The new engine with light hybrid technology proved to be easier to drive due to stronger intermediate accelerations, especially at low revs, but also much more economical than its predecessor. At the same time, the costs of regular maintenance have not increased
The latest exhaust emission standards have forced many manufacturers to change engines on existing models. Among them is Fiat.
The famous atmospheric 1.2 petrol from the FIRE engine family is slowly going down in history. Instead, a completely new three-cylinder with a volume of 999 cubic meters arrives.
It belongs to the FireFly generation which is characterized by better energy efficiency. The essence is in a smaller number of moving parts and therefore lower losses due to friction, but also in the technology of light hybrid (Mild Hybrid).
This was exactly the reason why the Fiat 500 found itself in the super-test of the Auto magazine editorial office. We wanted to get to know the new machine in more detail, to determine how it is driven, as well as to see how much it costs the owner – how much it costs and how expensive or cheap maintenance it is.
The new 1.0 BSG (Belt Starter Generator) light hybrid is being installed in the Fiat Panda. For the test, however, we chose the Fiat 500 because it is a more attractive car.
During the past three months, we have been driving a “fish” with a new engine in rather difficult conditions, mostly in extreme city driving at temperatures around zero and below.
There were many short distances with a completely cold engine, as well as stop-and-go rides in the city crowds. The average speed of the super-test was 21 km / h, and the average consumption was 6.6 l / 100 km.
According to some subjective estimates, we can conclude that it consumes at least a liter less compared to the outgoing 1.2.
Except in the city, we drove the “fish” on the highway on several occasions. It has been shown that at high road speeds it is about half a liter more economical compared to the old engine, although it “spins” at a much lower 3300 rpm, primarily thanks to the new six-speed gearbox.
At 130 km / h it consumes about 6.4 l / 100 km, which is a very good result for an atmospheric petrol. However, light hybrid technology has the biggest advantage in city driving.
The essence of the hybrid drive is in the alternator, which has been given the function of a starter-generator. Not only does it charge the battery, but it also charges the lithium battery located under the driver’s seat.
Its task is to start electric consumers when the motor is switched off, for example, at a traffic light, but also to return electricity to the starter-generator when it has the function of an electric motor.
Specifically, it helps the gasoline during acceleration. This is, in fact, a key difference compared to standard atmospheres. This help of the starter-generator, ie the large alternator, is very noticeable when driving, especially at low revs.
You simply can’t say that he is lazy and sluggish. Requires early gear change; if you want a stronger acceleration, you don’t have to switch down, the “fica” will pull nicely even at 1500 rpm.
Of course, these are not lightning-fast intermediate accelerations as with turbo engines, but they are quite enough to rearrange yourself and feel safe in traffic.
During the test, we noticed that the starter-generator can tilt a little when it helps the petrol, as well as that it has a strong recuperation. We learned to brake only by releasing the gas, since engine braking is quite pronounced.
So it often happened to us to press the brake pedal just before stopping. Roughly, recuperation is as strong as in some electric models and is much more pronounced than in other similar light hybrids.
We were also interested in what the new technology means for the driver in terms of cost, in addition to bringing greater elasticity at low revs and lower consumption. First of all, the price of the car has not increased significantly.
For a few hundred euros more, not only new motorization but also improvements in equipment were obtained. As before, the warranty period is two years.
This means that you are obliged to perform at least one regular service in an authorized service center in order for the warranty to be valid in the second year as well.
The service interval is 15,000 kilometers or a year, whichever comes first.
During the three months of the super-test, we covered 2,047 kilometers with the Fiat 500 Hybrid. Considering that practically the complete mileage was done in the city, we wanted, just in case, to check the car at the service station.
We brought the car to the Belgrade service of the Nikom car dealership, where the kind hosts inspected the elements of the support and performed a complete diagnostics.
As we expected, the “fica” had no problem, although we ran into a hole several times. In general, the mechanics are very reliable and the owners really should not worry about that.
Despite the fact that it has light hybrid technology, the cost of maintenance is not significantly increased. We received information from Fiat that the battery itself does not have an estimated shelf life, ie a replacement interval.
If, by any chance, it happens to be damaged due to force majeure, you should not worry too much about that either; its recommended price is currently 550 euros without VAT.
Fiat has accustomed us that their cars require minimal maintenance at affordable prices. The situation is no different with the new light hybrid technology, which is slowly becoming a part of everyday life.
We have to admit that we are easily accustomed to the advantages such as far better elasticity at low revs, and therefore the subjective feeling of power is higher, even though it has only one horsepower more compared to the 1.2 engine. The car is easier to drive, and what is also important, it consumes less.
Although the launch edition of the Launch Edition is no longer on offer, the Fiat 500 Hybrid can be purchased with brand new equipment packages, some of which are on sale.
Prices start from 10,990 euros, which is the price of the “Cult” equipment package. We set aside a thousand euros more expensive Connect, which includes multimedia with Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity, sports steering wheel and sports exterior, alloy wheels…
>> You can read the first part of the Fiat 500 Hybrid super-test here
>> Read the second part of the Fiat 500 Hybrid super-test here
How much does maintenance cost?
We were interested in how much light hybrid technology affects maintenance and operating costs.
First of all, Fiat has predicted 0W20 engine oil for the new 1.0 BSG engine, which is a big step forward compared to the outgoing engine, while on the other hand, this oil is slowly becoming the standard in the automotive industry.
According to the maintenance plan prescribed by the manufacturer, the first regular service is performed at 15,000 kilometers or after a year. It involves changing the engine oil, all filters and inspecting the vehicle with diagnostics.
This service costs 13,300 dinars in the Nikom car dealership. The next one is also performed after 15,000 kilometers, ie a total of 30,000 kilometers covered, and additionally includes the replacement of spark plugs and brake fluid, so the price is higher – a total of 19,300 dinars.
It is important to note that this is also the largest investment during the maintenance of the “Fiat 500 hybrid”. There is practically no “big” service, because there is a chain instead of a toothed belt.
What is also important is that the starter-generator is belt-driven (hence the abbreviation BSG – Belt Starter Generator).
It is planned that its check, more precisely the check of the tensioners, will be performed at 120,000 kilometers. As it is also stated in the plan of regular maintenance, the replacement of the belts of the auxiliary organs is planned for 240,000 kilometers.
Integration with mobile phone
The multimedia device in the “Fiat 500 hybrid” is one of the most intuitive to use. It moves easily through the menu and you easily get to the desired settings even if you are behind the wheel of this car for the first time.
Navigation is charged 750 euros, but that should not worry you. You can also use it from your mobile phone if you connect via the Apple Car Play connection.
Android Auto is also available, but this application for mobile phones, unfortunately, is not yet available in our country.
We tried it though because we had it installed in the phone. It works great and fully integrates the mobile phone into the multimedia display with a previous cable connection.
You can use apps to listen to music, internet radio, and even chat. Of course, mobile navigation is also available. We tested the Google Maps and Waze app and both work flawlessly.
The lights cannot be switched off
It is interesting that there are only two positions of the headlight switch – “car” and middle lights. “Fića” itself changes the mode of operation between daytime running lights and midrange lights, but you cannot activate the positions when the engine is running and there is no option to turn off the lights completely.
Automatic wiper activation also has certain limitations. “Auto” mode does not determine the speed of the wipers, but are always in interval mode. This means that it will start on its own when it starts to rain, but you will have to determine the speed of operation yourself.
Fiat 500 BSG Hybrid Launch Edition
Motor: 3 cylinders, displacement 999 ccm, power 51 kW (70 HP) at 6000 rpm, max. torque 92 Nm at 3500 rpm, manual transmission, 6 gears
Dimensions: L / W / H 3571/1627/1488 mm, wheelbase. distance 2300 mm, boot 185 l, tank 35 l, weight 980 kg, tires 195/45 R16
Performance: max. speed 167 km / h, acceleration 0-100 km / h 13.8 s, consumption 4.7 / 3.4 / 3.9 l / 100 km, CO2 emissions 88 g / km
Standard: pastel or metallic paint, navigation, automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors, rain and light sensor, defrosted mirrors, fog lights, floor mats, cruise control, digital instruments, fixed panorama roof, 7-inch multimedia, 16-inch alloy wheels, „ Seaqual “seats,” Rockstar “steering wheel
Source: Auto magazin by www.magazinauto.com.
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