Fiat’s new electric SUV has an old badge on the front

First Look

Fiat’s new electric SUV has an old badge on the front

Fiat’s 600e SUV has a 250-mile range and shares its undercrackers with the Jeep Avenger

Sam BurnettPublished: 04 Jul 2023  External link to Top Gear Magazine Subscription – 5 issues for £5Skip 12 photos in the image carousel and continue reading1 / 12

Fiat has revealed its latest new car – an electric SUV it’s calling the 600e. The exciting bits to know are the 54kWh battery, a 254-mile WLTP range and velour floor mats as standard.

The 600e will also charge at 100kW on a rapid charger, which Fiat says will get you from 20 per cent to 80 per cent charge in 27 minutes. Just enough time for you to order an espresso and spend 26 minutes complaining about how bad British coffee is. 

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The name has a long history with the Italian carmaker, first used in the Fifties on a city car that predated the smaller 500 and later on the Seicento city car sold through the early 2000s. 

The latest version to wear the 600 badge has nothing in common with any of those, but it does look rather nice and shows a departure from Fiat’s recent attempts at creating a 500 Extended Universe with the likes of the 500L and 500X. Fiat plans to keep the 500X going alongside the 600e for now, but it should probably do the decent thing soon if sales of the new EV are strong enough.

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The interior of the 600e is a retro feast, with nods to Fiat’s heritage everywhere. The dashboard motif and tiny instrument panel hark straight back to the original 600, while the seats are covered in a stitched version of the company logo. The steering wheel even pays tribute to the old 600 – you half expect there to be an actual Easter egg in the glovebox. On the outside there’s a cute little Italian flag on the rear bumper, which will distract drivers long enough for you to push in.

The specification is considerably better than the original car – electric windows and tailgate come as standard, as well as auto aircon, headlights and wipers. The central infotainment screen is 10.25-inches with smartphone connectivity and there’s a 7.0-inch digital instrument panel for the driver. 

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Underneath the 600e’s rakish exterior is the upgraded e-CMP2 setup deployed on the new Jeep Avenger (our Electric Car of the Year in 2023), the older e-CMP platform underpinning cars as varied as the Citroen e-C4, Vauxhall Corsa Electric and Peugeot e-2008. So it should be a decent enough drive, is what we’re saying. Hopefully some of that Stellantis build quality is starting to rub off too.

Fiat announced just last week that it refuses to sell any more grey cars (the UK new car market’s most popular colour, it must be emphasised), and so the new 600e will only be available in a jaunty selection of shades inspired by the ‘beauty of Italy’. 

Not entirely sure what the orange of the launch car refers to, but the firm is keen to spread some of the country’s Dolce Vita about the place. And who doesn’t want some of the good life? The Dolce Vita is not to be confused with the Viva La Vida, which is relentlessly grey and involves a monthly payment to Gwyneth Paltrow.

Orders open later this year for deliveries to begin before 2023 is at an end, and Fiat says that it will confirm pricing and specification in the UK in the near future. As a guide, the Avenger is set to cost between £32k and £36k.

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