Fiat’s newest addition the 500X arrives here next April but Suzanne Keane has been to Italy for a sneak preview
What is it? The demand for chunky vehicles with go-anywhere styling continues unabated and Fiat are the latest to join the fray
First impressions of the new Fiat 500X Designed to compete with the likes of the Renault Captur and the Nissan Juke the new Fiat 500X will come in two versions, one designed to appeal to city dwellers and a more rugged version for those with an active lifestyle. With rounded lights and chrome detailing that mirror the original 500 the new Fiat is instantly recognisable albeit with generous wheel arches and increased ground clearance a more muscular form.
What about the interior? Inside the retro feel continues and there are loads of handy storage spaces. The seats are comfortable with plenty of adjustment and the touchscreen U-Connect system is available in both 5” and a 6.5” with integrated navigation. The boot will store up to 350 litres with the rear seats folding to increase it to 1,000 litres and there was plenty of leg room, even in the backseat.
And on the road? On the road the 500X is very steady and feels like a much sportier car. The 1.4 MultiAir 6 speed manual we drove had plenty of power for overtaking and handled exceptionally well – partly due to the use of stiffened suspension bushes and new geometry on the rear McPherson struts. The engine was also very quiet while cruising although it had a lovely tone when accelerating and averaged 4.9l/100km on our drive from Turin to Balocco. At the Balocco off roading track the 500X proved capable of tackling steep slopes, muddy ruts and water effortlessly.
How much? The entry level 1.6-litre E-torQ 110hp POP starts at €19,750
How safe? All the latest active safety systems are available to improve handling and assist the driver, including sophisticated ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) systems. Advanced safety options include ACC (adaptive cruise control), Lane Assist (lane departure warning system); Blind Spot Assist (lane change assistance system); ParkView reversing camera and Rear Cross Path (reversing blind spot warning system) will also be available
What about my options? Three trims are available in the “Urban look” – Pop, Popstar and Lounge, these have a metropolitan look and feel while the ‘off-road’ (Cross, Cross Plus) Versions are 2cm longer and boast a more rugged and off-road look suited to the adventurous type with roof bars and plastic trims on the bumpers.
3 words to describe the Fiat 500X? Retro; Muscular; Charming
2nd December, 2014