Fiat 500X Review
First Drive of Fiat’s Latest Model
The Fiat 500 first came onto the scene in 1957 as the cute little car zipping around Italian landmarks but soon to become iconic the world over. Fast forward fifty years and Fiat updated it for the modern market capitalising on the success of its predecessor, later adding the inflated-looking 500L to the lineup.
Now the Italian family has expanded with the launch of the Fiat 500X which is designed, engineered and built in Italy.
What is the spec like on the Fiat 500X?
Sitting between the 500 and the 500L, the 500X is from the compact crossover segment and like the others will hope to become as dominant in that category, which has seen sales in that market in the past ten years rise from 5% to 20%.
It is everything Fiat do well; unconventional styling yet distinctive to hark back to the original with circular headlights and a clamshell bonnet. Driving it around the crowded streets of Turin, the unfamiliar sight of the 500X had Italians stopping their fast paced, city lives for a few seconds to gaze at the latest Fiat addition.
The interior is of a high quality and the centre stack is kept clutter-free, much like the 500 with a vintage feel and enormous metal door handles.
Depending on the trim a 6.5-inch Uconnect touchscreen shows all navigation (never get an Italian to programme it as you’ll end up lost), media and connectivity, while a 5-inch version comes on the lowest grade, Pop trim.
The instrument panel is made up of three, round displays, with the speedo and rev counter alongside the centre one featuring a 3.5-inch TFT screen.
Seats are comfortable with height adjustability and lumbar support, while the rear caters for three adults with plenty of headroom.
Boot space is 350-litres providing capacity for our load of two suitcases and two laptop bags, with extra room available. Fold&Tumble rear seats and the fold-flat front passenger seat give even more space and this is where the Fiat 500X is impressive.
There are five trims available, the cosmopolitan Pop, Pop Star and Lounge and the off-road version has the more adventurous looking Cross and Cross Plus. The bottom spec Pop offers body-coloured bumpers, air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and a body-coloured dashboard panel, while extras on the Lounge include 18-inch alloy wheels, ambient interior lighting, the 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment system and dark tinted rear windows.
The Cross trims add more robustness with roof bars, unique bumpers, chrome exhaust trims, front floor mats and a Traction Plus system.
Known for their bright, offbeat paint colours there are twelve to choose from to make your Fiat 500X stand out from the crowd.
What’s it like to drive?
There are five engines available, three diesel and two petrol. There is the 95hp 1.3-litre and the 120hp 1.6-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel engines which are front-wheel drive and equipped with a five and six-speed gearbox.
The 2.0-litre MultiJet II turbo diesel is only available on the four-wheel drive Fiat 500X and comes with a choice of a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission, the latter being a new addition to the segment. It is impressively smooth as it makes the most of the 140hp and gets from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. Emitting 144g/km of CO2 it delivers a combined 51.4mpg in fuel economy.
Petrol options include the 140hp 1.4-litre turbo MultiAir II, which will also become available as a 170hp version and the 110hp 1.6-litre E-torQ.
There are three traction variants available which is a good choice depending on how you would use the Fiat 500X. It suits to have these available from launch as some buyers will want the 500X as a city runabout, while others might want to use it for driving on a variety of roads more often.
The ride is pretty good, steering is reasonably weighted but lacks some feedback when driving it on twisty roads. With the Fiat Mood Selector you can adjust the car to how you want to drive it, Auto, Sport and All-Weather will change comfort, performance and vehicle settings.
With the Fiat 500X Cross and Cross Plus versions benefitting from extra ground clearance, once you take it off-road the traction system will kick in to aid the amount of torque going to the wheels in tricky situations.
Fiat 500X price and verdict
There is an Opening Edition costing £17,595 which will go on sale from December 1st with up to £2,850 of equipment included at no extra cost. If you don’t snap up one of those then it will be on UK roads from April next year priced from £14,595.
With 7,000 customer enquiries in just three weeks and a Youtube video that has been viewed nearly 4 million times in a month, then Fiat may just have another hit on their hands with the 500X.
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