The Fiat 500’s quaintly cute, retro citycar styling still charms buyers. It’s also surprisingly affordable and has loads of personalization options. However, the 500 is starting to look a little long in the tooth. And even a clever, 1.0-litre mild hybrid powertrain isn’t enough to keep it competitive against newer rivals.
Fiat 500 Hybrid 2023 Review
When it comes to regenerating cars, the Fiat 500 might be second only to Doctor Who in terms of how many times it has been given a new body. However, it has always been a popular choice for those looking for a small and stylish city car that is great fun to drive. The new 2023 Fiat 500 Hybrid is the latest version of this cute model to get mild hybrid technology, but does it have what it takes to compete against more modern rivals? Jonathan Crouch drives it to find out.
The 1.3-liter four-cylinder hybrid system adds a thrummy electric motor to the 500’s existing 69bhp petrol engine. It aims to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20%. However, despite its modest ambitions, this is not an especially efficient car, and you will need to be very careful about your driving style to achieve the claimed economy. It certainly doesn’t feel like a more economical alternative to a Ford Fiesta Eco Boost, for example. In fact, its only clear advantage over a petrol-only 500 is that it’s slightly less obnoxious to drive. Whether that is enough for buyers to make the switch will probably depend on how much they care about reducing their carbon footprint. A smart seven-inch colour display is fitted to most models and can be used to display screens mirrored from your smartphone.
Fiat 500 Hybrid 2023 Launch Date
If you’re a fan of the cheeky Fiat 500, there’s a new version to consider. This 2023 model adds a hybrid powertrain to the iconic three-door hatchback, with a 1.0-liter petrol engine and an electric motor combining for 118 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The result is a car that’s nippy around town and frugal on the open road, thanks to the electric boost. But it’s not a particularly exciting drive, as the thrummy diesel engine is not very responsive and requires an exceptionally smooth driving style to make it work.
Fiat claims that this hybrid system can save you PS500 a year in running costs, and that might well be true if you can get close to the official mpg figures. However, if you’re shopping for an urban runabout, there are plenty of more efficient models to choose from, including the Citroen C1 and Kia Picanto. Fiat will soon bring the new Panda concept, codenamed CC4 to LA, as a possible replacement for its current generation of compact cars. Itâ€™s a thoroughly modern re-imagining of the 500 theme that runs on batteries alone, and it could appeal to fashion-conscious buyers who aren’t yet ready for a full-on electric vehicle.
Fiat 500 Hybrid 2023 Price
Despite its age, the 500 remains popular. It’s a cute-looking city car that’s fun to drive, and it’s cheap too. That makes it a great choice for young buyers who want to get their hands on a fashionable hatchback but don’t have the budget for something bigger. The hybrid version is a natural addition to the 500 range. It offers better fuel economy and a greener image, making it a great option for urban drivers who want to cut down on their emissions. The model will compete with other hybrid vehicles in the market, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. The price of the 2023 Fiat 500 Hybrid is expected to start at around $23,000.
Fiat has already announced that it will release a new electric version of the 500X later this year. This will be a battery-powered version of the small SUV, and it’s expected to be cheaper than the current petrol-powered models. Currently, the 500X offers four-wheel drive as standard on all models, and it gets decent fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. It also comes with a 7-inch touchscreen that supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. For safety, the 500X includes automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera. It’s also equipped with several other driver assistance features, such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning.