More than just charming?

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More than just charming?

The Fiat 500 with the new mild hybrid drive in the test. What does the 12-volt hybrid system bring in everyday life?

Fiat 500 Hybrid

There’s no other way to put it: the Fiat 500 is an old car. The current series has been in production since 2007 with repeated small adjustments – and thus longer than almost any other current car. Nevertheless, the 500 with 1844 units sold as of the end of August is still the bestseller in the Fiat range.

The replacement is in the starting blocks: The 500e, which will only be available with a purely electric drive, is scheduled to roll out this year. Shortly before this replacement, Fiat brings the 500 on the market as a hybrid.

The hybrid system works with only 12 volts; it supports the 1.0-liter petrol engine with a maximum of 5 hp, especially when starting off. At 70 hp, the total output is exactly 1 hp more than the previous non-hybrid model. So you shouldn’t hope for big gains in terms of dynamics from the hybrid drive. Even after 13 years, the 500 remains a car that is preferably driven in the city. Even there, however, you often have to reach for the pretty gear lever and keep the engine running at full speed, otherwise the petrol hybrid seems rather sluggish.

More than just charming?-charming

Familiar: The simple cockpit is no different from other model variants.

After all: Even if you demand the drive, it rarely needs more than 5.5 l/100 km; in the test it was finally 5.3 l/100 km, the factory consumption, still measured according to the NEDC standard, is 3.8 l/100 km. The fact that the 500 does not achieve this in everyday life is ultimately due to the low performance of the drive: If you don’t want to be a traffic obstacle, you have to give the little Italian a lot of spurs.

The hybrid has the most savings potential because it can turn off the engine early when coasting in the city. Otherwise, it is hardly noticeable in everyday life. It is much more noticeable that the 500 is slowly but surely ready for a replacement: the seating position cannot be adjusted sufficiently for tall people, the electronics no longer look fresh, and the interior space is modest. Nevertheless – and although the 500 is not a bargain with at least 17140 francs (hybrid from 21140 francs) – the small Fiatnach is still very popular. The charm of the cult small car with googly eyes is probably irresistible for many.

More than just charming?-charming

The new hybrid can only be recognized by the lettering on the rear.

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