2021 FIAT 500X

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
December 25, 2020

Buying tip

The base 500X Pop can’t be had with active safety tech we highly recommend, so start with the 500X Trekking.

features & specs

Pop AWD
Sport AWD
Trekking AWD
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MSRP
$25,140
MSRP
$27,370
MSRP
$26,470

Though not perfect, the 2021 Fiat 500X is a characterful, stylish choice that is often discounted.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Fiat 500X? What does it compare to?

Like a taller hatchback with available all-wheel drive, the 2021 Fiat 500X is a stylish small crossover SUV. When you go shopping, pit it against the Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, and Jeep Renegade. 

Is the 2021 Fiat 500X a good car/SUV?

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The 2021 500X is a good choice thanks to its turbocharged power and its terrific infotainment system, though you’ll want to shop carefully since active safety gear standard on rivals costs extra here. We rate the 500X at 5.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Fiat 500X?

This year, the 500X sees a few minor option package tweaks but its basic bones date back to the 2016 model year.

The 500X is a curvaceous choice that looks like the company’s now-discontinued (for the U.S. market) 500 hatchback stuffed its cheeks with marshmallows. Hey, we’ve all done it. Underneath, the 500X is closely related to the Jeep Renegade, although there is no off-road version of the Fiat.

The standard 1.3-liter turbo-4 spins 177 horsepower to all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. Power is good, though the transmission can occasionally be disagreeable. The 500X has a surprisingly good ride for a smaller crossover SUV, and its handling is fun. 

Fuel economy is good given the underhood power. The EPA says to expect 26 mpg combined. 

The 500X has a stylish interior with good features and decent space, though the Subaru Crosstrek makes better use of what’s available. 

Rivals generally make active safety gear standard, while Fiat bundles automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors in a $1,400 package that requires first spending $900 on parking sensors and LED lighting. That’s not chump change, but it’s money we’d spend. 

How much does the 2021 Fiat 500X cost?

From $26,335 on up. The lineup consists of quirkily-named Pop, Trekking, and Sport trim levels, each with a few options and all priced reasonably against rivals even accounting for a costly $1,495 destination charge and the fact that Fiat charges extra for automatic emergency braking.

The 500X Trekking has rugged looks, and even though it’s not a proper four-wheeler, at around $30,000 with the Advanced Driver Assistance package and a few other goodies this is a charming choice. 

Where is the 2021 Fiat 500X made?

In Italy. 

7

2021 FIAT 500X

Styling

The 500X pairs retro cues with modern touches to good effect, especially in faux-rugged Trekking trim.

Is the 2021 Fiat 500X a good-looking car?

Though it breaks little new ground, the Fiat 500X is a stylish little crossover SUV. We rate it at 7 out of 10 for its charm and playfulness that make it an appealing choice against some bland rivals.

The 500X draws heavily on the classic Fiat 500 hatchback, a model not currently offered in the U.S. Base versions look good enough, while the Trekking adds a butch front fascia and the Sport slaps on painted trim. 

Inside, all have a bulbous dash with a 7.0-inch touchscreen positioned high. Climate controls are low but easy enough to figure out. Fiat offers an unusually broad palette of exterior colors, which are echoed with a big dash panel inside, so choose wisely.

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5

2021 FIAT 500X

Performance

The punchy turbocharged engine makes the Fiat 500X a fun choice.

Is the Fiat 500X 4WD?

Yes, unlike most rivals—including Jeep’s own Renegade—the 500X comes standard with all-wheel drive. 

How fast is the Fiat 500X?

With 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque sent to all four corners through a 9-speed automatic transmission, the 500X delivers good power. Though its engine isn’t the most refined, that’s a fair trade-off for spirited acceleration. 

The automatic gearbox has a tendency to hesitate before downshifting for more power, though the latest incarnation of this often-maligned transmission behaves far better today than it did a few years ago. Using the gearbox’s standard manual mode can help, but we don’t expect most drivers to make use of the + and - modes very often. 

Overall, we rate the 500X at 5 out of 10. The point we’d add for acceleration is canceled out by that occasionally clumsy transmission. 

The suspension is soft but not floaty, and handling is good for a crossover SUV. Bigger wheel options can make the ride a little too firm for our tastes, so try before you buy.

Review continues below
5

2021 FIAT 500X

Comfort & Quality

The 500X has a nice cabin with plenty of features, but ample cargo space is not one of them.

 

The 2021 500X is one of the smallest crossovers SUVs you’ll find, but its interior is outfitted like a larger and costlier model. That’s good, but not enough to to offset small SUV cargo space dwarfed by rivals from Honda and Subaru.

Front-seat riders will find plush thrones with a choice of cloth or leather trim. The rear-seat has 35 inches of leg room and reasonable head room, plus door openings that are on the large side for the class. 

It’s cargo space that suffers. The sloping roof line delivers just 14 cubic feet of space with the rear seat upright and that grows to a still-tight 40 cubic feet with the bench folded. Subaru and Honda come in at nearly 60 cubic feet, so shop elsewhere (or buy a roof rack) if maximizing interior volume is a priority. 

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2021 FIAT 500X

Safety

Frustratingly, Fiat charges extra for active safety gear now standard on most rivals.

How safe is the Fiat 500X?

We don’t have complete safety data on the Fiat 500X, so we can’t assign a score here.

The NHTSA hasn’t crash-tested Fiat’s crossover SUV, and the IIHS has only completed a small portion of its testing.

The related Jeep Renegade has performed OK in testing by the IIHS, though not quite well enough to earn a Top Safety Pick award.

Fiat charges extra—lots extra—for active safety tech, and it restricts features such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control to Trekking and Sport trim levels. The $1,395 Advanced driver Assistance Group includes those features plus blind-spot monitors and a few other goodies that could prove their worth, though the package can require paying up for even more features first.

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6

2021 FIAT 500X

Features

Infotainment Is a strong point, but Fiat skips emergency braking on the base 500X.

The Fiat 500X comes in four basic trim levels, each of which offers a slew of options and colors. It’s a 6 for features, missing out on points for standard emergency braking and options, but picking up one for a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

Which Fiat 500X should I buy?

Bypass the base 500X Pop. It looks like a good value on paper, but Fiat doesn’t offer potentially life-saving active safety tech on the entry-level version.

Instead, the roughly $28,000 500X Trekking is a good starting point, especially considering all-wheel drive is standard. Add the Driver Assistance and Advanced Driver Assistance packages and you’ll wind up at a tick over $30,000. We’d still consider adding the $800 Comfort group for its power driver’s seat as well as the $300 Cold Weather group for its heated seats. 

With the rebates that are common on the 500X, you should find yourself paying well under $30,000.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Fiat 500X?

The 500X Trekking Plus includes many of the features optional on the base 500X, so consider stepping up to it if leather upholstery is important. Tick all the options, including extra-cost (but oh so pretty) paint, upsized wheels, and a few other goodies, and Fiat will want nearly $36,000.

Review continues below
5

2021 FIAT 500X

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Fiat 500X is reasonably fuel-efficient.

Is the 2021 Fiat 500X good on gas?

The EPA says that the Fiat 500X will slurp down regular unleaded at a rate of 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined. That’s not bad for a small SUV with this much power underhood, though rivals with a little less grunt approach 35 mpg highway. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$25,140
MSRP based on Pop AWD
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5.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 6
Fuel Economy 5
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