- Retro styling
- Decent safety tech
- Smooth driving experience
- Rivals have a more high-quality feel
- Below average boot size
- Not the most reliable in its class
What's the Fiat 500X like?
The final piece in the 500 jig-saw hit our shores in the form of the compact 500X crossover, and like the rest of the 500 range, has clear links to the 1957 original.
From its launch in 2014, two distinct models made up the 500X range in the form of an elegant urban version in three specifications along with a more rugged looking version in Cross and Cross Plus spec which included an off-roading, all-wheel-drive version.
The newcomer is available with a wide range of powertrain options. Front-wheel drive petrol-powered models are fitted with either a 110bhp E-torQ 1.6-litre engine or a 1.4-litre 140bhp turbocharged MultiAir II unit.
Diesel choices were either a 120bhp 1.6-litre turbo MultiJet II, or a similarly-powered 2.0-litre MultiJet II, which was reserved solely for the all-wheel drive version. It came available with a 9-speed automatic gearbox.
Pop Star trim offered a wider choice of engines, including the 1.6-litre MultiJet II diesel and the 1.4-litre MultiAir II with either manual or DDCT transmissions.
The 500X kicks off with the Pop version. Sitting on 16-inch wheels it was decently equipped with body-coloured bumpers, cruise control with speed limiter, electric windows, remote central locking, air conditioning, height-adjustable driver’s seat and, like its larger siblings, a body-coloured dashboard.
Moving up the range, the Pop Star version added 17-inch alloys, body-matching door mirrors, fog lamps, climate control, rear parking sensors and 5-inch Uconnect infotainment system which allowed those on board to sync their smartphone in order to keep in contact with friends and family on social media.
Lounge versions added HID headlights, 18-inch alloys, chrome-effect exterior styling kit, an adjustable front armrest, ambient interior lighting pack and 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment system with satellite navigation.
A Drive Mode Selector allowed for three different modes of engine performance, power steering settings and ESC calibration, allowing drivers to select between Auto, Sport, and All Weather, depending on road conditions.
All-wheel-drive versions, which started in Cross trim, also incorporated goodies such as 3D navigation, adjustable cargo floor, 3.5-inch TFT colour display, and ambient interior lighting.
The Fiat 500X is extremely quiet out on the road. With little tyre or wind noise to spoil the drive, it also proved highly-refined, thanks mainly to its unique-in-class 9-speed gearbox.
Smooth and fleet on the hoof, the Fiat 500X proves a joy on both undulating A-roads and on fast motorways alike.
And out on the Italian maker’s own tough off-road test track, the 500X passed the test with flying colours, taking the slippy course with its deep water holes, steep inclines and muddy tracks firmly in its stride, proving it to be a decent enough match for the likes of the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and Skoda Yetis of this world.
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With its high crossover stance, extensive list of safety features, and nicely-designed cabin with quality fixtures and fittings, this fabulous Fiat has brought a whole lot of X Factor to the small SUV class since it hit the streets.