2018 Fiat 500X

2018 FIAT 500X Review

The Fiat 500X's playful design and upscale interior distinguish it from other small crossovers.
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

When Fiat started selling cars again in the United States just a few years ago, the company wasted no time distinguishing itself. Its first car was the 500, a charismatic and stylish alternative to other subcompact cars. More recently, Fiat has expanded its lineup with the 500X. The 2018 500X is just as affordable as other pint-sized crossovers, but its Fiat 500-inspired exterior design, high-quality interior materials, and good use of interior space are enough to make this one of our favorites in the class.

From a broad perspective, it might be difficult to choose between the 500X and the other crossover in Fiat's lineup, the 500L. That car is slightly larger than the 500X, offers more passenger and cargo room, and costs about the same. However, the 500X is more versatile, offers optional all-wheel drive, and can be had with a wealth of advanced driver aids that aren't available for the 500L. The 500X's interior is decidedly more attractive, and it feels more nimble while cornering.

There are a few downsides to the 500X, such as lackluster fuel economy. But overall the 2018 Fiat 500X is a smart pick, especially if you want an affordable small crossover with some flair.



what's new

Every 2018 Fiat 500X comes standard with a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a new 7-inch touchscreen with the most recent version of the Uconnect infotainment system.

we recommend

The base Pop model is reasonably priced, but you'll be stuck with the manual transmission and 1.6-liter engine combo. Once you add the automatic transmission (and requisite larger engine) to the Pop, it doesn't cost much more to upgrade to the Trekking, which is our pick in the 500X lineup. It's equipped with plenty of convenience and luxury features, and its list of optional extras is more extensive than the Pop's.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Fiat 500X is a subcompact crossover SUV available in three trim levels: Pop, Trekking and Lounge.

The Pop model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission paired to a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (160 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque). Optional for the Pop and standard on the Trekking and Lounge is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (180 hp, 175 lb-ft) mated to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard across the board, though all-wheel drive is available on models equipped with the 2.4-liter engine.

Standard equipment on the Pop trim includes 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, heated mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, a rearview camera, cruise control, air conditioning, a driver information display, height-adjustable front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Remote engine start, a center armrest, and keyless entry and ignition are included if the 2.4-liter engine is ordered. All-wheel-drive models also get 17-inch alloy wheels and adjustable driving modes.

Optional for the Pop is the Popular Equipment package, which adds alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, front and rear floor mats,a center armrest, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio and an additional USB port (charging only).

The Trekking model gets the larger engine and all of the above features (minus the parking sensors), along with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rear privacy glass, an upgraded information display, adjustable drive modes, upgraded cloth upholstery and a removable, height-adjustable cargo floor panel.

A Popular Equipment package is also available for the Trekking, adding roof rails, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment) and a four-way power passenger seat. The Cold Weather package adds a windshield de-icer, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. A navigation system is available as a stand-alone option.

The Lounge includes all of the above options plus chrome exterior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-speaker audio system and a rear cargo cover.

Two more packages are available on both Trekking and Lounge models. The Advanced Safety package adds automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, rear parking sensors, and lane departure warning and intervention. The Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, a dual-pane sunroof and a nine-speaker Beats premium audio system. You can also get leather seating for the Trekking and Lounge as a stand-alone option.



trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge (2.4L inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | FWD)

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 500X has received some revisions, including this year's standard rearview camera, new touchscreen with an updated interface, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Our findings remain applicable to this year's 500X.

Driving

We thought the 500X, with 180 horsepower (about 30 to 40 hp more than rivals), would be the segment track star. It isn't. Not bad, just disappointing. In fact, that's how we'd describe the dynamic skills of the 500X in general. The unrefined nine-speed automatic is one area that clearly needs work.

Comfort

The ride may be a bit rough for some, but it shouldn't be objectionable if you're used to a more firmly sprung car. Seat comfort is excellent and benefits from ample adjustment (including passenger-seat height adjustment, rare for this class). Engine noise is impressively quelled.

Interior

The interior feels roomy, at least for occupants up front. Like many subcompact SUVs, the amount of rear legroom is highly dependent on the positioning of the front seats. Materials quality is superior to many in this class.

Utility

The 500X's tiny cargo volume is typical for the segment. Four small but useful bins reside up front with usable cupholders. The sloped roofline requires folding the 60/40-split rear seats to carry bulky items, but the movable floor cover can be lowered for more space.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.