2016 Fiat 500X Overview

Overview: Introduced for 2016 as a platform mate to the Jeep Renegade—and the largest member of the Cinquecento family—the 500X is Fiat Chrysler’s Italian loafer in the popular class of micro-utes. As with the adorably tiny Jeep, the Fiat crossover comes standard with front-wheel drive and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The base turbo engine is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission, which means that getting the optional ZF nine-speed automatic also necessitates ordering the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder ($1500) that pumps out 180 horses but just 175 lb-ft of torque. Base models roll on 16-inch steel wheels, but aluminum 16-, 17-, and 18-inchers are available. An all-wheel-drive system can only be had with the 2.4, for an extra $1900.

The 500X eschews the Renegade’s boxy form in favor of a sculpted jellybean motif that it wears quite well. While it’s not the best to drive in its class—the 500X finished fourth, behind the Renegade, in a six-ute comparison test we held in 2015—all versions carry EPA estimates of at least 29 mpg on the highway, and a substantial number of amenities and safety-tech features are available if you’re willing to pay for them.

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What’s New: As it’s still relatively fresh to the market, the 500X changes little for 2017. Trim levels have been pared down to just three—Pop, Trekking, and Lounge—with only the Pop available with the 1.4 turbo and the stick. The Trekking employs extra satin-silver body cladding front and rear for a more rugged aesthetic, while the Lounge adds a few more chrome pieces for a polished vibe. The 500X’s standard features are accurately categorized as basic, the better to keep the starting price at a low $20,990, although you can upgrade from the base 3.0-inch central touchscreen to a 5.0-inch Uconnect system as well as add a rearview camera and a parking-assist system as part of the $895 Popular Equipment package. A 6.5-inch infotainment display, heated seats and steering wheel, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and assist, and other luxuries are limited to the grander trim levels. Our example for this review was a Trekking with AWD, which started at $26,245 and rocketed past $32,000 with a load of options, including power and heated front seats, leather, 18-inch wheels, a dual-pane sunroof, every available safety technology, and the top-level Uconnect system with navigation and premium Beats stereo.

What We Like: The 500X’s styling is perky and cute, standing in stark contrast to the larger Fiat 500L, which is bloated and strange-looking. FCA’s Uconnect touchscreen interface is highly responsive and one of the most intuitive in the business. While the Pop model’s level of equipment is rather meager, the 1.4 with the manual gearbox can be fun and is highly affordable, and it’s also nearly a second quicker than the AWD 2.4 version both to 60 mph (7.8 seconds) and through the quarter-mile (16 ticks flat). The 500X’s 163-foot stop from 70 mph was tops in the aforementioned comparison test, and its interior noise level at 70 mph (69 decibels) tied the Kia Soul for first place. And we’re all for small, practical cars with lots of features and decent ergonomics, both of which the Fiat has.

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What We Don’t Like: The 500X’s initial appeal plummets as soon as you pile on the options or hit the open road. The $32,255 that our example cost would buy you a pretty nice Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, both of which are larger, more powerful, and can be similarly equipped. And neither will try to dive into the pavement under braking or list onto its side mirrors around corners as the 500X does. (The Honda won a 10Best Trucks and SUVs award for 2017 as our best compact SUV.) What’s more, the Fiat has one of the tightest cabins in its class, rivaling the itty-bitty Mazda CX-3, and lacks the interior quality we expect in a vehicle at this price. Additionally, rear-seat riders must do without vents or power outlets.

The good news is that the 2.4-liter model matched its EPA combined rating in our testing; the bad news is that, at 24 mpg, that figure was second to worst among its comparison-test peers. Along with its floppy dynamics and vague, numb steering that is managed via an overly thick wheel that doesn’t tilt down far enough for some drivers, the 2.4-liter/nine-speed combo makes for tedious highway cruising; the automatic bounces between ratios at the slightest throttle provocation. While most of the 500X’s issues can seem less egregious at a more reasonable price point, if you’re fine with spending close to $30K on a subcompact crossover, the 2017 Kia Soul—another 10Best Trucks and SUVs laureate—is a far better investment.

Verdict: Funky and visually interesting, but ultimately there are better options in the crossover ranks.

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Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

BASE PRICES: Pop, $20,990;

Trekking, $24,345;

Lounge, $26,145

ENGINE TYPES: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 16-valve 1.4-liter inline-4, 160 hp, 184 lb-ft; SOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter inline-4, 180 hp, 175 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:

Wheelbase: 101.2 in

Length: 167.2-168.2 in

Width: 75.5 in

Height: 63.1-63.7 in

Passenger volume: 91 cu ft

Cargo volume: 12 cu ft

Curb weight (C/D est): 3000–3350 lb

FUEL ECONOMY:

EPA combined/city/highway driving: 24–28/21–25/29–33 mpg

C/D TEST RESULTS FOR:

2016 Fiat 500X AWD 2.4-liter

Zero to 60 mph: 8.7 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 28.0 sec

Zero to 110 mph: 40.3 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.0 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.6 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 6.1 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 16.8 sec @ 82 mph

Top speed (governor limited): 120 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 163 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.78 g

Curb weight: 3361 lb

C/D observed fuel economy: 24 mpg

*Stability-control-inhibited

Source : https://uk.news.yahoo.com/2017-fiat-500x-162100246.html

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