The Fiat 500X brings a welcomed Italian flair to the Compact Crossover sector but it’s not just a stylish option, but a very comfortable one with a punchy engine line-up to choose from.
The 500X is the latest car available in the new Fiat line-up. It gets a choice of two engines, one petrol and one diesel. The petrol option is a 1.4 litre Multi-Air four cylinder with 140bhp. The diesel is a 1.6 Multi-Jet with 120bhp. Both engines are strong punchy option with the diesel providing slightly better economy. If you are a city or urban dweller with short commutes, then the petrol option is the one for you. If you tend to do more than standard annual mileage, the diesel is a better option. Both options offer a choice of 6-speed manual or a 9-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The Fiat 500X really does feel like a larger 500 city car albeit after being pushed pulled and stretched in every direction to give it a small SUV appearance. The ride in its smaller sibling is quite firm overall and not much has changed in this 500X derivative. It may be a firmer ride than some of its competitors but it keeps body roll in check. The steering is quite accurate, combined with its stiffness and good road grip, you have a quite a fun compact crossover on your hands. The 6-speed manual has a nice flow to it too.
It’s not just the styling that makes the new Fiat 500X an attractive option. It adopts pretty much a carbon copy of the 500 city cars dashboard and is replicated in a larger layout in the 500X. It comes with a choice of three trim levels Pop, Popstar and Lounge. There are also a more rugged off-road styled trim levels on offer named the Cross and Cross Plus. These bring more aggressive styling and 4x4 looks to the 500X but are still front wheel driven. That said the 500X can be specified with four-wheel-drive as an option.
The use of materials is really good with a real sense of quality throughout. It gets a similar chunky steering wheel, recognisable gloss round switchgear and the excellent uConnect infotainment system sitting at the top of the centre console. Other small touches like stainless steel door handles and the body coloured panelled trim on the dash offer it a classy and elegant feel. The seats are comfortable too but while the synthetic leather style looks good to the eye, it’s not great to the touch.
The Fiat 500x scored 4/5 stars in the Euro NCAP safety test so it just fell short of full marks. That said, testing practices have changed very recently with more stringent ruling so the chances are if it was tested before the changes, it would have gained the full five star rating. It gets a good level of standard safety equipment including electronic stability control, a full host of airbags and hill assist.
Like most of the compact crossover competitors, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur in the market, the 500X provides modest boot space for a car that is designed for practicality. It gets 350 litre boot but thanks to its clever ‘fold & tumble’ designed rear seats, it can be opened up to 1000 litres of space. The front passenger seat can also be folded flat for storage of longer objects if required. Rear passengers will be very happy with the levels of knee and legroom which are generous.