The Car Connection FIAT 500X Overview
The Fiat 500X is a compact crossover SUV that's related the Jeep Renegade—the two are even built together in Italy.
In the 500X, Fiat gained a small crossover that it desperately needed to buoy the brand and its sales in North America.
In 2017, Fiat pared down the 500X lineup to just Pop, Trekking, and Lounge trim levels. The 2018 model adds a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen and rearview camera on all trims.
Competition comes from the Honda HR-V, Chevy Trax, and Mazda CX-3—not to mention the Renegade.
MORE: Read our 2018 Fiat 500X review
The Audi-esque shape of the 500X comes from Fiat's design studio in Turin, where it was penned with the goal of taking the 500 hatchback silhouette and reshaping it into a bigger, more mature package. The 500X shares the "whiskers and logo" front-end look of the 500, and also has a clamshell hood and slitted nose like the smaller car as well as the 500L hatchback (a vaguely mechanically related five-door sold by Fiat, but built in Serbia). Though not as large inside as the awkward 500L, the 500X is easily the more attractive of the two, and a better scaled-up interpretation of the 500 hatchback's design.
Inside, the 500X wears body-color trim on the dash like other 500 models. A circular theme ties the interior together, from the gauges to the climate controls. A large 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen sits atop the dash on all models.
In America, the 500X is offered with a choice of two powerplants. A 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder comes paired with a 6-speed manual transmission on the base Pop trim level. Its output is rated at 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The bigger-displacement, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder (also found in the Jeep Cherokee) makes 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque; it's offered only with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
A set of adaptive driving controls lets drivers choose between normal, sport, and traction modes to tailor the responses of the throttle, transmission, and stability control, as well as steering feel.
The 500X routes power to the front wheels on all models but can be equipped with optional all-wheel drive. The system disconnects from the rear axle when power is not needed, which helps lower the 500X's fuel consumption. The 500X isn't really built to be an off-roader, but it delivers enough capability to bounce up a dirt road to a hiking trail, for instance.
The Fiat 500X comes standard with seven airbags, stability control, and hill-start assist. Safety options include forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-path detection. The 500X has not been crash tested by the NHTSA, but it is a Top Safety Pick according to the IIHS when equipped with optional automatic emergency braking.
Initially, Fiat offered five trim levels for the 500X, but the Easy and Trekking Plus trims have been dropped. Trekking has unique front and rear fascia designs and satin silver accents for a distinctive appearance.
Features and options include an audio system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen; Bluetooth streaming audio; navigation; a digital display for vehicle functions in the gauge cluster; keyless ignition; and heated front seats and a steering wheel.
The Fiat 500X has distinct advantages when it comes to efficiency: all models achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway thanks to the smooth body shape.