- Cheeky looks
- Promising engine
- Comfortable ride
- No FWD model for sun states
- Not a great value
- Active safety tech is optional
The 2019 Fiat 500X is a stylish crossover SUV that’s outclassed in some ways.
The 2019 Fiat 500X is a small crossover SUV that speaks with a faint Italian accent. It’s built in Italy and is chock full of retro design cues from the smaller Fiat 500, but the 2019 500X shares its underpinnings with the Jeep Renegade.
Overall, we rate the 500X lineup at 5.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, the 500X lineup is streamlined with a new engine that’s standard on all three Pop, Trekking, and Trekking Plus trim levels. Caveat: We haven’t driven a 500X with the new engine yet, so we’re basing our evaluation on prior experience with the 500X and we plan to update this space once we’ve had some time behind the wheel.
The new 1.3-liter turbo-4 is not short on output, at least on paper. Fiat rates it at 177 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, and it pairs to a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Last year’s standard manual transmission and front-wheel drive are gone, which may limit the 500X’s appeal to some buyers.
Previous 500X crossovers we’ve driven have had a soft, composed ride and nimble handling.
The EPA ratings of 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined are good, but not great, for a small crossover SUV with all-wheel drive.
The 500X’s rounded styling recalls the 500 city car in all the right ways. The Trekking package includes unpainted bits that give it a more rugged look, but leave it to the Jeep Renegade should the going actually get dirty.
Inside, the 500X has an upmarket feel, but it’s not especially spacious. The optional sunroof cuts into head room and the 18.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seat upright is just so-so.
The 500X costs around $26,000 to start, including an unusually hefty mandatory $1,495 destination charge. The 500X Trekking is about $1,500 more, and serves as the gateway to active safety tech we consider essential.
The federal government hasn’t crashed the 500X yet, but the IIHS gave it mostly “Good” marks in its barrage of testing.
2019 FIAT 500X
Though it’s been around a while, the Fiat 500X has pleasant styling.
The 2019 Fiat 500X has new headlights, a revised grille, and updated wheel designs that keep its look fresh.
We think the 2019 500X is a stylish option and it rates 6 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Looking like an overinflated Fiat 500—a car that’s a caricature of a 1950s Italian minicar—the 500X is decked in retro charm. Round headlights sit high on its front end, with secondary lamps flanking two narrow grille strips. From the rear, the 500X is even more like the 500 with its big taillights and a small strip of chrome running above its license plate.
The 500X Trekking trim level includes a chunky-looking unpainted front bumper insert, but it’s no more off-roadable than the standard 500X.
Inside, the 500X again looks to the past with a dashboard panel that can be painted to match the exterior. A 7.0-inch touchscreen sits tablet-like above the climate control vents. Controls for the air conditioning sit low on the dashboard.
Contrasting seat piping and a choice of several interior hues are nice touches not always found on a relatively inexpensive vehicle.
2019 FIAT 500X
We’ll hold off final judgement until we’ve driven a 2019 Fiat 500X with this year’s new engine.
A heart transplant may turn the 2019 Fiat 500X into a totally different experience. We haven’t driven one yet, so we don’t know for certain. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What we do know is that the 2019 500X should retain the nice ride and decent handling of last year’s model. By crossover SUV standards, the 500X handles road imperfections well and can be reasonably entertaining on a winding road. It’s not an off-roader—leave that to the related Jeep Renegade—but the 500X now comes standard with slippery road-ready all-wheel drive.
Underhood this year is a new 1.3-liter turbo-4. That pint-size engine produces a healthy 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, the latter peaking at just 2,200 rpm. What that should translate into is decent pep, especially since the 500X is a lithe 3,300 pounds before being loaded up with humans and fuel.
A 9-speed automatic transmission shuttles power to all four wheels. We haven’t been enamored with this transmission in Fiat 500Xs previously, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve sampled this year’s new engine.
2019 FIAT 500X
Comfort & Quality
The 2019 Fiat 500X is small, but nicely finished.
Stretching about 168 inches from bumper to bumper, the 2019 Fiat 500X has a small footprint even by subcompact crossover SUV standards.
That translates into modest interior space, but the 500X has an imaginative design and decent materials. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Front-seat riders have comfortable bucket seats covered in either cloth or leather upholstery. A power-adjustable driver’s seat is optional on the 500X Trekking.
In the rear seat, the 500X has a modest 35 inches of leg room.
The 500X packs around 36 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, but its roofline limits it to about 12 cubes with the second row upright. Still, that maximum utility is worth a point above average on our scale.
2019 FIAT 500X
We’re waiting for the 2019 Fiat 500X to be crash tested.
Federal and independent testers haven’t had a chance to crash the 2019 Fiat 500X. We’ll update this space with a score when they do. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2019 500X comes with seven airbags, including a driver-side knee airbag that deploys from below the steering wheel. Active safety gear is bundled in a $1,400 option package that’s available on Trekking trim levels. The Advanced Driver Assistance Group is expensive, though it includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing wipers.
Last year’s 500X was tested by the IIHS and earned “Good” marks in every crash test performed. However, the 500X’s “Poor”-rated headlights kept it from earning a Top Safety Pick award. We’re hoping that this year’s new headlights may improve its performance.
2019 FIAT 500X
The 2019 Fiat 500X is well-equipped but can be expensive with options.
The 2019 Fiat 500X comes in three trim levels and offers many individual and packaged options. It has a wider degree of customizability than most small crossover SUVs, though buyers in the Sun Belt might wish for standard front-wheel drive.
We rate it at 6 out of 10 with a point above average for its good infotainment package.
The base 500X Pop costs about $26,000 and comes with power features, air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Step up the the $27,500 500X Trekking and Fiat throws in some outdoorsy styling bits, upgraded upholstery, satellite radio, and a 3.5-inch screen in the instrument cluster. The 500X Trekking serves as the gateway to more options, including a $1,300 package with advanced collision-avoidance tech that we recommend.
We’re not as sold on the 500X Trekking Plus, which for about $30,700 adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, and a few more features.
Fiat offers numerous extra-cost appearance packages, so shop wisely.
2019 FIAT 500X
The 2019 Fiat 500X is reasonably thrifty among small crossovers.
A smaller engine this means the 2019 Fiat 500X is marginally more efficient than prior years. The EPA rates the all-wheel-drive version of the 2019 500X at 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined. That earns a 5 on our fuel-economy scale.(Read more about how we rate cars.)
For a small crossover with standard all-wheel drive, those figures aren’t bad.
Last year’s 500X with all-wheel drive rated 21/29/24 mpg.
Some competitors are thriftier, but they’re not as powerful as the 500X. The Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V are rated at 29 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.