2020 Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda mild hybrid prices confirmed

Sales of the new mild-hybrid Fiat 500 start in February; Panda arrives in March

  • 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine replaces ageing 1.2-litre engine
  • Fiat promises noticeable efficiency gains
  • Sales of the 500, priced from £12,655, start next month

Fiat has confirmed that the new mild-hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda will start at £12,655 and £13,855 respectively. Both cars feature a new 1.0-litre petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The updated 500 will go on sale in February and the Panda from March.

A new 1.0-litre engine with a 12-volt belt starter generator (BSG) electric motor coupled to a small battery features under the bonnet of both cars. The new three-cylinder engine effectively replaces the 1.2-litre engine that has been used in small Fiats for well over a decade.

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Fiat claims this new engine reduces the CO2 emissions of both cars by up to 30% and improves fuel efficiency. Under WLTP testing, the mild-hybrid 500 is capable of up to 53.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 88g/km. The Panda manages up to 49.6mpg and 89g/km.

The system allows the engine to switch off below 18mph so that the car can silently glide to a stop. When you brake, the energy gets stored in the BSG system, and this is then used to restart the engine when the clutch is engaged.

Despite the new 70bhp engine having only 2bhp more than its predecessor, it should be able to get both cars from 0-62mph quicker than the current models, as some of the energy harvested from braking assists the petrol engine, kind of like a boost function. The Fiat 500 currently takes almost 13 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill, while the Panda reaches that threshold in a leisurely 14.8 seconds.

When they arrive in showrooms, the mild-hybrid 500 and Panda models will be available in a Launch Edition trim. These models are finished in a ‘Dew Green’ paint, with seats trimmed in a fabric manufactured from recycled plastic waste. Both cars get ‘hybrid’ badging on the boot lid and door pillar. The Launch Edition models start from £16,795 for the 500 and £14,385 for the Panda.

Later this year, the 500 will be offered with an electric powertrain, making it a rival for the upcoming MINI Electric and Honda e. We expect it to offer around 150 miles of range; read more about the electric Fiat 500 here.

What does it mean for car buyers?

It’s hard not to fall for the charm of the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda but the two cars aren’t the most modern on sale. This new engine should give them a new lease of life and make them more appealing to buyers who are also looking at newer rivals like the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto. The old 1.2-litre engine was one of the compromises you were previously required to make if you were taken by the styling, so this 1.0-litre engine, with its lower emissions, cheaper running costs and expected performance improvements, will make both cars better all-round packages. We’d recommend holding out until the new engine is available if you’re after a small Fiat, as we expect it to be better in every way.

Read our reviews of the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, or see where the Panda ranks on our list of most reliable cars.

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