill for me.

I bought my GTI with 34k miles and I’ll be rolling over 100k in the next week or so. I really haven’t had to do much to it and it’s been fun. Ive got upgraded brakes and lines, away bars, dogbone insert, ST coilover with camber plates, and a few other things. I work in Malibu so 1/3 to 1/2 of my commute is in the canyons depending on route. It’s really been a wonderful car. I’m sorry you don’t like the 2.0 engine but it’s been nothing but good to me. Everyone has their tastes for sure. I’m just a 20 year deep VW fanboy at this point.
 

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This is by far the most neutral handling FWD car I've ever driven....

...new set of tires... but the overall balance of the car is unchanged.

Terminal vague understeer... The heavy stock wheels don't help
Driving the eGolf my friend had I would forget that it's FWD. It has VERY little torque-steer, & much better traction control than 500e. If I recall correctly it cornered pretty neutral. SO confidence-inspiring in corners that it was almost boring even while sliding.

Better tires won't change the balance, but might help your abrupt recovery issue. With EPS off though you might have enough feel that it's less of an issue.

The heavy staggered-width stock wheels, swapped back-to-front, reduce understeer.
 

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On any car, one of the most effective changes you can make is fitting a good set of tires. I’m fortunate to live in a sunny climate so I was able to fit the Kumho summer tires mentioned on the forum. The car handles much better and I haven’t noticed any degradation in range. I’ve taken some long journeys (while moving) with these tires on it and I would have known if I lost range.

Bear in mind that a 500e will never handle as well as Fiesta ST, no matter what you do to it. Know what your expectations are—if you want a truly sporty car, this isn’t it. But a 500e is a fantastic city car or daily driver.

My other car is a Fiat 124 Abarth. I highly recommend one for Fiat drivers looking for something sporty.
 

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2015 500e, MK7 GTI
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On any car, one of the most effective changes you can make is fitting a good set of tires. I’m fortunate to live in a sunny climate so I was able to fit the Kumho summer tires mentioned on the forum. The car handles much better and I haven’t noticed any degradation in range. I’ve taken some long journeys (while moving) with these tires on it and I would have known if I lost range.

Bear in mind that a 500e will never handle as well as Fiesta ST, no matter what you do to it. Know what your expectations are—if you want a truly sporty car, this isn’t it. But a 500e is a fantastic city car or daily driver.

My other car is a Fiat 124 Abarth. I highly recommend one for Fiat drivers looking for something sporty.
The 124, is that the "Fiata"? I dig that car.
 

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Yes, 124 is the Spider, & supposedly even a bit nicer driving than the Miata with the same platform.

Apparently summer tires also grip better on wet roads, compared to all-seasons which are compromised a bit for light snow.

Ya, Fiesta ST is a couple hundred pounds lighter than 500e, so the latter won't handle quite as well, even with all else equal: Widest, stickiest tires, swaybars optimized for neutral cornering, lowered, rear seat delete, best shocks, etc. But if you optimized all of those, then maybe a 500e might possibly handle better than a stock, base 500 ST.
 

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There are a Couple YouTube videos. one guy lowered 500e, for better handing. He replaced he’s wheels with 17” ones. I don’t know how, that effects he’s driving range.

Sorry there is no such item, like a Go pedal on a 500e. Not sure which car your taking about. Do you have ICE 500 too?
There is a 500e GoPedal. Check out 500madness!
 

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2016 500e
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Had local shop check alignment machine. Looks like they had only one alignment spec for all 500s? Was hoping to get some easy improvement without replacing parts.

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 

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2016 500e
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Did some digging here on the net and found a few different specs. Found one for the E that was fairly similar to stock 500. Planning to have a local shop set me to abarth spec at some point soon as honestly this thing handles pretty poorly IMHO. No different than any other fwd car I have driven.
 

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That's good info, but your pics don't show the "one for the E" you mentioned.

To me, 500e handling seems a BIT above-average for FWD.

The slightly unstable feeling on high-speed crests & dips might be improved by wheel alignment.

Unfortunately, I doubt it will help much with the understeer, & it certainly won't help the body roll. Both of those are improved with a rear swaybar.

Improving speed-bump handling would require at least better shocks &/or struts, & maybe even changing the springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
That's good info, but your pics don't show the "one for the E" you mentioned.

To me, 500e handling seems a BIT above-average for FWD.

The slightly unstable feeling on high-speed crests & dips might be improved by wheel alignment.

Unfortunately, I doubt it will help much with the understeer, & it certainly won't help the body roll. Both of those are improved with a rear swaybar.

Improving speed-bump handling would require at least better shocks &/or struts, & maybe even changing the springs.
I didn't post the 500e one, it was not set in a picture format like those two. I was able to snip and past here.
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I was looking for alignment info as my car honestly, imho, handles like trash. I know understeer, this thing is more like no steer at times and even once get the car to start to turn it just starts sliding straight, my old 1990 camry handled better, held the road better and was more fun than this car at this point. This is a daily econo driver and no plans to get rid of it, but I was expecting it to be much more fun handling than I have experienced so far.
 

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Thanks for the E specs.

Maybe something IS wrong with yours, because mine doesn't seem all that bad to me even with my own background of mainly RWD, 1 mid-engine, & an eGolf. HOWEVER I have understeer-reducing all-around-identical wheels/tires, with about 125% of OEM grip: Nothing really special, just $59 Hankook All-Seasons on $124 Advanti Storm wheels.

Meanwhile, remember that handling is more exciting in a challenging car than a perfect-handling one: A stock eGolf is BORING to slide at 55mph around my favorite "30mph" offramp, but a stock 500e is exciting at only 50mph. With my better tires, 58mph is now boring too, since it doesn't really slide much until about 63mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Thanks for the E specs.

Maybe something IS wrong with yours, because mine doesn't seem all that bad to me even with my own background of mainly RWD, 1 mid-engine, & an eGolf. HOWEVER I have understeer-reducing all-around-identical wheels/tires, with about 125% of OEM grip: Nothing really special, just $59 Hankook All-Seasons on $124 Advanti Storm wheels.

Meanwhile, remember that handling is more exciting in a challenging car than a perfect-handling one: A stock eGolf is BORING to slide at 55mph around my favorite "30mph" offramp, but a stock 500e is exciting at only 50mph. With my better tires, 58mph is now boring too, since it doesn't really slide much until about 63mph.
Yeah I have stock wheels all around, but I went with the Hankooks based on recommendations from many.
Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 in 205 /50 R15 all around. What size/offset wheels did you go with in those storms? I am thinking aboug getting a second set of wheels with sticky tires for summer. We get too low temps here in winter to risk running summers year round.

I just need this car to have some bite. My old daily was a 2013 Taurus, and it will dive into and hold a corner well past point of comfort for even the driver. That car has 275/40r20 on all 4 corners as the stock 255 were not up to the power it is putting out now. This car I just cannot get to bite, let alone hold. It honestly has so much understeer it is a bit scary at times. :-(
 

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My daily is a 2013 500e, and it will dive into and hold a corner well past point of comfort for any passenger. The driver has an extremely high threshold though ;). That car has 205/50r15 on all 4 corners as the stock 185 were not up to the power it is putting out.

Understeer is reduced by swapping the staggered-width OEM wheels front-to-back (OEM rears are 1" wider). Please report back if you try that.

Size/offset: My Advanti Storm wheels are 15" x 7" with 35mm offset. So much for blaming the US for not going metric: Every car tire on Earth is still measured in inches! (also every bicycle chain and every motorcycle tire & chain)
 
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