Fiat has recently unveiled the new Fiat 600 Hybrid, a compact crossover that combines a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with a 28-horsepower electric motor. The Fiat 600 Hybrid is a less electrified version of the Fiat 600e, which is an all-electric model that was revealed in July. The Fiat 600 Hybrid is intended for markets that are not ready for the full electric transition, such as Italy, where it will start at €24,950 ($29,500).
But how does the Fiat 600 Hybrid compare to its electric sibling and other rivals in the segment? Is it a worthy addition to the Fiat lineup or a half-hearted attempt to appease the environmentalists? And most importantly, is it any fun to drive?
A Mild Hybrid System
The 2024 Fiat 600 Hybrid is powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 99 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque. This engine is paired with a 28-horsepower electric motor that is integrated into a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The electric motor draws power from a small 48-volt lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by regenerative braking.
The hybrid system allows the Fiat 600 Hybrid to travel at speeds of up to 18 mph (30 km/h) on electricity alone, but only for a short distance of 0.6 miles (1 km). Therefore, the electric motor is mainly used to assist the engine during acceleration, reduce turbo lag, and improve fuel efficiency and emissions. Fiat claims that the hybrid system can cut CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent compared to a conventional petrol engine.
The 2024 Fiat 600 Hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 11 seconds, which is not very impressive for a crossover of this size. However, it does offer a decent fuel economy of around 52-55 mpg (4.5-4.3 L/100km). The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has a start-stop system that can switch off the engine when the vehicle is stationary or coasting at low speeds.
A Stylish Design
The Fiat 600 Hybrid shares the same design as the Fiat 600e, which is inspired by the iconic Fiat 500 and the original Fiat 600 from the 1950s. The Fiat 600 Hybrid has a retro-modern look that features round headlights, a curved grille, and a two-tone body color. The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has some distinctive elements that differentiate it from the electric version, such as chrome accents, hybrid badges, and different wheel designs.
The interior of the Fiat 600 Hybrid is also similar to the Fiat 600e, with a minimalist dashboard that features a bio-based plastic fascia and recycled fabric upholstery. The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The cabin can accommodate five passengers and offers some storage spaces and a trunk capacity of 13.5 cubic feet (385 liters).
The Fiat 600 Hybrid is available in two trim levels: City Cross and La Prima. The City Cross trim comes with LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, cruise control, and lane keep assist. The La Prima trim adds LED headlights, leather seats, wireless charging, keyless entry, and adaptive cruise control. The La Prima trim also offers Level 2 assisted driving technology that can steer, accelerate, and brake the vehicle in certain conditions.
A Fun Drive?
The 2024 Fiat 600 Hybrid may not be as powerful or as eco-friendly as the Fiat 600e, but it still promises to deliver a fun driving experience. The Fiat 600 Hybrid has a lightweight body that weighs just over 2,800 pounds (1,280 kg), which helps it handle well on twisty roads. The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has paddle shifters and a power meter that shows the energy flow between the engine and the motor.
The Fiat 600 Hybrid may not be as fast or smooth as some competitors, such as the Kia Niro EV, the Hyundai Kona Electric or the 2024 Toyota C-HR, but it still offers some advantages. The Fiat 600 Hybrid has a lower price tag than most electric crossovers in its class, which makes it more accessible to buyers who are not ready to go fully electric. The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has a longer range than most electric crossovers, making it more suitable for long-distance trips.
The Fiat 600 Hybrid may not be as innovative or futuristic as some competitors, such as the Tesla Model Y or the Lucid Air, but it still offers some charm. The Fiat 600 Hybrid has a stylish design that pays homage to the Fiat heritage, making it stand out. The Fiat 600 Hybrid also has a hybrid system that adds some character to the driving experience, which makes it more engaging than a conventional petrol engine.
The Fiat 600 Hybrid is a compact crossover that combines a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with a 28-horsepower electric motor. The Fiat 600 Hybrid is a less electrified version of the Fiat 600e. The Fiat 600 Hybrid is intended for markets not ready for the full electric transition, starting at €24,950 ($29,500 at current exchange rates).
The Fiat 600 Hybrid may not be the best choice for buyers looking for a powerful, eco-friendly, or innovative crossover. Still, it may be a good option for buyers looking for a stylish, affordable, fun crossover. The Fiat 600 Hybrid offers a retro-modern design, decent fuel economy, and a hybrid system that adds some spice to the driving experience. The Fiat 600 Hybrid is not quite electric but still an Italian upgrade.
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