Fiat 500X review - Engines, performance and drive
The 500X’s sharp handling is a surprise for a small crossover
The huge variation in the way the 500X used to drive has gone with the trimming of engine and gearbox options.
Gone is the 1.6-litre non-turbo petrol, as well as both the 1.3 & 2.0-litre diesels. The nine-speed auto box and any 4WD option have been removed, too. All cars are now powered by peppy turbo petrol engines.
The lower weight in the nose boosts the 500X's handling, and the Fiat feels agile for a high-riding crossover. On the right road, the handling is surprisingly sharp and there’s loads of grip, even if four-wheel drive is no longer offered. On the motorway the cabin is whisper quiet, too, making the car well suited to long trips.
We have concerns about the ride on bigger wheels, though, and if you go for a model fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, you may well notice the car fidget and shake more over poor surfaces.
There are two petrol engines in the 500X line-up. The old 1.6 E-TorQ 110 was ditched in 2019, but that's no hardship as it felt strained and wasn't all that economical. It offered a fairly weedy 109bhp and was good for 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 112mph.
The new entry-level motor is the 1.0-litre turbocharged FireFly, which is available in all model grades. It makes 118bhp with 190Nm of torque, and gives the 500X a 0-62mph time of 10.9 seconds and a 117mph top speed. It's much peppier and punchier than the old E-TorQ unit, and suits the car down to a tee.
The four-cylinder 1.3 FireFly engine has 148bhp and comes with a twin-clutch DCT semi automatic gearbox as standard. It still drives the front wheels, and has a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds – while top speed is 124mph. The six-speed DCT gearbox is a lot better than the old nine-speed transmission.
In this review
- 1Fiat 500X reviewThe Fiat 500X gets the retro looks of the 500 city car and grafts them on to a small crossover body
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe 500X’s sharp handling is a surprise for a small crossover
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsAll cars offer a good balance of cost, performance and efficiency
- 4Interior, design and technologyClever design extends the iconic Fiat 500 brand into a new lifestyle sector
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe 500X is not the ultimate family hauler, but there aren’t too many compromises in the name of style
- 6Reliability and SafetyFiat’s reputation for reliability is not the greatest, and crash test results have disappointed too