After skipping a couple of decades on the U.S. market, Fiat’s been in rebuilding mode. First came the pint-sized 500 hatchback—and its great electric-car edition—and then the bigger 500L hatchback. Now it’s time for a crossover, of course—and that's now been introduced at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show.
The 500X is a mechanical twin of the Jeep Renegade, which goes on sale early next year.
Though it’s a Jeep cousin, the 500X is easy to recognize as a part of the Fiat family, The signature “whiskers and logo” front end are framed by big headlamps. It’s Italian and it’s proud of it—until it gets to the rear, where the shape turns into something very much like an Audi.
Inside the cabin, the 500X gets a body-color instrument panel, and a circular theme for the gauge cluster.
Powering the Fiat 500X is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 160 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual transmission. There’s also an available 2.4-liter four rated at 180 horsepower—it sends power through a nine-speed automatic transmission to either the front or all four wheels. The 500X will be the first Fiat offered with all-wheel drive in the U.S.
WATCH: 2016 Ford Explorer Video
Safety’s handled by standard airbags and stability control, as well as a forward-collision warning system, blind-spot monitors, and cross-path detection. A rearview camera is available.
The 2016 Fiat 500X will be available in five trim levels; Pop, Easy, Lounge, and for a more rugged look, Trekking and Trekking Plus. Fiat’s Uconnect infotainment system with a 6.5-inch color touchscreen will be available.
Pricing hasn’t been announced and won’t be until close to its on-sale date in 2015. Be sure to check back on The Car Connections for updates on the 2016 Fiat 500X and all the other vehicle debuts from the 2014 LA Auto Show.