Fiat 500X 2017 Review
The Fiat 500X is a mini-SUV that has been in production since 2014 and is the brand’s answer to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, and Renault Captur. Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the 500X is manufactured in Melfi, Italy, alongside the Jeep Renegade and is targeted at a very distinct segment of the market.
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Addressed at the city slickers who possess a burning desire to stand out from the crowd, the 2017 Fiat 500X is subjectively one of the trendiest crossovers to grace the streets of the UAE.
Based on the Jeep Renegade platform, the 500X is designed at the brand’s Style Centre and extends the line-up which currently comprises of the 500, 500C, and 500L. Measuring 4,250 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, and 1,600 mm in height, the dimensional figures of the Fiat 500X connote its muscular silhouette.
Retaining the aesthetic DNA of the model that it is based on, the Fiat 500X comes across as a protein-shake-gulping, weightlifting junkie. The butch exterior is a byproduct of an aggressive bumper upfront and a prominent rear diffuser, which come together to complement the attractive contours that adorn the length of the vehicle.
Within the cabin, the Fiat 500X follows a rather simplistic layout with the right amount of flamboyance to match. The infotainment screen, which sits atop the dashboard, is embellished with high-gloss black and matte silver trims – a theme followed all through the interior.
With slight resemblances of the Fiat 500 and the Jeep Renegade residing within the cabin, the 500X offers the best of both worlds. While supple leather makes its way onto the seats, door panels and steering wheel, trim bits finished in a bright silver hue break the monotony of an otherwise rather dark cabin.
Safety & Tech
Flaunting its safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Fiat 500X 2017 is a vehicle that belongs to the Top Safety Pick+ category. In addition to ABS and other technology which is standard on almost all models in the market today, the Fiat 500X is equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), which when working together, improve safety and handling by actively correcting over- and under-steer.
The 6.5-inch touchscreen, which runs the brand’s Uconnect system, is connected to a 180W six-speaker set-up and features Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, in addition to USB and AUX connections. While the satellite navigation and 3D maps are simple to use, the rear camera is extremely pixelated and a sheer letdown to an otherwise phenomenal system.
With nearly 70% of the structure composed of high-strength steel and structural adhesives, the Fiat 500X weighs in at just 1,345kg and offers a truly peppy drive. Powered by a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine, it’s good for 184 horsepower and 237 Nm of torque – figures which prove it is isn’t underpowered.
Mated to the segment’s first 9-speed automatic transmission, the Fiat 500X is groundbreaking, but falls to the criticism of many. While the benefits of a virtually endless supply of gears are extremely low fuel consumption and reduced engine drone at highway speeds, the drawbacks are delayed acceleration and a continuous shift in gears which disrupts the serenity of the drive.
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With just 179 mm of ground clearance, combined with approach, departure, and break-over angles of 21.3°, 30.1° and 22.3° respectively, the 500X may come across as a capable soft-roader at first, but is hindered solely by its ground clearance.
Offering a very direct, go-kart-esque driving experience on the road, the all-wheel-drive system in the Fiat 500X provides phenomenal levels of grip and translates into being an extremely fun car. The Drive Mood selector, has three different settings to suit varying conditions (Auto, Sport, Traction) with alterations affecting the power steering settings, ESC calibration, and shifting patterns of the transmission.
Bearing a price tag of AED 99,000, the Fiat 500X 2017 is significantly more expensive than its rivals, the Kia Soul, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke which command price tags of AED 57,000, AED 67,900 and AED 85,000 respecitvely.
With the Juke being the only one to match the Fiat’s All-Wheel-Drive capability, it can be viewed as the only viable alternative. But why would you be interested in looking at alternatives, especially when refinement and individuality can only be had in the 500X?