we boarded the big sister of the Fiat 500

Fiat enriches its electric range with its 600e electric, a compact SUV cousin of the Jeep Avenger and other Peugeot e-2008. We were able to take a seat on board this big sister of the Fiat 500e, which comes in two finishes, with a rather interesting endowment.

Fiat 600. A name that is not really unknown to car enthusiasts. And for good reason, it has existed for a small bundle of years, since it was given to a city car produced between 1955 and 1969. A model that met with immense success, since around five million copies were sold around the world. This car was then designed as a replacement for the Topolino, which was beginning to age. Don’t we say that History is an eternal restart? Fiat confirms this adage by reviving the 600, as well as its predecessor, in very different forms, however.

After having been able to discover the city car without a license derived from the Citroën Ami, we also had the chance to install ourselves on board the new 600e. This marks the return of the Italian firm to the B segment, while it plans not to offer a new generation to its 500X, which should leave the catalog next year. A page turns for the builder, who plans to become a 100% electric brand from 2027 in Europe. He doesn’t really have a choice anyway, since the European Union wants to put an end to new thermal cars by 2035.

Design: more than a big 500

When we look at this new Fiat 600, the first images of which had been unveiled a little in advance, we imagine a mix between a 500 and a 500x. And to tell the truth, this is not very far from reality, because this newcomer is presented by the manufacturer as the big sister of the electric city car launched in 2020. No big surprises concerning its design, which remains in continuity from what we already know. However, the manufacturer did not want to content itself with creating a bigger 500, and decided to offer some specificities to this 600.

To start with front bumper and grille, which benefit from a new design that is a little confusing at first glance. If the whole is rather harmonious, the presence of a slot under the logo clashes a little all the same. We find of course the round optics of the city car, accompanied by fog lights of the same shape. The urban SUV displays a jovial face and has a real sympathy capital, without looking like a toy. Anyway, the relationship with the Jeep Avenger and other Peugeot e-2008 is not visible at all from the outside.

At the rear, we find square lights which again remind us of those of the 500X, although they again benefit from a more modern design. The car shows a good presence, well planted on its wheels up to 18 inches and distinguished by its black body guards. For now, the Cx (drag coefficient) has not yet been announced by the manufacturer, but it should probably be quite high given the silhouette of the machine. The length is intended to be generous, sinceit is displayed at 4.17 meters for a height of 1.52 meters and a width of 1.98 meters.

Driving position: spacious and comfortable

As we have seen, the exterior of this Fiat 600e does not have the slightest point in common with the other equivalent models of the Stellantis group. But what about the driving position? There, it’s a little different. Indeed, at first glance, one recognizes thee drawing of the dashboard of the 500. Logical, since the two still have a very strong relationship. We like its curves, which contrast with a rectangular touch screen and a slightly austere design. But looking further down, the more observant will notice some commonalities with the Jeep Avenger. This can be seen especially in the buttons under the screen and the storage in the center console.

We thus find the same small cover in semi-flexible fabric, not necessarily very practical to use and store when you don’t need it. The latter is decorated with the logo The Prima, which is none other than the most high-end finish of the car. This one is distinguished by a very pretty ivory-colored synthetic leather upholstery, but a bit messy in the long term. The perceived quality is generally flattering, as are the finishes even if we still note the presence of some hard plastics. The entry-level (RED) finish uses Seaqual, a material made from recycled plastic bottles in the sea and recycled.

Inaugurating the brand’s new strategy to become more joyful and colorful, the new Fiat 600e offers a choice of eight colors for ambient lighting. An asset for the electric SUV, which offers a great technological endowment in the service of comfort. Rare thing on this segment, this one comes standard with electric, heated and massaging seats on the Prima finish. We haven’t had time to test this feature, but it will be tested further in a future hands-on! Anyway, the seat is comfortable and suitable for all sizes.

With its wheelbase of 2.56 meters, the Fiat 600e offers quite generous space for rear passengers, while access to the bench seat is facilitated by the wide opening of the doors. The seats are again very pleasant, both to sit and to watch. And for good reason, they are embroidered with the Fiat logo, which gives them a little offbeat side. Finally, the trunk volume is displayed at 360 liters when the seat is in place. For comparison, that of the Peugeot e-2008 is 434 liters. However, this remains quite correct for everyday use and allows the car to maintain a compact size.

Infotainment: simplicity

If some manufacturers are in the race for the one who will offer the most technological driving position and covered with screens, this is not at all Fiat’s philosophy. The firm wants to remain a simple and accessible brand, and it shows. Thus, no digital debauchery, but a completely sufficient endowment. We find a 10.25-inch horizontal format touch screen, a little larger than that of the recently restyled Peugeot e-2008. In fact, it is strictly identical to that of the Jeep Avenger. But beware, there is a trap.

Because the Italian manufacturer still wanted to offer a different infotainment system to its SUV, which benefits the latest generation Uconnect. The latter benefits from a modern design and is quite intuitive to use, even if we have not yet been able to discover it in depth. The package is nice to look at and to use, especially since it’s compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows in particular to take advantage of navigation on Waze, which is currently in the process of merging with Google Maps. However, the car also comes with the On-board GPS provided by TomTom.

This touch screen placed on the dashboard is also associated with a 7 inch digital handset. installed behind the steering wheel. The latter is quite small, which does not facilitate readability, even if it displays the minimum amount of information. To tell the truth, this point is not necessarily a defect, because many cars sometimes display a little too much data, which tends to distract us. To see during a more complete test what gives this display in use. Note that no head-up display is offered on the car, which comes standard with numerous driving aids, including rear parking sensors, sign recognition or the cruise control and speed limiter.

Motorization, autonomy and recharging

The new Fiat 600e uses the CMP platform designed by the former PSA group and on which several models are based, including the DS 3 E-Tense, Opel Corsa-e and other Peugeot e-208s, the restyled version of which has just been released. be formalized. All of these cars also share the same engine, and this newcomer is no exception. It has a 156 horsepower electric motor and 260 Nm of torque, all available immediately as on all zero-emission cars (exhaust). The 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in nine seconds and the maximum speed is limited to 150 km/h in order to preserve autonomy.

This is displayed at 405 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, thanks to the NMC (nickel – manganese – cobalt) battery of 54 kWh gross (51 kWh net). However, it is possible to cover up to 570 kilometers in theory if you only drive in town. However, these figures should be taken with a grain of salt, since they depend on many parameters, such as driving style, the outside temperature or the equipment you use such as heating or air conditioning. Note, however, that the car comes standard with a heat pump, which optimizes consumption in winter.

Charging takes place from 20 to 80% in 27 minutes, while the SUV is content with a 400 volt architecture and not 800 like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 for example, which requires barely 15 minutes for the same exercise. The maximum power that could be collected by the Fiat 600e is 100 kW in direct current, whileit can be recharged at 11 kW in direct current on a wallbox. The car is also equipped with level 2 autonomous driving, which comes as standard on the La Prima trim. This combines adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assistance.

Price and availability

Good news, orders are already open for this new Fiat 600e, the first deliveries of which should begin. during the month of October. We know the prices of the electric SUV, which starts from 35,900 euros in its entry-level (RED) version. The La Prima finish is displayed at 40,900 euros. In both cases, this newcomer to the catalog is eligible for the ecological bonus of 5,000 euros.

The latest addition to the Italian brand competes head-on with the Volkswagen ID.4 and the new Hyundai Kona Electric, which we were able to discover a few weeks earlier. The latter should display a price around 40,000 euros. It is whispered thata hybrid version of the Fiat 600 would also be available a little later, probably sometime next year.

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