The FIAT brand's return to American shores is a great comeback story, but the tale doesn't end there. While the FIAT 500 has been a revelation for lovers of Italian style, it doesn't quite cut it for drivers that need to carry more people and cargo. Enter the FIAT 500X. It combines crossover capability and Italian sensibility, so whether your journey takes you around the city or up to the mountains, the 500X is up to the task.
The 2018 FIAT 500X may be a crossover, but it drives with the same spirit as the original 500 hatchback thanks to a well-tuned chassis and two extroverted engine options.
The standard engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which produces 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It’s available only with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, and in that configuration, the 500X achieves an EPA-rated fuel economy of 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway).*
The 500X is also available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that first arrived in the U.S. in the Dodge Dart. Called the Tigershark, it produces a peppy 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available with the larger transmission. The all-wheel-drive system decouples the rear axle when extra traction isn’t needed to help save fuel, but you won’t notice from behind the wheel.
With front-wheel drive, the Tigershark-powered 500X gets an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway),* while the all-wheel-drive version gets 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway).*
The 2018 FIAT 500X is available only as a five-door, five-seat subcompact crossover, although FIAT also offers the similar 500L tall wagon. The 500X is offered in three distinct trim levels, starting at $19,995.**
Proving base models don’t have to be a downer, the least-expensive 500X is called the Pop and comes with standard features, including a 3.5-inch TFT display, speed-sensitive power locks, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, rear spoiler, chrome door handles, a fold-flat front passenger seat, and 60/40-split folding rear bench.
Next up is the Trekking, which adds more standard features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, front and rear floor mats, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth® phone and audio connectivity, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and an additional USB port (charging only). Trekking models also boast fog lights; upgraded cloth upholstery; and removable, height-adjustable cargo floor panel.
Naturally, the Lounge trim provides more features to help make your commute more enjoyable. For added safety and convenience, there is a rearview camera, while dual-zone climate control increases comfort for both you and your passengers. Ambient interior lighting helps elevate the cabin of the 500X while an eight-way power adjustable driver seat ensures every drive is comfortable. The Trekking also comes with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a navigation system that combines with a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
As the name implies, the 2018 FIAT 500X really is a crossover version of the 500. From the chrome mustache on the front end to the chunky taillights, the exterior styling is instantly recognizable as something from the 500 family.
The 500X builds on that retro-chic look with some handsome SUV styling cues, including flared fenders, a taller ride height, prominent hood, and a faster roofline that distinguishes it from the wagon-like 500L.
The interior echoes the original 500, too. The dashboard is livened up by body-color trim, while the thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel feels good to handle while taking corners. The driving position is well-suited to that, too, putting you high up as in a traditional SUV but not extremely so.
Gauges and controls are all ergonomically laid out. There’s a three-pod gauge cluster with the speedometer, tachometer, and information display right in front of the driver, a center-stack-mounted touchscreen on models equipped with the optional Uconnect® infotainment system, and good old analog buttons and knobs for vital functions.
Standard safety equipment on the 2018 Fiat 500X includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, electronic roll mitigation, hill start assist, and a full array of airbags. Optional features include a rearview camera and rear park assist.
The 2018 FIAT 500X channels the style and fun of the original 500 hatchback into a more practical package.
*EPA estimates. Your mileage may vary depending on driving habits and conditions.
**Prices list are the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the vehicle and options chosen by you. These prices do not include transportation, taxes, title, other options, dealer installation costs, or other charges.