Looking to break into the lucrative compact crossover market, but without any precedent to fall back on, in 2014 Fiat decided to leverage the know-how it had obtained by purchasing Jeep and took the Renegade as its basis, blending the American company’s 4x4 know-how with its own huge-selling 500 city car to create the 500X. Available in a more regular style known as Urban or as an even more lifestyle-oriented Cross version, the five-door 500X competes in a tough class.
Fiat originally offered the 500X with a couple of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. There was a 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol, delivering 140hp, a 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel with 120hp and a 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel, also delivering 140hp. While most pre-facelift 500X models like this will come with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic was offered, as was the choice of all-wheel drive on some models. However, a facelift in 2018 saw all diesel models dropped, in favour of a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre unit with 120hp and a six-speed manual, or a 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine with 150hp and an automatic transmission. As with diesel fuel, all-wheel drive was also cancelled with the facelift, as take-up of four-wheel drive was low.
A post-facelift 1.0-litre petrol is a good combination for the 500X, best showing off its chic urbanite attributes without costing too much to run.
Fiat 500X Cross 1.0
Engine: 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
Maximum speed: 188km/h
0-100km/h: 10.9 seconds
Fuel consumption: 5.8 litres/100km
• Chic styling
• Comfortable ride
• Spacious cabin
• Boot space not enormous
• Some interior plastics are mediocre
• 2.0-litre AWD diesel expensive to run
The compact crossover class is one replete with a lot of quality choices, but the 500X stands out among them as one of the best-looking machines you can buy. It’s a good enlargement of the 500 city car’s cutesy bubble shape and it results in an amiable machine that comes with a decent array of frugal engines. Seek out a good one and you’ll be most pleased with the Fiat 500X.