The brand new 2021 Fiat Mobi SUV has just been released in Mexico. It is priced at 179,900 Pesos which equates to $8,638. That’s for a brand-new Fiat Mobi, not used. So, would you buy one if you could for that price?
The $8,638 price is for a base Fiat Mobi, but it comes in three trim levels
Even though the $8,638 price is for the base model, the Mobi comes in three different trim levels. But even the base Mobi comes with 14-inch wheels, black door handles, daytime running lights, adjustable steering wheel, air conditioning, driver and passenger airbags, ABS braking, electric brake force distribution or EBD, and a rear folding seat. So it’s no stripper.
For $9,675 the Mobi Like version comes with alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, electric side-view mirrors, a 3.5-inch LCD instrument cluster, seven-inch infotainment system, smartphone integration, electric windows, and a rear window defogger. For the Trekking trim, you can add fog lamps, body-color door handles, roof rails, fabric upholstery, Trekking identification, height adjustment to the driver’s seat, and black side moldings. The MSRP is $10,635. So even the top trim is still pretty cheap.
The only engine/transmission combo is a 1.0-liter engine with five-speed manual transmission
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The only engine/transmission combo is a 1.0-liter engine with a five-speed manual transmission. It puts out 69 hp and 67 lb-ft of torque. For this price, you didn’t expect a torque-monster, did you? Fiat says it sips only 4.6-liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers. That comes out to 61 mpg.
This is a cheap, economical commuter car you can buy brand new-but only in Mexico. And that’s the question, “if this were available in the US would it sell?” Is there a demand for a 69 hp toaster with air conditioning and a five-speed stick?
We think there would be. But we suspect that safety regulations like side-door impact beams and sufficient crumple zones are either not part of the package or don’t meet US federal standards. And adding these safety features would burden down the Mobi resulting in much less agility and economy. But in emerging countries, you can’t beat the features or the price.
The cheapest new car you can purchase in the US is a 2021 Chevy Spark
Right now the cheapest new car you can purchase in the US is the 2021 Chevy Spark LS. The base price for one is just under $14,500. So if the conversions from Pesos to dollars hold up there represents a big gap with a loaded Mobi going for a bit above $10,500 versus $14,500.
For manufacturers, a gap of almost $5,000 is too big to ignore. But while we don’t expect to ever see a Fiat Mobi buzzing around Miami or Los Angeles, we think there is a market here nonetheless. What do you think?