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In-depth reviews

Fiat 600 review – a stylish and charming small SUV

"The Fiat 600 is not without its faults, but it’s comfortable and brings a touch of trendiness to the electric SUV class"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Cute, cheerful styling
  • Cushy ride comfort
  • Easy to drive

Cons

  • Cramped rear seats
  • Boot isn't huge
  • Not cheap

Verdict – is the Fiat 600 a good car?

The Fiat 600 has its work cut out to compete in the overcrowded small SUV sector, but it certainly has the tools to convince when compared to the competition. It’s not alone in offering an all-electric powertrain in this class, but that does add a certain trendiness and feel-good appeal to the car’s quirky style and cheerful character, which it has in abundance. On UK roads the 600e felt comfortable to ride in, with its soft suspension ironing out bumps well and it should be spacious enough for many buyers who want a small SUV where style is the priority. It’s not cheap, but the 600e is tempting, nonetheless, and the Fiat 600 Hybrid is a new addition that brings the same style but a cheaper price.

Fiat 600 models, specs and alternatives

The Fiat 600e has joined the brand’s lineup as a second electric car sitting above the Fiat 500 in terms of size. It’s essentially a fully-electric replacement for the Fiat 500X SUV and Fiat 500L MPV, and sits alongside some very familiar competition – its underpinnings are shared with a variety of small electric SUVs from sister brands, including the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot E-2008, Vauxhall Mokka Electric and DS3 E-Tense.

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As was the case with the related Jeep Avenger, a mild-hybrid petrol model was available to order from May 2024 as a new entry-point for the model, getting a 1.2-litre engine paired with an electric motor for a combined 99bhp. The range originally launched with just one electric motor and battery combination: a 154bhp electric motor powered by a 54kWh battery. It can propel the 600e from 0-62mph in nine seconds, while the battery delivers up to 254 miles of official range. 

Best electric SUVsTop 10 best electric SUVs 2024

The Fiat 600 now starts from just under £24,000 in Hybrid guise, which is a whopping £9,000 cheaper than the electric model. Trim levels are similarly simple, and it’s currently offered in a choice of three: entry-level 600, Red and La Prima – as far as we can tell, 600 models can only be had with the Hybrid engine, Red models can only be had with the electric motor, and top-spec La Prima specification can be had with hybrid petrol or electric power. 

Standard equipment includes a 10-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, a seven-inch driver’s display, rear parking sensors, LED headlights and tail-lights as well as cruise control.

Trim levelsPower options
  • Red
  • La Prima
  • Single-motor 156bhp

Fiat 600 alternatives

As we’ve said, the 600 is effectively a replacement for the 500X SUV (although that car will continue to be sold alongside the new one for the time being) and the 500L MPV. It arguably also does some of the same job that used to be done by the Fiat Grande Punto supermini. Quite a few different roles to fill then.

Small electric SUVs

Electric SUV rivals of a similar size will obviously be the most direct rivals of the 600e, and we’ve already identified its in-house competition, but there are a few more to chuck into the mix as well.

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Other small SUVs

Now the Fiat 600 comes as a hybrid model, there’s a huge range of combustion-engined alternatives, and it’s a list that contains some immensely popular and competent cars.

MPG, running costs & CO2 emissions

“The Fiat 600e does a very reasonable job at both range and charging times, and now the Fiat 600 comes as a cheaper Hybrid"

The Fiat 600 launched with just one electric version, but the range has since been expanded to include a 1.2-litre Hybrid version using the same system that’s been implemented in other cars under parent company Stellantis, including the Jeep Avenger. This offers fuel economy of up to an impressive 58.9mpg and it’s much cheaper to buy than the electric version.

The electric model combines a front-mounted 154bhp electric motor and a 54kWh battery (51kWh usable). WLTP figures put the official range at 254 miles, although Fiat claims that the car is capable of 375 miles when used exclusively in an urban setting. Like an increasing amount of EVs these days, a heat pump comes as standard, which delivers more efficient cabin heating in the winter. This should have a significant effect on your cold-weather range.

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The onboard DC charger is rated at 100kW, so if you can find a powerful enough public rapid charger, the battery pack can be replenished from 20 to 80% in 27 minutes. You also get 11kW three-phase AC charging as standard, although that is less likely to be useful here than in continental Europe, where more domestic properties have the electrics to back it up.

Because the 600e has zero tailpipe emissions, you pay no VED road tax whatsoever, either in the first year or subsequent years. If you’re a company car driver, you’ll pay Benefit-in-Kind company car tax on just 2% of the car’s value until 2025 at the earliest, making it a huge amount cheaper in monthly tax bills than any hybrid or combustion-engined car. In those circumstances, an EV really is a no-brainer.

ModelBattery sizeRange
Red54kWh (51kWh usable)254 miles
La Prima54kWh (51kWh usable)252 miles

Model 

Fuel economy

CO2 emissions

Fiat 600 1.2-litre Hybrid

58.9mpg

109g/km

Insurance

The 600e is still sufficiently new that insurance groups haven’t been announced. If you look at the Peugeot E-2008 with the identical drivetrain, that car sits in group 25, meaning fair-to-middling premiums, and we’d expect the 600e to be broadly similar to that car.

Engines, drive & performance

“At its best in town, but not out of its depth on faster roads.”

On UK roads, our multiple tests of the Fiat 600e revealed it to be much more grown-up than the 500 to drive, but not quite as fun. While based on the same underpinnings as the Jeep Avenger, it’s been engineered to ride more softly – good news for its use around town on pothole-filled UK roads, as are the smaller 16-inch wheels that were fitted to our test model.

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The Fiat 600e’s steering is light, which also contributes to good urban road manners. It’s fairly accurate but doesn’t offer the most feedback. Despite its raised ride height, the 600e feels more composed in faster corners than you might expect, with a minimal amount of lean – push it hard along a winding country road and it holds on well.

However, the Fiat 600e isn’t necessarily the fastest electric car, so don’t expect face-bending performance. While it’s capable of a 154bhp maximum output in Sport mode, the 600e is actually limited to just 107bhp in Normal mode. Put it into Sport and it feels more playful, but we did find it somewhat underpowered in the Normal setting. Most buyers won’t be phased by this, though, especially if most of their driving is limited to around town.

We’ve found Stellantis’s latest motor refined in other products from within the group, including the Avenger, and it’s no different here. The 600e is a refined cruiser, making it a car that delivers qualities beyond its urban brief.

The regenerative braking system feels well set up, and the transition between regen and the 600e’s physical brake discs being applied is almost unnoticeable, making for a smooth drive.

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We’re yet to drive the Fiat 600 Hybrid, which contrary to its name uses a mild-hybrid system. It’s the same setup used in the Jeep Avenger e-Hybrid, and in that car, we found the transition between petrol and electric power to be seamless, and though the fully electric version is nearly silent at low speeds, the Hybrid was fairly quiet, too. Like the electric model, you also get regenerative braking to harvest more of the energy usually wasted when slowing the car down.

0-62mph and top speed

The single electric powertrain will propel the 600e from 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, which is enough to make it feel zippy in town and comfortable at higher speeds, while the top speed it’ll reach stands at 83mph. The Hybrid takes a little longer to complete the 0-62mph sprint, at 10.9 seconds, though its top speed is actually higher – it can do up to 114mph.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

600e

154bhp

9.0sec

83mph

600 Hybrid99bhp10.9sec114mph

Interior & comfort

“The interior has the quality and style buyers will be hoping for.”

Like its 500 stablemate, the Fiat 600 is a very stylish car, with plenty of retro details that give a nod to the nameplate’s rich heritage. The car’s curvy lines are accentuated at the front end by circular running lights and a headlight design - which features body-coloured panels above the illuminated parts - that almost look like the car is batting its eyelashes at you. The vertical rear lights, meanwhile, are a nod to the original Fiat 600.

With the introduction of the Hybrid model, the trim structure has become more confusing. A new entry-level ‘600’ is available for hybrid models, while ‘Red’ is the entry-level electric model, and unavailable with the Hybrid system. La Prima is the top-spec for either the hybrid or the electric models.

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Entry-level 600 and Red edition get a modest array of kit, but do include a 10-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a seven-inch digital driver’s display, cruise control and rear parking sensors. On 600 cars the air conditioning is manual and the alloy wheels grow to 17 inches, while Red models get automatic climate control and 16-inch steel wheels. Red cars also get keyless go, and contrary to the name, they are available in a variety of colours.

Up front, the interior design gets some unique curvy, retro-inspired detailing aside from features the 600 shares with the Jeep Avenger, such as the centre console with its storage bin and foldable cover. Although the design itself is a bit brighter and more colourful in the 600, the materials don’t feel of the highest quality so it can feel a little cheap and derivative in some areas.

Infotainment and navigation

Key features

600

 

  • 10-inch infotainment screen
  • Seven-inch digital driver’s display
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Cruise control
  • Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Red

  • 10-inch infotainment screen
  • Seven-inch digital driver’s display
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Automatic climate control
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Keyless go
  • All-round electric windows
  • Cruise control
  • Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto

La Prima

(600 or Red plus…)

 

  • Alloy wheels
  • All-round parking sensors
  • Rear-view camera
  • Heated front seats
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Wireless phone charging

     

     

      The Fiat’s infotainment system looks good with its widescreen display and crisp graphics. It’s also pretty straightforward to use thanks to logical menus, meaning you can jump between functions easily, and the screen is quick to respond to presses. Even on the version without navigation installed, you get wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to help you hook up your own personalised mapping, with real-time traffic info.

      Practicality & boot space

      “Adequate rather than amazing for both boot space and passenger space.”

      Fiat has made all sorts of bold claims about how much it has stretched the 600’s rear cabin compared with the Stellantis group sister cars, but the firm’s engineering team will only ever be able to do so much with a fixed set of mechanicals shared with another vehicle. So, like with several other models that sit on the same platform - the Jeep Avenger and Vauxhall Mokka included - the 600 is a bit of a squeeze in the back. Four six-footers will just about clamber in overall, although your rear-seat passengers wouldn’t thank you after a longer journey. The cabin is too narrow to comfortably accommodate three people in the back, too, so avoid that middle seat at all costs.

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      Up front, the driving position is upright and your front visibility is pretty good, but the small rear window can hamper your rear view slightly. Cabin storage is generous, with large door bins and lots of stowage space - some of which has a neat folding cover - in the centre console.

      Your charging flap sits on the rear wing on the left-hand side of the car.

      Size comparison
      ModelLengthWidthHeight
      Fiat 6004,171mm1,781mm1,523mm
      Nissan Juke4,210mm1,800mm1,593mm
      Vauxhall Mokka4,151mm1,791mm1,531mm
      Toyota Yaris Cross4,180mm1,765mm1,595mm

      Boot space

      Yes, the 600 is an SUV, but it is only a small one, so don’t go expecting miracles in this area. The boot is a decent capacity at 360 litres - which is somewhere between supermini and family-hatch territory. It means there should be enough space for a small family that’s prepared to travel light.

      The opening is perhaps slightly narrow, but it’s also nice and tall, so you get good access from above. There are a couple of useful hooks integrated into the moulded plastic areas of the boot lining, which are handy for holding shopping bags in place. 

      There’s a dual-height floor, so you can prioritise overall load space or smooth out the load lip to make it easier to slide items in and out. Doing the latter also creates an area beneath to store charging cables. Even when you do so, though, there’s still a bit of a lip to contend with, and when you fold the 60/40 split rear seats down, the backrests sit at a pronounced angle, leaving you with a sloped load area.

      Boot space comparison

      Model 

      Boot space

      Fiat 600

      360 litres

      Nissan Juke

      422 litres

      Vauxhall Mokka Electric

      310 litres

      Toyota Yaris Cross

      397 litres

      Reliability & safety

      “Tried-and-tested parts, plus a good amount of safety equipment”

      The 600 is obviously too new for there to be much data on reliability. There’s a fairly robust and sturdy feel to the materials, and to the way they’re assembled, which should hopefully bode well. It’s perhaps a little bit alarming that Fiat came 31st out of 32 carmakers in the manufacturer standings of our latest 2023 Driver Power Survey, which references reliability as one part of overall customer satisfaction. 

      However, you can take solace from the fact that just 12% of Fiat owners reported an issue with their car in the first year, which is better than all of its sister brands, and the 600 is built on the same Stellantis platform that underpins several other models from the group, and many of these models managed to score places in our Best 75 Cars to Own list in the same study, a list which was topped outright by one of them, the Citroen C4.

      Like all Fiats, the 600 is covered by a fairly average three-year warranty, but there’s no mileage limit, making it slightly more generous than most.

      Safety

      The 600 comes with most of the safety features you’d expect these days. There are six airbags to help keep you from harm in the event of a crash, but most of the safety kit provided is concentrated on preventing you from having a smash in the first place. That includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed assist. Upgrading to the La Prima model also adds blind spot assistance and adaptive cruise control.

      The car has not yet been subjected to Euro NCAP crash tests, so there’s still some uncertainty on that score, but most other Stellantic models that share the same platform have scored four out of five stars in recent tests.

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