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- Highs Cute appearance, gutsy powertrain, plentiful amenities.
- Lows Puny cargo space, tight rear seat legroom, high starting price.
- Verdict The 500X offers style and substance, but it lacks the practicality that many SUV buyers may be seeking.
Although it shares its underpinnings with the boxy Jeep Renegade, the 2021 Fiat 500X goes its own way with charming retro styling and a decidedly on-road focus. All models come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive—good enough to tackle a Milanese snow storm. Inside, the 500X also offers a fashionable interior design, although cargo space is limited and rear-seat passengers may find the accommodations lacking. That said, the Fiat's starting price is high for the class, and rivals such as the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Soul offer better bang for the buck.
What's New for 2021?
The 500X undergoes few changes for 2021. The base Pop trim and the midrange Trekking both receive updated seat upholstery and dashboard trim while the Sport model can now be ordered with the Sport Value package. The optional package adds a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, a Beats stereo system, LED headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, in-dash navigation, and heated front seats.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
There isn't much differentiation between the trim levels on the 500X. The Trekking Plus comes with a few more features than the Trekking and the Sport, but these items are optional on the lower trims. Since styling is such a big part of this crossover's appeal, we'd go for the Sport model. The Sport's available 19-inch wheels give the 500X a nice stance, and the interior details are tasteful and worth the cost over the standard Trekking model. The new Sport Value package is a good deal at $700, so we'd tack that onto our order form, as well.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Fiat 500X models come with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The all-wheel-drive system has three driver-selectable settings to optimize traction in varying conditions. All models come with 17-inch aluminum wheels, except the Sport, which has standard 18s (optional on both Trekking models) and available 19-inch wheels. Regardless of trim level, the 500X isn't the quickest crossover in this class nor is it the most fun to drive. The Fiat's suspension is comfortable for highway cruising but loses its composure on curvy back roads. If you're looking for a more entertaining SUV, we'd suggest the Kona or the Mazda CX-30.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is so-so for a pint-sized crossover, as the EPA rates the Fiat 500X at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is tight in the 500X, and the quality of its interior materials is far from best in class. On the upside, the layout of its controls is good, and the driving position should suit a range of body shapes and sizes. It's also an attractive cabin—especially the Sport version with its upgraded seats and snazzy styling details. You'll be able to fit a few bags of groceries in the Fiat 500X, but cargo capacity is low—even for a subcompact SUV—with just 14 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 32 cubic feet when they're folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard in every Fiat 500X. The Trekking Plus also includes a factory navigation system; it's optional on the Trekking and Sport. An upgraded Beats audio system is optional on all trims, except the base Pop. Every 500X has two USB charge ports at the bottom of the center stack.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Selecting the Advanced Driver Assistance Group package adds a suite of driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and automatic high-beam headlights. This package is optional on the Trekking, Sport, and Trekking Plus models. For more information about the 500X's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Fiat offers solid limited warranty coverage, but the 500X's powertrain warranty is skimpy. Most rivals offer five-year/60,000-mile coverage, while the Hyundai Kona tops the class with its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance