The Fiat 500 is undoubtedly the Italian marque’s most iconic model, so it was hardly a surprise that Fiat decided to take the looks and appeal of its city car and apply that to cars of other shapes and sizes – venturing into the world of convertibles, MPVs and crossovers.
That latter sector is where it’s had the most success, with the 500X successfully offering additional space and usability, but without diminishing the chic appeal of the regular 500.
Now it’s the time for an update, though at first glance the changes aren’t immediately obvious. The styling has been refreshed, though, with new LED front and rear lights introduced alongside a sharper look. Fiat’s also fitted an updated HD touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, while a pair of new petrol engines aim to offer improved performance and efficiency. But does it deliver?
As we’ve mentioned, Fiat has introduced a pair of new turbocharged petrol units to the models.
The first of these is a 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol unit, which comes paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in under 11 seconds, while returning a claimed 45.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 133g/km.
If you’d prefer an automatic gearbox, you’ll have to choose the larger 148bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine, which is paired to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This cuts the 0-60mph time down to 8.9 seconds, and isn’t much less efficient on paper, either.
A cheaper engine option is a naturally-aspirated 108bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine, though this feels underpowered – we’d recommend opting for either of the turbocharged engines instead.
Ride and handling
Just as was the case before, the 500X isn’t really a model for the enthusiastic driver – rather a car for if you value the ease of driving. The high ride height gives you a great view of the road, and it’s not very wide either – making it feel compact and manageable around towns and cities. Excellent visibility also makes it easy to park.
It does handle surprisingly well, though, with a decent amount of feel through the wheel. Either gearbox will also serve you well.
The ride isn’t the most comfortable, though, as it can quite easily feel unsettled around town, though our test car’s 18-inch alloy wheels more than likely don’t help.
Interior and equipment
To match the exterior of the Fiat 500X, Fiat also injects plenty of style into the interior, with various textures, funky door handles and a body-coloured dashboard giving this crossover a bit of extra character.
The overall look of the interior hasn’t changed dramatically, though an important update is the vastly improved Uconnect touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Elsewhere the 500X’s material quality doesn’t feel particularly upmarket, but nor do we suspect that was Fiat’s aim either. It’s also not the most spacious car in its class, though the 350-litre boot and decent rear legroom makes it far more versatile than the regular 500.
Three trim levels are offered – Urban, City Cross and Cross Plus. Standard kit includes a leather steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen.
City Cross brings semi-digital dials, tinted rear windows, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors, while top-spec Cross Plus models feature a satellite navigation, LED headlights and a reversing camera.
You’re also able to get a cool ‘500X Sport’ version, though we’ve covered a separate review for that model.
The 500X remains an affordable proposition in the crossover market, with prices starting from £18,810, which still gets you plenty for your money. Even on the top-spec Cross Plus versions begin from just £21,810, with these looking the part and coming well-equipped to justify the price.
Everything that made the original 500X that appealing, stylish and characterful crossover remains on this latest version of the crossover.
It still faces some fierce competition in this crowded market, but with the improved new engines and enhanced look, these changes are enough to make sure the 500X still be on your crossover shortlist.