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- Highs Distinctive exterior styling, cabin has Italian flair, comfortable ride.
- Lows Modest performance from either engine, unenthusiastic handling, limited cargo room.
- Verdict If you love the looks, the 500X might be your small crossover, but there are better choices out there.
The Fiat 500X, a four-door crossover utility vehicle aimed at the relatively successful Mini Countryman, is built in Italy alongside the Jeep Renegade, with which it shares a platform. They both have unique sheetmetal, but the 500X sports a 500 hatchback-style nose and other design cues, including a dashboard that matches the color of the exterior paint. A 1.4-liter turbo four with front-wheel-drive is standard, and a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four is available, with either front- or all-wheel-drive. But the 500X is a “lifestyle” CUV, designed more for carrying bicycles, skis, and other sporting equipment—or just lugging people or groceries—than for venturing off-road.
What's New for 2017?
The 500X launched in mid-2015 as a 2016 model, and for its second model year Fiat has dropped the Easy trim level, leaving Pop, Trekking and Lounge. All option packages are now available on all trim levels. There's also a special Urbana Edition, with gloss-black exterior trim and chevron-pattern upholstery with copper-embroidered 500 logos and gloss-black cabin trim details.
- Pop: $20,990
- Trekking: $24,345
- Lounge: $26,145
- Urbana Edition: $25,190
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base 500X Pop is the only trim that comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four rated at 160 horsepower. It's available with a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission and is front-wheel drive only. A better choice is the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four that makes 180 horses and can be ordered with FWD or AWD but comes only with a nine-speed automatic transmission. But even the bigger engine offers just enough power to move the heavier AWD versions of the 500X through traffic, and the nine-speed automatic always seems to be hunting through gears, often leaving the driver in too low, or—more likely—too high a gear. The chassis is tuned for comfortable daily commutes and occasional road trips, but the 500X has none of the handling prowess that makes the Fiat’s direct competitor, the more expensive Mini Countryman, a standout small crossover utility.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 500X’s forte is its stylish interior, which emphasizes Italian design over luxurious materials. After the Pop entry-level trim, Trekking plays off the crossover’s outdoorsy, sporting pretensions, while Lounge moves a bit closer to a premium, urbane design. Equipment on the Pop model is fairly basic, but higher trims add features like power seats, dual-zone climate control, leather-covered shifter, and premium cloth upholstery. The 500X provides decent interior space for four adults, though this is still a subcompact vehicle, and cargo space with the rear seat folded down is just 32 cubic feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 500X comes standard with Fiat Chrysler’s intuitive UConnect infotainment system with USB ports, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker stereo. It has a 5.0-inch touchscreen without navigation, or a 6.5-inch screen when navigation is ordered. Hi-fidelity audio is courtesy of an optional Beats nine-speaker stereo system.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.