Love the iconic look of the Fiat 500 but need more space? Bored of cookie-cutter crossovers and desire something different? Fiat's 500X crossover could be worth a look.
Launched just last year, the 500X competes with the Chevrolet Trax, Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V in the subcompact crossover segment. It also marks the first time a Fiat product is available with all-wheel drive in North America. While its cute and bubbly styling might make you think it shares its genes with the 500 city car, the X shares its platform and powertrian with the Jeep Renegade. The two roll off the same assembly line in Melfi, Italy.
For 2017, Fiat has trimmed down the 500X lineup, discontinuing the Trekking Plus trim. The lineup now consists of the base Pop, the mid-grade Sport, the off-road-oriented Trekking, and luxe Lounge. All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, while Sport, Trekking, and Lounge can be had with optional all-wheel drive. Also new for 2017 are two colours: Blue Jeans, and Light Copper.
In addition to its unique exterior look, the 500X's cabin stands apart from others in the segment with its chic styling and premium soft-touch materials. Most 500Xs feature the Uconnect 5.0 system, which is a smaller-sized version of the systems found in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep products. All models receive USB and auxiliary ports as standard; a reverse camera is optional on the Sport and Trekking, and standard on the Lounge trim. While the 500X is spacious for a Fiat, it sits mid-pack in the class for interior room and cargo-carrying abilities.
The 500X's powertrain lineup is a bit unusual for the segment, but all pack a lot of power. The base engine, a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It's available exclusively with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual. Those who prefer an automatic, all-wheel drive, or the Lounge trim must opt for the larger 2.4-litre naturally aspirated engine that makes 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired to a nine-speed ZF-designed automatic, which is shared in common with the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200.
Standard on the Sport, Trekking, and Lounge is the Dynamic Selector drive-mode system, which allows drivers to alter the throttle response, and shift points, an unusual feature on a vehicle of this type. The optional all-wheel-drive system is the same unit featured in the Jeep Renegade and features a rear-axle disconnect system to save fuel, but the 500X isn?t available with serious off-road suspension and underbody protection as with the Renegade TrailHawk.
All 500Xs feature air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, and an audio system with USB and aux-in ports. 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels, reverse camera, parking sensors, remote start, dual-zone climate control, heated and leather upholstered seats, panoramic sunroof, and wiper de-icer are available.
Pricing for the 2017 500X starts at $23,245 for the Pop, and tops out at $33,940 for the Lounge AWD.