The Fiat 500X is a subcompact crossover SUV that is meant to be more spacious and more rugged than its Fiat 500 cousin. While critics agree that the 500X is an improvement on the more standard Fiat 500, many suggest that the X still isn’t rugged enough. Especially when compared to other vehicles in its class such as the Jeep Renegade. Ultimately, whether this vehicle is right for you (or not) will depend on how and where you plan to drive it. Here is a peak inside the 2019 Fiat 500X.
Consumer Reports called the 2019 Fiat 500X’s exterior styling “adorable.” So adorable, in fact, that you might want to actually hug this SUV. To be sure, the Fiat 500X does look great. It has all the Italian stylings you would expect from a Fiat. Changes to the exterior are minimal compared to the previous year’s model. Fiat restyled the front and rear fascias, but only eagle-eyed observers will be able to spot the differences. Nevertheless, this is a pretty cute and appealing subcompact SUV. Owners will not be embarrassed to be seen driving it, that’s for sure.
Engine and Performance
All 500X models come with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive come standard, and a drive-mode system provides three settings for different driving conditions. Past editions contained a standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and an optional 2.4-liter non-turbocharged engine. The new 1.3-liter engine also produces 210 pound-feet of torque. While it has three fewer horsepower, the higher torque output makes the Fiat 500X more responsive at low speeds. It’s also more fuel-efficient, which is a bonus.
Trimlines and Prices
The 500X is available in three trim levels: Pop, Trekking, and Trekking Plus. Every 500X comes with all-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels. Other standard equipment found in all three trim levels includes heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, a rearview camera, height-adjustable front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, dual USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and a six-speaker sound system.
Optional add-ons include automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, and satellite radio. The Trekking model gets all of the above features (minus the parking sensors), along with fog lights, rear privacy glass, and upgraded cloth upholstery. The top trim Trekking Plus comes with front and rear parking sensors, a dual-pane sunroof, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, an upgraded information display, integrated navigation, and a premium Beats audio system.
In terms of pricing, it ranges from $24,740 for the base model Pop trim level to $26,245 for the mid-level Trekking and $29,445 for the top Trekking Plus trim. Not huge variants in pricing, which may make it worthwhile to go for the best equipped model.
The big knock on the 500X is the amount of available space. While the interior is roomy in the front seats, it is noticeably cramped in the rear. Cargo space is equally tight in the 500X. Also, the interior material quality isn’t among the finest. While Fiat has made an effort to increase the room and cargo space in the 500X compared to the 500, there is still room for improvement.
On the plus side, the ergonomics of the 500X are reportedly good. The driving position should suit a range of body shapes. There are also a series of new interior materials used on the dashboard and seats, and a new look to the gauge cluster that improve upon the already upscale look and feel of the 500X.
Features and Equipment
In terms of technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Upgraded safety features are available for a relatively low additional price. Choosing the Advanced Driver Assistance Group package adds a suite of driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlamps, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking. This package is optional on the Trekking, Trekking Urbana, and Trekking Plus models.
Fuel Economy and Warranty Coverage
On the old 2.4-liter Fiat 500X engine, fuel economy was a decent 23 miles per gallon. The new 1.3-liter turbo engine on the 2019 model improves slightly to 26 mpg, according to the EPA. While not quite best in class, the fuel efficiency on the new 500X is very good. In terms of a warranty, the 500X comes with Fiat’s basic four years or 50,000 miles protection. Nothing to write home about, but better than nothing.
- Comes with an improved and more fuel-efficient engine.
- Lots of standard features available across all trim levels.
- Price difference across trim levels is negligible, making top model worth considering
The Not So Good
- Lacks interior space. Back seat and cargo area are cramped.
- Many of the safety features cost extra.
- New engine produces less horsepower than previous models.
The Last Word
The 2019 Fiat 500X is not for everyone. People looking for a truly rugged SUV that they can take to the mountains on the weekend would be well advised to consider a vehicle like the Jeep Renegade instead. However, if you are looking for a subcompact and affordable SUV that is loaded with technology and fun to drive in the city, then the 500X likely fits the bill. Just don’t try to squeeze too many people or too much cargo into the back. It’s an SUV, yes, but it’s still a subcompact SUV.