2016 Fiat 500X Video Review | Edmunds

2016 Fiat 500X Review

  • This 2016 Fiat 500X video review includes information about fuel economy, available features and engines, what it's like to drive and how it compares to other small crossover SUV models.

    Among the variety of new subcompact SUVs hitting the market this year, the Fiat 500X is certainly going to be one of the most powerful choices. Although a small turbocharged four-cylinder and a manual transmission are standard, most 500Xs will come with a 180-horsepower four-cylinder, a nine-speed automatic and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy estimates were not available when we shot this video, but we managed to top 30 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation route, which is impressive. That should put the 500X in the same ballpark as the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.

    The 500X is also pleasantly nimble to drive, with sufficient steering feedback and nicely controlled body motions. However, the ride is quite firm, even on this test car's 17-inch wheels. We wouldn't call it harsh exactly, but you do feel every bump. The cabin is one of the Fiat 500X's most appealing attributes. The color schemes and upholstery very much depend on trim level and packages, but the Lounge trim is really something. There's a rich brown leather and grey cloth combo, and snazzy cream white painted trim. It looks fantastic, plus the rest of the materials are nicely textured and of a high quality for the $20,000-$30,000 price range.

    From a functional standpoint, the UConnect touchscreen is a smaller version of the same excellent interface found in most Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps. It can be a bit of a reach, but it's easy to use and packed with features. Backseat legroom in the Fiat 500X very much depends on where the front seats are, but that's typical for this segment. The seat doesn't recline, though, and headroom is hampered a bit by the slanting roofline. The trunk is also quite small, even when you expand it by removing the floor partition. It's smaller than compact hatchbacks like the VW Golf and the Honda HR-V, but it's actually about what you can expect from this subcompact SUV segment.

    And really, given their diminutive size, we're still a little skeptical about whether any of these new, smaller SUVs makes sense given their price point. But there's no denying the appeal of sitting up high and available all-wheel drive. If that's important to you, and you're also seeking something with a little more personality from the norm, the Fiat 500X makes enough practical sense to make a compelling case for itself.

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