What is the Fiat 500X?
The Fiat 500X is a small crossover SUV. As the name suggests it’s an outgrowth of the Fiat 500 city car family, and translates the cutesy looks of the smaller machine to this larger, five-door design remarkably successfully.
It’s based on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade – which suggests the tantalising possibility of unexpectedly decent off-road performance. Forget it; the 500X is front-wheel drive only, and has been since a mid-life refresh in 2018.
At a glance 2019 Fiat 500X specs
- Top speed: 112-124
- 0-62mph: 9.1-11.5 seconds
- Fuel economy: 36.7-41.5mpg
- Emissions: 131-152g/km CO2
- Boot space: 350-1,000 litres
The 500X comes in just the one bodystyle – a small, five-door SUV – but the latest range is split across two variants, called Urban and Cross.
These two versions are most obviously visually distinguished by different front bumper treatments, the Cross (pictured) getting a slightly chunkier-looking affair with bold silver accents that tucks back towards the front wheels; the rear bumpers are also bespoke.
Both variants are divided into different trim levels, with the Cross models generally more expensive and better-equipped.
Engine choice is limited to petrol-only since the 2018 refresh, when the 500X also became front-wheel drive only; prior to this, diesel engines and four-wheel drive were available, but weren’t proving popular enough with buyers for Fiat to bother continuing them.
The 500X clearly takes its styling influence from the Fiat 500 city car. What’s surprising is just how well the look works on this larger vehicle – especially given the bloated, unattractive appearance of the Fiat 500L MPV.
The two different strands of the 500X carry their individual styling elements well to our eyes, and whether you choose and Urban or Cross model you’ll be getting an attractive vehicle.
On the inside you’ll find intricately tailored seat upholstery, depending on spec, and a dashboard that features a large panel painted the same colour as the 500X’s exterior – another direct nod to the 500 city car.
There’s enough space in the cabin of the 500X for four adults to travel reasonably comfortably, something you definitely wouldn’t say about the regular 500.
Under the skin lies the same platform as the Jeep Renegade, a much more conventional compact off-roader, albeit in one that also plays the cheeky design card rather cleverly.
Yes – the Fiat 500X isn’t a bad steer at all.
Responses are sharp without being skittish, and the suspension is well-judged to the extent that it doesn’t roll much in the turns but also provides plenty of comfort – although if this is a priority avoid the largest alloy wheels.
The all-petrol engine range sadly misses out on Fiat’s traditionally strong small diesel options, although with several petrols claiming over 40mpg on paper, fuel economy isn’t too bad anyway and refinement is certainly improved.
You’d be best avoiding the entry-level E-Torque 1.6-litre engine, however; it’s the only motor that doesn’t get a turbocharger, making it the slowest and the least fuel efficient, and a bit of a drag in a car that’s otherwise good fun to drive.
There’s no need to worry about the lack of four-wheel drive in the latest 500X range. Front-wheel drive provides more than enough grip for on-road driving in all but the most extreme conditions, and it’s unlikely many people will be planning serious off-roading in one of these (try the Jeep Renegade instead).
Fiat’s latest DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission is available on high-spec 500X Cross variants, and works well.
The Fiat 500X is reasonably well priced considering the style and equipment you get in return, and is also generally available with attractive finance packages.
It’s always worth haggling, even so, and if you’re looking for maximum value consider checking out the SEAT Arona as well.
Discover what drivers think of the Fiat 500X in our comprehensive owner’s reviews – has Fiat’s reputation for poor reliability improved?
Fiat 500X Model History
Current Fiat 500X model history
November 2014 - 500X launched with Pop, Pop Star, Lounge, Cross and Cross Plus specifications. All-wheel drive was available on both petrol and diesel engines, but the majority were front-wheel drive, and there was a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.
August 2015 – Fiat launches Mopar accessory range for the 500X, including Xtra Packs to bundle features in together. Over 100 parts available to personalise your car inside or out. Or both.
February 2017 – Fulham FC special edition announced as limited run of 15 cars to celebrate a partnership with the football club. Stickers and trim in the team’s colours is the basic gist.
February 2018 – updates to 500X range for 2018 model year include next-gen multimedia system and a range pared down to three trims: Pop, Pop Star and Cross Plus. Engines now 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre Multiair petrols or 1.6-litre E-Torq diesel. Gearboxes are manual and twin-clutch automatic, front- and all-wheel drive offered.
October 2018 – Major mid-life facelift for 500X ushers in simplified three-tier trim structure (Urban, City Cross and Cross Plus) along with new Firefly engines – 1.0 and 1.3-litre petrols – while diesel and all-wheel drive discontinued.
January 2019 - S-Design trim added to the range with black exterior detailing and exclusive interior upholstery. It's based on City Cross trim and comes with both petrol engines.
There are no previous Fiat 500X models, though the 500X is an extension of the Fiat 500 city car family – about which you can read more by clicking here.