Nine-speed automatic with console shifter and Sport/Competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
This is a pretty darn slow vehicle. There's precious little power leaving the line, and it never makes much power higher in the revs, either. This engine doesn't have much life or personality to it, and the power seems to drop off pretty dramatically when it reaches 4th gear. Full-throttle upshifts are lazy but smooth, with upshifts in Drive mode coming around 6,300 rpm. It will hold gears to the 6,500-rpm limiter in Manual mode, but Manual mode proved slower than regular Drive mode with Sport engaged. Manual shifting is via the console lever (push forward for downshifts). It seems like it's trying to blip the throttle on downshifts, but it's not doing a very good job.
This 500X gets big-time nosedive, the front end really dropping down with each full-ABS stop. There's also quite a bit of ABS commotion through the pedal and in terms of the electronic noises it makes. It would pull to the right just slightly with each stop, but it required only a small amount of steering wheel correction. The pedal had a bit longer travel than normal, but it had a fairly firm feel that stayed that way throughout. I liked the feedback it gave through the pedal. The first stop was the shortest at 121 feet. The fifth and final stop was the longest at 124 feet.
Slalom: The 500X has the best steering of any Fiat. It's weighty and though there's only a small sense of what the front tires are doing, it's better than other Fiats. The 500X feels playful and like it has handling potential, but its heavy-handed ESC keeps the limits low and dulls the driving experience. Heavy throttle reduction in the slalom. Skid pad: Again, ESC takes the fun away, ultimately relegating the 500X to very low numbers. Heavy understeer here ultimately determined by ESC rather than outright grip.