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In-depth reviews

Fiat 500X review - Interior, design and technology

Clever design extends the iconic Fiat 500 brand into a new lifestyle sector

The 500 isn’t the best car in its class in any one department, yet it’s sold almost 1.5 million units worldwide since its launch. Why? Because it looks cool.

Fiat claims that for 60 per cent of buyers in the compact crossover class, styling is their primary motivation, and in that respect the 500X is a clever piece of design. The 500’s retro cues, such as the double circular headlights, ‘moustache’ grille and curved panels have been up-scaled into something altogether more macho. 

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Urban Look versions get smoother, sportier-looking front and rear bumpers, while the Cross Look models have a more rugged appearance thanks to chunkier bumpers, visible underbody protection and roof rails. Finally, the long-standing S-Design and newer Sport models get some racier touches and red detailing to emphasise the sporty looks, even if performance is no different from the rest of the range.

The 500X is a much bigger car, don’t forget – longer, wider and taller - than many small crossover rivals including the MINI Countryman, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, which gives it a certain amount of extra presence on the road.

On the inside, the 500-inspired retro theme continues with a colourful body coloured plastic inserts stretching right across the dash, and splashes of chrome on the door handles and vent surrounds. There’s a more three-dimensional feel, though, with the protruding instrument binnacle and the infotainment screen rising out of the dash.

While the Urban Look cars get shiny body-colour inserts on the fascia, giving the cabin a more premium feel, if you go for the Cross Look you get more utilitarian grey inserts which don’t do as much for the interior ambience.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Depending on spec, you can have steering wheel controls, Bluetooth hands-free and music streaming, plus Fiat’s Uconnect system as part of the infotainment package. 

A seven-inch touchscreen is standard, while DAB radio, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included across the range.

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