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In-depth reviews

Fiat 600e review – a stylish and charming small electric SUV

"The Fiat 600e is not without its faults, but is good to drive 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 600e a good car?

The Fiat 600e 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.

Fiat 600e 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 will be joining the range later in summer 2024 as a new entry-point for the model, but for now there’s 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 600e trim levels are similarly simple, and it’s currently offered in a choice of two: Red and La Prima. The 600e Red is the entry point and brings bright-red paintwork, climate control, rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, LED headlights, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with DAB and wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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Step up to the 600e La Prima, and you get front parking sensors with a rear-view camera, 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, puddle lights, heated front seats, electrically folding side mirrors, gesture control for the electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, and navigation on the infotainment system.

For now, there’s just one all-electric powertrain available, which is also shared with the 600e's stablemates. It combines a front-mounted 154bhp electric motor and a 54kWh battery, delivering 0-62mph in nine seconds and either 254 miles (Red) or 252 miles (La Prima) of WLTP range between recharges.

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Later on, expect the range to expand to include a 1.2-litre petrol mild-hybrid, driven through an electrified six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Fiat claims that this model will have CO2 emissions of as little as 110g/km, and be able to spend up to half its time driving on electric power alone around town when it arrives in 2024.

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

Fiat 600e alternatives

As we’ve said, the 600e 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, and we’ve already identified the 600e’s in-house competition, but there are a few more to chuck into the mix as well.

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Other small SUVs

If all-electric power isn’t a must-have for your next small SUV, then you’ll probably be considering the huge range of combustion-engined alternatives, and it’s a list that contains some immensely popular and competent cars.

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Range, charging & running costs

“The Fiat 600e does a very reasonable job at both range and charging times."

All versions of the Fiat 600e get the same all-electric powertrain, which combines a front-mounted 154bhp electric motor and a 54kWh battery (51kWh usable). WLTP figures put the official range at 254 miles for the Red or 252 miles for the La Prima, 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.

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.

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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

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.

Electric motor, drive & performance

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

We’ve now driven the Fiat 600e in the UK, and our experience confirmed what we thought when we first tested it abroad. It feels much more grown-up than the smaller Fiat 500 to drive, but it’s also not quite as fun. The Fiat 600e rides more softly than the Jeep Avenger with which it shares many of its underpinnings – our Red test car sat on 16-inch wheels which also contributed to this supple ride, and it did a good job of soaking up the many imperfections found on the average UK road.

We found the 600e’s steering accurate and predictable, and its lightness makes it well-suited to around-town driving. On faster roads, although the car does lean a little when it’s thrown sharply into a corner, we weren’t expecting how well the Fiat 600e managed to hold on when pushed hard through winding country roads.

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It’s worth noting that in Normal mode, the Fiat 600e’s power is limited to just 107bhp, rather than its quoted maximum 154bhp output. To unleash its full potential you can put the 600e into Sport mode – this makes the 600e feel more playful, though putting your foot to the floor can cause the front wheels to scrabble for traction. Despite the lower power output in Normal mode, the 600e felt comfortable to drive in this setting, with plenty of near-instant poke for nipping into gaps in traffic and accelerating on the motorway.

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.

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.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

600e Red

154bhp

9.0sec

83mph

600e La Prima154bhp9.0sec83mph

Interior & comfort

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

Like its 500 stablemate, the Fiat 600e 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.

Buy the Red trim level, and your choice of paint is made for you, but buyers of the La Prima get to choose from white, black, green, orange and blue hues, most of which are fairly subtle rather than being too garish.

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Climb into the front seats and you’ll notice interior design that’s more than a bit reminiscent of that in the Jeep Avenger. There’s the same wide letterbox-like infotainment screen, which is snappy and clear to use, even on the move. The 600e also gets the same familiar row of buttons for key controls and drive selection just beneath it, and a slightly tweaked version of the same foldable cover for the central storage area. 

Things are a bit brighter and more colourful in the 600e, with more body-coloured interior panels and adjustable ambient lighting, and high-quality materials in the important areas make the cabin feel like a smart environment, even if it arguably can’t quite match the fun and originality of the 500.

Infotainment and navigation

Key features

600e Red

  • Steel wheels
  • Automatic climate control
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Keyless go
  • All-round electric windows
  • Cruise control
  • Wireless Aplle Carplay and Android Auto

 

600e La Prima

(600e 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 600e’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 an Vauxhall Mokka included - the 600e 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 600e4,171mm1,781mm1,523mm
Nissan Juke4,210mm1,800mm1,593mm
Vauxhall Mokka4,151mm1,791mm1,531mm
Toyota Yaris Cross4,180mm1,765mm1,595mm

Boot space

Yes, the 600e 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 600e

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

Safety

The 600e 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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