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In-depth reviews

Fiat 600e review: a small, stylish electric SUV

The Fiat 600e looks the part, has a comfortable ride, and provides plenty of equipment for a reasonable price

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£23,950 to £27,790
  • Ride comfort
  • Strong equipment list
  • Keen pricing
  • Limited rear seat leg room
  • Depreciation of electric model
  • Not the quickest EV out there
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Quick verdict

Fancy a small electric SUV with Italian flair? Try the Fiat 600e. It’s a solid return to the class from Fiat, marrying a handsome exterior inspired by the smaller 500 electric but providing a good level of extra practicality. Add-in keen pricing and a decent equipment list, and you have a compelling package.

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The cynical might think of this as just another spin on the Stellantis group small SUV platform, but there’s enough differentiation between the Fiat 600e and the group's other offerings to give the car an identity of its own. The 600e doesn’t have the same sense of fun as the smaller 500, but then the 600e is intended as a more mature offering with greater family-friendly practicality than that car.

Key specs

Fuel type

Electric

Body style

Five-door compact SUV

Powertrain

1x e-motor, 54kWh (50.8kWh useable) battery, front-wheel drive

Safety

N/A

Warranty

3yrs/unlimited mileage

Fiat 600e: price, specs and rivals

Sometimes, things are sweeter the second time around. Take the Fiat 600e, for example. It's the spiritual successor to the controversial Fiat 500X – a car that sold well enough, but caused some upset by using the famous 500 name that was once the reserve of the brand's smallest city car, and used it on a larger SUV.

But the world has moved on considerably since then, to the point where buyers will accept that the MINI badge can reside on a sizeable family SUV like the MINI Countryman, a car longer than a Nissan Qashqai and taller than a Range Rover Evoque, and not have to denote something small. So why shouldn’t Fiat give the 500 brand a healthy stretch?

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That’s not to say the 600e is getting anywhere near the dimensions of the aforementioned Countryman, for the 600e is a car positioned squarely between superminis and family SUVs. It’s slightly jacked up, true, but the Fiat is 4.17 metres long – longer than the Jeep Avenger, but still shorter than a Smart #1

Beneath the 600e is Stellantis’s e-CMP platform, which supports the Avenger mentioned above, along with the DS 3 E-Tense, Peugeot E-2008, and Vauxhall Mokka Electric. The electric 600e is built on the same production line in Tychy, Poland, as the Avenger.

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Fiat isn’t one for complex range structures these days, and sure enough, there are just two versions of the 600e to choose from at launch. The entry-level 600e (Red) costs around £33,000, and gets climate control, rear parking sensors, LED headlights, a digital instrument display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with wireless Android and Apple smartphone hook-ups.

Stump up close to £37,000, and you can have a La Prima, with 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera.

Electric motor, drive and performance

Not the fastest electric small SUV, but it drives well enough with a comfortable ride around town

The 600e will soon be joined by a mild-hybrid model, featuring the same mix of a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine and six-speed dual-clutch gearbox as that being rolled out in numerous Stellantis group models from the Jeep Avenger to the Vauxhall Corsa. The hybrid model will be cheaper than the entry-level 600e, with a starting figure below £24k.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

Fiat 600e 54kWh

154bhp

9.0 seconds

93mph

We reckon the Fiat 600e felt a little softer than the Avenger when we tried it in Italy in 2023, and that holds true on UK roads, too; the 16-inch wheels of the (Red) edition probably help further with compliance, but this is a car that does feel more focused on soaking up urban bumps and potholes than delivering the last word in body control when things speed up. And there’s nothing wrong with that; the steering is light but consistent and precise, and while you’ll find a bit of head toss and body lean if you throw it at a fast corner, the chassis does a surprisingly good job of hanging on in corners.

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By default, or in Normal mode, the Fiat 600e doesn’t deliver its claimed power output, but rather a reduced figure of 107bhp. There’s good throttle-pedal modulation, and enough instant EV punch for the 600e to feel pretty comfortable with life without the need to flick the switch into Sport mode to access the motor’s full potential. 

If you do that and misbehave with the right-hand pedal, the car will spin its front tyres. Instead, tame your lead foot antics, be a little more measured in how you deploy the full 154bhp available, and the 600e can get from 0-62mph in nine seconds. That’s a respectable enough time for a family-orientated runabout, but there are much swifter rivals out there, such as the Smart #1, which completes the same sprint in a mere 6.7 seconds even in its entry-level form.

Regardless of how much power is on tap, the brakes are nicely calibrated, with a barely perceptible transition between the regenerative braking system and the discs and pads of the mechanical braking system.

Refinement is on a par with pretty much anything in the class, and while there is some transference from the UK’s coarser road surfaces, the (Red) edition’s smaller wheels help again to keep this to an acceptable level.

Range, charging & running costs

Range and charging speed are acceptable, plus insurance rates aren’t as bad as for other electric cars. Depreciation is steep, though.

Model 

Battery size

Range

Insurance group

Fiat 600e (Red) 54kWh 

50.8kWh (useable)

254 miles

25

Fiat 600e La Prima 54kWh

50.8kWh (useable)

252 miles

26

Both trim levels of the Fiat 600e use a 54kWh battery pack (50.8kWh useable), with the (Red) version getting a range of 254 miles, and the La Prima getting 252 miles of range. Fiat says that using the car solely around town could boost that to 370 miles, which sounds more optimistic than even the combined figures.

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All versions of 600e have a heat pump as standard, and because that’s a more efficient way of heating the interior, it means the range shouldn’t fall drastically in colder weather. 

Charging speeds of up to 100kW are supported, making it possible to take the battery from 20 to 80 per cent in just under half an hour. An overnight charge using a 7kW home wallbox charger should take a little over eight hours.

According to our experts, the Fiat 600e is likely to be worth less after three years and 36,000 miles than its Jeep Avenger sibling, retaining between 39 to 41 per cent of its resale value, compared with between 51 to 53 per cent for the electric versions of the Avenger.

At least you shouldn’t pay as much for insurance as with some rivals. The electric 600e sits in the same groups as the equivalent Avenger (24 to 25), whereas the Smart #1 is in groups 31 to 38.

Design, interior & technology

The design inside isn’t as interesting as other Fiat models, but the infotainment is decent enough, and everything looks smart

Anyone upgrading from the smaller Fiat 500 electric city car will feel right at home with the exterior styling of the Fiat 600e. Like the 500, the clamshell bonnet bisects the LED headlights, while the rear lights are a dead ringer for its smaller sibling’s. The extra rear doors and black plastic cladding around the wheel arches indicate this car’s additional SUV-style utility.

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Fiat is said to be on a mission to banish dull colours. On (Red) trim, you have a choice of three: red (obviously), black and white. Upgrade to La Prima, and there are four metallic colours, including orange, sand, blue, and green.

There’s more than a whiff of Avenger in the cabin, with the same basic layout of screen and hotkeys beneath it, not to mention the foldable cover for the central storage area between the front seats. It’s neat enough, and a bold strip of gloss-red material brightens the fascia. But there’s no doubt this feels a bit more mature and a little less fun than a 500.

In-car tech, meanwhile, is standard Stellantis fare, with a Fiat skin over the top of the same system that features in the Avenger. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All versions of the 600e come with the larger 10.25-inch central touchscreen that’s denied to lesser versions of the Jeep Avenger, and has been used to great effect on the smaller 500. It’s not as large as the 12.8-inch screen fitted to the Smart #1, but the 600 has a snappier interface, with clear graphics, big on-screen buttons to press, and a crisp display. It’s positioned high up on the dash, so it’s easy to access without looking away from the road.

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Both versions of 600e come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capability to allow you to use apps from your phone for all your navigation and audio streaming needs. The top-of-the-range La Prima adds an in-built TomTom navigation system that includes vehicle charging locations, a wireless phone charging pad, and a couple of extra speakers over the standard four-speaker audio system provided in (Red) trim. 

Boot space, comfort & practicality

A respectable boot size and decent space up front are offset by limited rear leg room

Dimensions

Length

4,171mm

Width

1,781mm (1,981mm inc mirrors)

Height

1523mm

Number of seats

5

Boot space 

360 litres

The Fiat is smaller in all directions than the Smart #1, which is noticeable if you compare the two for interior passenger space.

There’s decent room for two adults up front in the 600e, but the slight stretch compared with the Avenger’s overall length hasn’t translated into a big gain in wheelbase, because the Fiat’s is longer by only two millimetres. So the same constraints apply in the rear seats as they do in the Jeep’s; younger kids will be fine, but only the shortest adults will be able to get truly comfortable, with everyone else forced to squish their knees into the front seatbacks. It also doesn’t feature the neat sliding rear seat of the Smart #1 in order to increase leg room.

The boot capacity is greater than that of #1, though. It’s a more useful 360 litres, and there’s a variable-height floor that you can use to store the charging cables. That’s useful, but it would have been even better if there was some storage under the bonnet, like there is in the #1, because then you don’t have to remove items in the boot to access the cables in the underfloor storage area.

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An ISOFIX point is mounted on the front passenger seat (ensure the passenger airbag is disabled when a rear-facing child seat is fitted), and two further ISOFIX points are provided on the outer positions of the sliding rear bench. 

Safety & reliability

The Fiat brand needs to improve in terms of customer satisfaction; all the safety assistance tech you expect is present

Safety experts Euro NCAP haven’t rated the Fiat 600e or its Jeep Avenger sibling yet, but we hope some additional development work has been carried out, and that this car improves upon the disappointing four-star rating of the Citroen e-C4, Peugeot E-2008, and Vauxhall Mokka Electric the 600e is closely related to.

All the expected safety assistance technology is fitted, including autonomous emergency braking, which should avoid or mitigate low-speed collisions with other vehicles and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. You also get traffic sign recognition to flag the speed limit on the road you’re driving and a lane keep assistance system to warn you if you’re about to stray out of your lane on the motorway.

The 600e is too new to have been included in our latest driver satisfaction survey, but we hope that some effort has gone into improving the brand’s poor 31st-place result out of 32 manufacturers included in the 2023 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, which was only slightly better than last place MG. 

On a positive note, all new Fiat cars have a three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty. The latter puts the brand above most other manufacturers, even if it can’t quite match the five-year/unlimited mileage Hyundai warranty, or the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty from Kia. None quite offers the 10-year/100,000-mile warranty of Toyota, although the stipulation there is you must have it serviced annually at a Toyota dealership to maintain it for that length of time.

Should you buy a Fiat 600e?

The Fiat 600e is a stylish offering for those looking for a decent-value small electric SUV with more range than the entry-level Hyundai Kona Electric, relatively short rapid charging times, and a strong equipment list. 

However, while it is cheaper to buy than a number of its closest competitors, its steep depreciation compared with the Jeep Avenger and Kona Electric could make the 600e more costly in the long run. The 600e isn’t particularly spacious in the back, so anyone with growing teenagers or adults to transport might be better off paying a bit more for the Smart #1 with its nifty sliding rear bench seat, or going for our preferred version of the Kona Electric with the larger 65kWh battery pack.
 

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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