The 2021 Fiat 500X is a sensible and cute crossover SUV that seats as much as 5 passengers and boasts standard all-wheel drive.
The 2021 500X solely advantages from a couple of small modifications round its possibility packages. In any other case, this is similar crossover that debuted in 2016.
All 500Xs are powered by the identical tiny 1.3-liter turbo-4, which is about as small a turbo-4 as you’ll discover wherever available on the market. The little engine makes a good 177 hp that it sends via a 9-speed computerized. Anticipate 24 mpg metropolis, 30 freeway, 26 mixed.
Don’t count on to get any active-safety tech as standard, as Fiat costs additional for all of it—together with computerized emergency braking. That and adaptive cruise management are solely standard on the Trekking and Sport trims. On decrease trims, the $1,395 Superior Driver Help Group bundles these features together with blind-spot displays.
The IIHS has carried out some crash testing with the 500X, nevertheless it hasn’t accomplished the duty. Of the assessments that had been administered the 500X did properly. The NHTSA hasn’t examined it in any respect.
Opening the 500X range is the $26,840 Pop. As the bottom mannequin, it skips on the goodies to maintain the price low, so the few noteworthy features embrace a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, material upholstery, and handbook single-zone local weather management.
Aside from satellite tv for pc radio and premium material upholstery, the $27,440 Trekking provides little in the way in which of features. Nevertheless, the Trekking unlocks choices unavailable with the Pop, such because the aforementioned Driver Help bundle. Different choices embrace Beats audio, leather-based upholstery, and navigation.
The $28,640 Sport is the primary trim to make computerized emergency braking standard gear. It additionally comes with some sportier items like a flat-bottomed steering wheel and upgraded seats.
The Trekking Plus prices $31,240 and crowns the lineup. In comparison with the Sport, the Plus provides navigation, heated entrance seats, leather-based upholstery, and dual-zone computerized local weather management. Most of its standard gear is offered on the decrease trims.
Retro is commonly hit and miss. Some automobiles pull it off splendidly; others botch the trouble and are available off contrived. The 500X works. It leans on most of the retro Fiat styling methods to indicate off its character, such because the spherical headlights and two-slat grille.
The best trying mannequin within the lineup is Sport trim, which deletes the contrasting cladding for sharp body-color trim. It’s not retro—it comes off as extra authentically funky.
Among the many smattering of retro-tinged automobiles accessible at present, the 500X has one of many extra overtly classic interiors. However its infotainment is updated: The 7.0-inch touchscreen is an easy affair that isn’t laborious to study. We’re completely happy to see that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard throughout the lineup, although the native software program works properly sufficient for us.
One of many extra convincing promoting factors of the 500X is its passenger area, which feels even bigger than it’s due to the fishbowl impact of the huge home windows. The driving force’s excessive seating place looks like a crow’s nest for its expansive outward view.
The again seat, whereas solely providing 35 inches of leg room, feels spacious nonetheless due to broad door openings and good head room. Nonetheless, loads of different small crossovers provide extra leg room.
Cargo area is on the lean aspect, at 14 cubic ft behind the rear seats, although that does develop to 40 cubes as soon as the again seat is folded.
Even with its small 1.3-liter turbo-4, the 500X has no hassle hustling round city. Freeway passing would possibly take a couple of additional seconds, sure, and lengthy uphills is usually a little bit of a problem, however total the engine feels well-matched to the 500X.
That takeaway would possibly sound stunning, however the turbo-4’s 177 hp is augmented by a powerful 210 lb-ft of torque that comes on shortly. That torque is a giant purpose we discover the 500X so amenable in metropolis driving.
The 9-speed computerized is one more reason, nevertheless it’s not with out its foibles. It’s normally able to swap gears easily, however can get confused at decrease speeds and light-weight throttle inputs.
The 500X is novel in that it comes standard with all-wheel drive. We discovered the additional traction good to have, and we don’t think it a lot impacts journey and dealing with. The chassis does a pleasant job delivering a snug journey, although larger wheels do crash over the bumps with extra drama than the smaller rims.
The 2021 Fiat 500X gives small-crossover utility with some Italian heritage and unconventional styling thrown into the combination. If it provided extra standard active-safety tech, it could make much more sense. For that purpose we might purchase the Sport, which comes with computerized emergency braking—and the sharpest appears to be like.
—by Anthony Sophinos with driving impressions by The Automobile Connection
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