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Fiat 600e vs Volvo EX30

Fiat 600e vs Volvo EX30

At Stellantis they are currently rolling out electric cars at a rapid pace and the big secret behind this huge discount is that the cars are very similar underneath. They all have the same 51 kWh pure battery pack and the same powerful 156 hp and 260 Nm electric motor, which in all cases is mounted on the front axle. So the cars are 90 percent identical, but a 10 percent difference can make a big difference. This is good news for Stellantis' latest achievement: the Fiat 600e. At the same time, the competition of course does not stand still and one of the most dangerous new entrants seems to be the new Volvo EX30. This car has attracted a lot of attention since the first rumors. And on paper everything looks great. Because the extended range with one engine with nice equipment is available for around 45,000 euros. Then you have a car with 272bhp, a net 64kWh battery, and a range of 480km. In short: on paper you get much more value for about 4,000 euros extra.

Crushing in proportion

In all honesty: the Fiat 600e doesn't feel particularly quick by electric standards. 156 hp and 260 Nm are very modest figures in 2024 and you will only get these maximum values ​​if you turn on Sport mode or use kick resistance in the pedal. With Normal and Eco mode, you can limit the electric motor to xxx hp/xxx Nm and xxx hp and xxx Nm respectively. Especially in Eco mode, Fiat doesn't even pull the wipes out of the package. Unless you pedal through the kick resistance, but that's it after that. The good news is that it doesn't really matter for an electric motor whether you use 10 or 100 percent of the available power: there's no noise and there's no need to switch. So, even though it doesn't go fast, the electric motor runs smoothly and because you don't need to carry a huge battery, you can also go a very long distance in kilowatt-hours, which means that the range is practically a trustworthy 300. Kilometers. It is unfortunate that the car itself always gives a range of 400 kilometers when fully charged, when in reality this is unrealistic. It is also unfortunate; Even in B mode, the Fiat doesn't push the electric motor too hard. If you want to drive with a pedal, you will have to think a lot and you will only be able to come to a complete stop using the brake pedal.

The interior of the FIat 600e is very nice, especially in La Prima

Volvo offers a single pedal function, so it can stop without touching the pedals if desired. In addition, the recovery is also somewhat stronger, so you need less foresight to avoid having to use the brake pedal. It's a shame that the self-delaying part really seems to be located at the top millimeter of the throttle. A little more effort to dose things would be welcome, but perhaps this can be improved in an over-the-air update. But then the power goes from the Fiat to the 272-hp Volvo, and you feel like you're being shot by a missile. Of course, you don't always have to use the throttle at full throttle, but it's nice to know that, if you want, you can merge right at the front of the line on the highway. fine. Less nice: consumption. Even with laid-back driving, the EX30 with sport tires barely gets below 21 kWh per 100 kilometres, which is very high indeed for a B-segment crossover. It also means that the Volvo, despite its larger battery, has a practical range Almost identical to a Fiat 600, so you'll be back at the charging station after 300km. There, the EX30 can charge at up to 153 kilowatts, one and a half times faster than the Fiat, but since consumption is much higher, the number of kilometers you can charge per minute is unfortunately not one and a half times. High.

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Amazing tire selection

Part of the difference in consumption is no doubt due to the significantly higher weight, but also to the choice of tyres. The EX30 in this test was equipped with noticeably sportier ContiSportContacts 6. It's less useful for consumption, but it's good news for handling because the EX30 engine is really great. Due to the higher weight, you will notice that the springs and dampers are much stiffer than those of the Fiat, but the tuning of the shock absorbers has been chosen so that comfort is good and road holding is excellent. The EX30 has exactly that effortless feel that's recognizable from a Volvo, but without the heavy handing. It offers an excellent compromise, allowing the EX30 to corner at decent speed, have predictable handling and feel nice and fun thanks to rear-wheel drive. Big kudos!

Volvo EX30 vs Fiat 600e

The Volvo is a little nicer, but it doesn't make much of a difference.

At Fiat they chose a less inspiring approach. This is partly dictated by the fact that the drive is on the front wheels. However, less inspiring doesn't mean bad, because the 600e actually drives quite enjoyable. The steering is light and very distant and the chassis has above average agility. Ultimately, there's less grip than in the Volvo, but given that the Fiat weighs 1,495kg compared to the EX30's 1,750kg, the Fiat initially feels a bit more agile. After all, non-existent weight does not need to be moved.

Remarkably spacious

For a B-segment SUV, the Fiat 600e is fairly roomy. Because the electric motor is located up front, the Fiat 600e doesn't have a trunk, but the rear luggage compartment has a double floor, so you can store the charging cable neatly there. There's 360 liters of luggage space in the back, which is decent value for this class. But the biggest surprise is the back seat. In relatively small cars, especially if electric, they sometimes have a rather uncomfortable seating position, but not in the Fiat. It sits elegantly upright, with adequate support and head and leg room. Up front, it's clear that Fiat is taking all the lessons learned by other Stellantis brands with care. So, there are physical buttons for the air conditioning, and a set of hotkeys below the central touchscreen, and although this screen is still quite slow, it can be easily configured. So, put everything you use often on the home screen and there will be no reason to be disturbed. Better yet: All existing security systems can be linked to a single button, and if you press it for a few seconds, all of them will be turned off instantly.

Volvo EX30 Frank

Your oven is in a Volvo, but it's not of much use.

If only the EX30 had a button like this. Or other buttons. Instead, almost everything you can operate is hidden in the central touchscreen. This screen runs using Google's software and the good news: it works quickly and clearly. But it's also the only screen you have, because unlike the Fiat, you don't have an extra screen in front of your nose. So, if you want to know how fast you are going, you have to look at the center screen. But if you do this, the car starts beeping that you are not looking at the road. Now the system can be turned off, but first you need to go through some menus. Very annoying and in this way the system does exactly the opposite of what it intended to do. The advantage of wanting economy is that the interior looks elegant. The materials and build quality aren't much better than the Fiat, but you get the feeling you're in for something special. At least: in the introduction. It's not a big party in the back. In the Volvo's back seat, there's exactly the odd, cramped seating position that's conspicuous by its absence in the Fiat. Luggage space is not much different. Here too we see a double bottom at the back, the EX30 also has a trunk. However, you can just put your wallet in it, and then it's over, so Volvo doesn't earn any points as a result.

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More or less options

If your wallet is still too thick, know that there are plenty of options at Volvo to thin it out a bit. We started the test by saying that you get more power for the same money, but you have to have the right version. We are happy to have the most luxurious Ultra model, with thick wheels, panoramic roof, two-tone paint, 22 kW charger, etc. Lots of luxury that you can't get all of in the 600e. However, take one step down the ladder to the Plus, complete with the Climate Package for seat and steering wheel heating, and you get pretty close. Then the counter stops at 45,295. So the equipment is still not exactly the same, but you're on the same playing field. If you don't care about luxury, there's also the Core starting at 41,495. In the long term, a version with a smaller battery will be added, although range will likely become somewhat of an issue.

Volvo EX30 vs Fiat 600e

Simple tools in a Fiat, but at least you have tools.

With Fiat the choice is less broad. There are two versions and a handful of colors for both. The red color is available for $35,990, while the La Prima tested here is priced at $40,990. Then everything you'd want in an electric car is on it, and there's metallic paint as standard: orange for our test car. Stylish And because Fiat consumes less and now offers a five-year no-mileage warranty, this is an area where Fiat fares much better.