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% 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.
Urban versions get smoother, sportier-looking front and rear bumpers, while upgrading to Lounge-spec offers bigger 17-inch alloy wheels and body-coloured mirrors. Cross models have a more rugged appearance thanks to chunkier bumpers, visible underbody protection and roof rails. Finally, the newer Sport trim offers 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 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 cars get shiny body-colour inserts on the fascia, giving the cabin a more premium feel, if you go for the Sport trim 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. The Cross Plus and Sport models include sat-nav and extra USB ports in the front and rear of the cabin.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Fiat 500X gets the retro looks of the 500 city car and grafts them on to a small crossover body
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe 500X’s sharp handling is a surprise for a small crossover
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsAll 500X versions offer a good balance of cost, performance and efficiency
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingClever 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