2020 Fiat 500X Sport
Updated: Apr 14
This week we are reviewing the Fiat 500X. Our vehicle was assembled at the Melfi plant in Italy and has an MSRP of $40615.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 8
Can it Family: 7
City Cruising: 5
You have to give it to Fiat; they made a fun compact SUV. The previous 500X didn’t have much personality and felt more like driving its cousin, the Jeep Renegade. Fiat has injected some "Vita" into this updated version, and they know a thing or two on how to infuse life into their vehicles. The 124 Spider and the little 500 now discontinued in North America are known to be quite enjoyable to drive. At first glance, the new 1.3L turbocharged engine does not sound like much; however, once you have put your foot down, the turbocharged engine pushes you back in your seat with its 177hp and 210 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. While the acceleration is not instant due to the turbo lag, we liked that this engine is not tuned for efficiency; it means business once it gets going. The same goes with the steering; it's set up in a way that it firms up with speed to make it feel like a compact sports car. Naturally, the steering wheel has Alcantara around it to accentuate this even more, and the gear selector almost feels like a manual shifter to accentuate its sporty pedigree.
In a market where everyone makes a compact SUV, manufacturers have to differentiate themselves, and Fiat does so with their quirky interiors and exteriors. The indoor handles and the round-shaped headrest are a Fiat trademark Although the headrests look stunning, I found it hard to find a comfortable placement as a taller driver. The seats are nicely bolstered. In our opinion, anyone with wider shoulders will have trouble finding that perfect seating position; on the other hand, if you are a small driver, the adjustments are endless. The heated seat warmth was okay; the button was hidden away and placed in a location that will require the driver to take their eyes off the road for a prolonged period. As for our kids, they loved the interior, reminiscent of the days we would travel with our own 500. Finally, the trunk is quite spacious, surprisingly as from the exterior shape, you would not expect to have space for a stroller inside.
During our test, we averaged 9.6L/100km over a 700km route. Our average was a little higher since we drove the vehicle like an Italian car should be driven, with emotion. On the Hwy, we averaged a respectable 7.7L/100km while staying within speed limits; the moment we went 10-20km/h over the limit, we saw the average getting closer to 9L/100km. We averaged 10.6L/100km in the city, including driving the vehicle dolce vita style.
Fiat announces a combined fuel economy of 9.1L/100km, 7.9L/100 on the HWY and finally in the city, 10.0L/100km. The Co2 emissions are 213g/km for the 500X and sit in the lower portion of this segment when considering its hp/torque figures.
On our 420 km Montreal-Ottawa trip, we found the cabin relaxing, the interior felt roomy, and the visibility excellent. The cabin noise is acceptable to hold a conversation. Commands on the steering wheel are placed intuitively. We liked that the volume control and skip functionalities are on the back of the steering wheel, making it extremely user-friendly to operate while driving. The lane keep assist only notified us that we were going outside the lanes; it would not correct the trajectory. On the other hand, the adaptive cruise control worked promptly, and when changing lanes, the vehicle would accelerate quickly without hesitation.
The sound system is decent sounding; the biggest grief we had was with the vehicles was with its infotainment. First, the touchscreen size is relatively small, 7 inches, it is located far to reach when driving, and the large bezel around it doesn't complement it. While the Uconnect system is user-friendly and one of our favourites in the industry when it comes to simplicity. We experienced software glitches when connecting our smartphone; it either disconnected our device or played our music with a static as if we were playing the radio at the wrong frequency. We were luckily able to bypass the issue once we changed to the passenger's USB connector.
The doors of the 500x door opened wide enough to install a child seat. Once in the cabin, the anchors are positioned underneath the seats making it more difficult to latch and unlatch. We were able to fit 2 car seats comfortably; however, this setup would remove the middle seat. Front-facing car seats allowed ample legroom to our little toddler, and most car seats would do the same. The exception is infant car seats that do eat into the front passenger's legroom. Finally, access to the vehicle for toddlers is easy. The door handles are simple to operate, and the door's weight makes it possible for them to open it without any difficulties. Once inside, some of the belt buckles are tucked away, making it difficult for them to buckle themselves without adult help.
In the city, the 500x, with its enthusiastic engine, brought back memories of the smaller 500 as it's enjoyable to maneuver around traffic or drive on narrower roads. It was also quite simple to find parking space due to it is roundish & compact shape. The sensor on the front bumper and the rear-view camera facilitates the process of parking. In our opinion, the camera could use a better screen resolution.
Why would we buy the Fiat 500x, or what we liked about it? It's a fun little vehicle; we might even say we haven't had this much fun driving a compact SUV in a while; the design cues of the 500 enhance its cuteness factor, its AWD was solid when we took it off-road. You are buying an Italian car assembled in Italy, and the beautiful red colour is available at no additional charge!
Why would we not buy the Fiat 500x, or what we did not like about it? We cannot talk about Fiat without talking about its reliability that has been below average in North America. The infotainment screen could be bigger and more user-friendly, the fuel economy does take a dip due to the sport nature of the engines turning. Options can increase the vehicle's price quickly.
Fiat has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with FCA Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.
Below are more pictures of the Fiat 500X done by Can Car Photos & Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfed