You don't often experience a new Fiat model. How Italian is the Fiat 600e actually, with all its Stellantis technology?
That Fiat polished the name for the second time. The very first Fiat 600 was presented in 1955 as the successor to Fiat's pre-war 500, better known as 'Topolino' (little mouse). The 600 had a rear-mounted four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. Production of the Italian 600 stopped in 1968, but after an absence of 30 years, a Fiat 600 was released again in 1998. The name was now written: 'Seicento'. The new Fiat 600e is a lot larger than both its predecessors and has a front-mounted electric motor.
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The third 600 is the least Italian, because it shares its platform with cars such as the Jeep Avenger and Peugeot 2008. Anyone who follows the Stellantis news can now dream about the specs. The electric motor has 156 hp, the battery 54 kW, and fast charging is possible with 100 kW. This brings the range to 406 kilometers. Fiat sees the 600 as a belated successor to B-segment models such as the 127, the Uno and the (Grande) Punto. The large Stellantis group finally had money again to develop a compact car. Purists may lament the lack of Italian technology, but without French help the poor Italians would still have muddled along.
Also striking: the Stellantis brands are starting to admit that Europe is not switching to fully electric cars quickly enough. After the Jeep Avenger, the Fiat 600 will also be launched in 2024 as a hybrid, with a 100 hp 1.2 three-cylinder petrol engine, in combination with a 24 hp electric motor.
Compliments to the designers: although the Fiat 600e is as Italian underneath as a steak bourguignon with a pinot noir, its appearance is unmistakably Fiat. He flirts with the first Fiat 600, without Fiat going full retro. You can see it in the shape of the rear lights and - a nice detail - in the angle of inclination of the trunk lid, with its pronounced curve. That angle is exactly the same as the old 600. To emphasize that this Stellantis product is really Italian, an Italian flag is displayed on the bumper.
Inside we get a déjà vu to the Jeep Avenger, the center console with the large screen and a row of physical buttons below it is exactly the same. Under a strange flap there is a large storage compartment for water bottles, among other things, which also has a space saved for charging your phone.
The handling of the Fiat 600e is what you expect from a compact family SUV, with a comfortably tuned chassis that neatly filters bumps and light steering. This also includes a decent hundred sprint (9 seconds) and an acceptable top speed (150 km/h). In all two available versions, the driver can choose from three driving programs: Sport, Normal and Eco.
Fiat boasts highly about the space of the 4.17 meter long Fiat 600e, but that is somewhat disappointing. You won't find a very cramped seat in the back, but if you are 1.80 meters tall, you have to look kindly at the driver or co-driver to see if the seat can perhaps be moved forward a little... Form comes before function in the 600e, because the luggage compartment of 360 liters is smaller than that of the Jeep Avenger.
We are fans of one-pedal driving, where the car brakes so powerfully on its own (and returns energy to the battery) that you don't have to use the brake pedal. But in the Fiat 600e the brake pedal doesn't get a rest. Even if you opt for maximum recovery, you always have to apply the brakes yourself. The braking itself is done with little feeling, you have to press the pedal deeply before there is a response. It's a matter of getting used to it.
The price of the Fiat 600e RED (2023) is 35,990 euros (Belgian price: 36,000 euros). This makes it cheaper than its Jeep counterpart; the Avenger costs 39,500 euros. The Minister of Finance opens the treasury for both the Fiat and the Jeep and you receive the SEPP subsidy of 2,950 euros.
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The name RED says it all: you get a red Fiat 600e. For other colors you pay 700 euros extra. The dashboard is also red. In addition to the RED, there is also a more lavishly equipped La Prima version of the Fiat 600e (40,990 euros; price in Belgium: 41,000 euros). Don't ask for a gray copy, because Fiat says it bans that color. Although for fun you should google the color Sabbia – Earth of Italy. Sounds summery, but it's just gray.
Be quick, because the Jeep Avenger was also offered cheaply at its introduction, after which Jeep suddenly increased the price by 2,500 euros. It cannot be ruled out that Fiat has the same nefarious plans. The Fiat 600e will still be at the dealer in 2023.
They do this cleverly at Stellantis: beneath the skin are the Opel Mokka, Peugeot 2008, Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 the same cars. The Jeep and the Fiat even roll off the same production line in a Polish factory and have virtually the same dashboard. And yet they are not uniform, but the Fiat looks unmistakably Italian and the Jeep American. As far as we are concerned, the designers have done a great job. If a lot of (luggage) space is not your top priority, you can easily pack the comfortable Fiat 600 with its charming appearance.
This post was last modified on September 22, 2023 5:10 am
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