Fiat 500X: 7 years later, the surprise

Fiat 500XCompetitor Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, this small crossover will be available in February and will choose between two definitions: urban or 4×4.

Les nouveautés sont rarissimes chez Fiat, mais celle-ci valait la peine d’attendre. Elle est même en prestations un peu au-dessus qu’attendu.

The 500 is an undeniable success. At the point, he seems to have converted Fiat monoculture. Its new compact SUV thus takes the name and some features of its glorious little sister probably hoping to recover the capital sympathy. Technically, however, has not much to do with it as it is, in fact, the twin brother of Jeep Renegade. Less typical and has a well-diversified portfolio, it should apply to a wider audience by arguing very real qualities, and other more subjective.

The concept

The maneuvers taken by Sergio Marchionne , the big boss of the Fiat Group, recently led to the integration of the American manufacturer Chrysler to Italian ( read our article ) and the creation of a new entity FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) .
© Fiat
We are now seeing the first concrete realization. Built on the same platform designed in the United States and Italy share the same engine, the Fiat and Jeep Renegade 500X are produced side by side in the Melfi plant in the south of the peninsula.

Everything is then a matter of presentation, positioning and well thought out marketing. But the result is there, and it is rather convincing. Both models have in fact sufficiently distinct personalities not to make direct competition. Although they both aspire to conquer most markets in the world.

Stationed for several years in the register of small cars by the insolent success of the 500, Fiat also sees the 500X opportunity to go upmarket without denying even come petting a premium market has become the Holy Grail of any manufacturer.

What changes

© Fiat At fighter profile and unwrought stripping the Renegade ( read our test) , the 500X opposes a more polished style. Although a bit leggy, it does not scare old ladies on pedestrian crossings, even in its most Cross Version for leisure and equipped with the most imposing specific shields. It is true that with its rounded headlights and chrome mustache the front does not fail to mention the nice face of the original 500. Vertically stern of the Jeep, Fiat also responds with a sloping tailgate topped by a spoiler that the seeming more like a sedan.
With a length of 4.25 m, the 500X is 70 cm more than 500 basic and yet more than 10 cm 500L five-door. Thus one of the largest of its kind since it exceeds the Captur 13 cm and 9 cm 2008. It is also slightly wider and taller than its French competitors, he pays a substantially higher weight. Shared with the Renegade, modular platform is decorated with independent wheel suspensions McPherson type at the front and rear.

In its urban definition, the 500X is offered with three trim levels: Pop, Popstar and Lounge. To which is added a basic version, only available with the 1.6 liter gasoline engine with 110 hp, which allows the price to start 15,990 euros, or roughly at the first price Captur and 2008. The Cross and Cross + versions adopt them, a more all-terrain look and a more suitable transmission to escapades outside bitumen.

For the two-wheel drive versions, this is the Traction + system, which uses the ESP to play the role of self-locking differential. While the 2-liter Multijet diesel engine 140 hp inherits it, all-wheel drive combined with automatic transmission … 9 reports! In case of loss of grip, some of the torque is automatically transferred to the rear axle, but unlike Renegade thus deserves membership in the Jeep family, there is here no gearbox or differential lock .

At launch, in February, the range based on four engines. In essence, atmo 1.6 110 hp 1.4 turbo 140 BVM5 chBVM6 (from 20,790 euros); diesel, 1.6 Multijet 120 bhp 6 BVM (from 20,590 euros) and 2.0 liter 140 hp 4×4 BVA9 (from 27,690 euros).

Before the summer, it will receive the backing of a petrol version 1.4 turbo 170 hp with automatic gearbox ratios to 9, while the 1.4 turbo 140 hp will also become available with a dual clutch 6-speed transmission and the 2.0 diesel 140 hp 4×4, with a manual 6-speed gearbox.

For the record, the engines of the French rivals are much more modest overall, rising to 120 hp petrol and 90 hp respectively and 115 hp diesel for the Captur and 2008.

Life on board

Although there are some common elements to those of the Jeep, the dashboard is specific to 500X. The façade painted in the color of the body is there to warrant labeling but also bring a little gaiety to the cockpit. The top generously lathered testifies, he’s concern for quality. The finish seems actually quite good and nice presentation, without much free devices. Equipment logically a bit stingy on the basic version is significantly enriched in amount in line to become worthy of a premium model on superior finishes and Cross + Lounge.

In particular we discover a large touch screen with 3D navigation system and the ability to listen to streaming music. Grouped in packs, the options are also very affordable. Dynamic Security package, for example, offers the lane departure warning, blind spot of the detector, the anti-collision radar and rearview camera for 800 or 1,000 euros depending on the finish. The panoramic sunroof himself is charged 900 euros and leather upholstery, 1,300 euros.

Slightly dominant, the driving position is good in the city and fully adjustable through the steering wheel and seat adjustable in both height and depth. The instrumentation is legible and the controls are smooth and well laid out, although the electric parking brake does not really represent an advantage to use.

At the rear, if the central square is anecdotal, given the measured width of the vehicle, two adults find themselves comfortable with a decent legroom and a guard at satisfactory roof.

Less convenient than that, very cubic, Renegade, boot still offers a decent capability with optional double bottom that allows to enjoy an almost flat surface once folded folders.

The seats are fixed, the working volume does not, however, exceed 1 000 liters in this case, which is about 20% less than what the competition offers.

The opinion of the Point Auto

Seven years, since the launch of the 500, Fiat had given us nothing of putting us under the tooth. Needless to say, we watched with interest the arrival of the 500X. After a rather encouraging static approach, it did not disappoint flying hands. Oh, nothing particularly hair-raising, but the good work, good will and consistency which should make long-term endearing!

In the city, raised position template content and light steering make this SUV especially nice. With low-profile tires on 18-inch wheels mounted versions Lounge and Cross +, it hits a little on the old stones of the historic center of Turin, but the 17-inch wheels (Popstar and Cross) allow to find the soft and suspension comfort quite satisfactory.

On the road, the electric power steering lacks, as often, consistency, but again, the remedy exists. It is called Mood Drive. In fact, a three-mode switch, called “mood selector conduct” in French (it can not be invented!) Which, in sport mode, acts on the steering, throttle response and management traction control. Driving behavior, which enjoys a good maintenance of the fund, himself is perfectly suited to this kind of vehicle, secure, balanced and effective.

Regarding the choice of engines, with a view to family use, there is debate between gasoline 1.4 MultiAir 140 bhp 1.6 Multijet diesel and 120 hp. Knowing that it is kif-kif in performance.
© Fiat
More discreet and to savings of 1,500 euros to buy, the first will be recommended for those who are urban and moderate use of their vehicle. The big rollers will turn, themselves, to diesel, significantly more sober: consumption of about 6.5 l / 100 km on our varied test course, against 9.5 l gasoline.

Remains, provided to pay the price, the 2.0 Multijet 140 bhp option. We then take advantage of automatic AWD makes it particularly safe driving in all weather conditions and can even venturing off-road.
© Fiat
© Fiat

Soft and pleasant on the road, the automatic transmission benefits indeed its nine reports to provide a first particularly short, useful crossing, and a ninth particularly long, which aims to reduce noise and consumption on the motorway. As we see, there should be something for everyone.

MOST

– Simple and elegant style
© Fiat
– The road
– Belle versatility
– Rich and diverse range
LEAST

– Comfort with 18-inch wheels
– Automatic transmission reserved for 4×4
– Cargo volume in two places

Under the hood of the Fiat 500X 1.6 Multijet 120

Displacement: 1598 cm3
Type: 4 cylinder turbo diesel
© Fiat
Power: 120 hp at 3750 rev / min
Torque: 320 Nm at 1750 r / min
Transmission: front-wheel
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Dimensions (L / W / H): 4248 × 1796 × 1600 mm
Safe 5/2 pl. : 350/1 000 l
Weight: 1320 kg (11.0 kg / hp)
0-100 km / h: 10.5 s
Speed: 186 km / h
Power consumption: 4.1 l
CO2 emissions: 109 g (malus: 0 euro)
Price: from 20 590 euros

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