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.