Fiat 500X Review - After the smash-hit success of the Fiat 500 city car, and the release of the practical 500L, comes the latest model in the 500 family. Called the 500X, it gives fiat a crossover to go head-to-head with models like the Nissan Juke and MINI Countryman. Styling-wise, it’s a success, with Fiat’s retro design cues working well here. Its large circular headlights and chrome grille are well executed, and on looks alone, the Fiat 500X should attract plenty of buyers. Hop inside, and the driving position feels quite low-slung for a crossover, but you can lift the seat up a bit for a more commanding view of the road. It’s neat and stylish in here too, with different finishes available for the dashboard, attractive dials for the air-con and what looks and feels like a pool ball on the gear lever. Trim levels are Pop, Popstar, Lounge, Cross and Cross Plus, and this Pop Star model has rear parking sensors, climate control, a touch-screen with Bluetooth and a USB connection. We’d avoid the entry-level Pop trim as it does without the uConnect infotainment system. Any criticisms? Well, Fiat has given the trip computer lots of prominence in the central pod, but that means the speedo is rather small, making it hard to read at a glance. There are also some scratchy plastics lower in the cabin, but overall, this is one of the best Fiat interiors yet.
If you’re upgrading from a Fiat 500, the X will feel very roomy, but as Crossover’s go it’s still on the small side thanks to that curved roof. Four adults should be comfortable though, unless those sat in the back are particularly tall. The driving position is pretty good, with a well-placed arm rest improving comfort on long trips. There are also two gloveboxes and cup holders in the centre console and door bins, as well as places to put your mobile phone. Measuring 350 litres, the boot isn’t the biggest in the class, and models like the Renault Captur can carry around 100 litres more. It’s also a shame the rear seats don’t fold completely flat, making it harder to load large items like furniture. Still, for those simply after a stylish small crossover, it should suffice. There’s quite a lot of choice when it comes to the Fiat 500X, but we’d say this 1.4-litre petrol with 138bhp in Pop star trim is probably the sweet spot in the range. It’s a refined engine, which feels plenty quick enough and comes with a slick six-speed gearbox. And, because the engine is fairly light, it should offer the best handling of the bunch. But if you want the best economy, there are three diesels with 93, 118 or 138bhp, either front or four wheel drive and a manual or nine-speed automatic.
And, with the mid-power 1.6-litre returning almost 70mpg it’s sure to be popular. Fiat has clearly tuned the 500X to be taut, because it corners with hardly any body roll and plenty of grip. In fact it’s at its best on a twisty road, and in town, where its slightly raised driving position comes in handy. But, there’s always a compromise, and in the Fiat’s case it’s a firm ride, so it’s less relaxing than we hoped, and we’d recommend avoiding the biggest 18-inch alloy wheels. We’d also leave the Sport mode alone too, as it makes the car feel rather flighty in town and gives the artificial steering feel a rather gloopy feel. If you want to partake in some light off-roading, the Cross version comes with a tough body kit and front wheel drive models are available with a traction control system, to help keep you going if one wheel begins to spin. The 500X starts from £14,595, which puts it in the same ballpark as the £13,930 Nissan Juke, but undercuts the pricey MINI Countryman, which starts from just over £17k. This 138bhp petrol Pop star model costs £17,595 and if the 500X can replicate the superminis success, it should hold its value fairly well. Thanks for read Fiat 500X Review.