Review: Fiat 500X (2015)
Stylish crossover that's easy to drive and surprisingly practical. Impressive ride comfort. Firefly engine is excellent.
Steering lacks feel. High spec versions are pricey. Rear leg room is limited.
Fiat 500X (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £16,995, brokers can source from £11,820
- Contract hire deals from £186.52 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 8–16
- On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure
The 500X is the crossover version of Fiat's popular city car and rivals both the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur in size and price. As well as boasting a comfortable interior and impressive road manners, the 500X is one of the few bulked-up 500s that manages to retain almost all of the character that made the original so popular.
The line-up is split between distinct styles - Urban Look and Cross Look (originally called City and Off-road) with the latter adding wheel arch cladding, rugged bumpers and underbody protection to help it survive the rigours of all-roading. Urban versions get sleeker bumpers and more customisation options, but both are attractive with flowing lines and curves.
It was facelifted in 2018 with a some interior changes and a new steering wheel, but the big change came under the bonnet with the introduction of excellent new 1.0-litre and 1.3-litre Firefly engines - the first Fiat to get them. Despite their small size, both deliver zesty performance and a surprising turn of speed.
They replace the older 1.4 MultiAir engine while the entry-level model is the 1.6-litre non-turbo petrol. The facelift also saw the diesels dropped from the range.
Like Fiat's retro city car, the 500X is easy to drive and comfortable over long trips, with well-bolstered seats and an intelligent and colourful interior. The ride is smooth, absorbing most of the lumps and bumps in the road, although things can get a bit uncomfortable with the optional 18-inch wheels that have a tendency to judder over potholes.
In our view the 500X is one of the best Fiats to emerge in recent years. It's easy to drive, fun and will return the same economy as a typical family hatchback. It has more than enough rival the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, although only those wanting all-wheel drive might be put off by the considerable hike in price.
What does a Fiat 500X (2015) cost?
Fiat 500X (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The 500X gets a reasonably upmarket interior with a neat design that stands out from many other SUVs with its coloured dash trim. The clunky door handles aren't the nicest to use, but overall the quality is good.
Both the steering wheel and driver's seat have lots of adjustment, which makes it easy to get comfortable, although the high placed off-clutch foot rest means long journeys can make your left leg ache, especially if you're tall.
The chunky steering wheel gets simple onboard controls and almost all models get a colourful dashboard that's dominated by a five-inch touchscreen, which outshines its rivals with swift menu changes. A larger 6.5-inch system is available as an optional extra - with navigation - and again this is easy to use, with speedy operations and a simple but workmanlike layout.
Facelifted models from 2018 get a redesigned - and nicer quality - steering wheel, new instrument dials and a larger 7-inch touchscreen as part of UConnect, that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The 500X is practical with deep door pockets and lots of storage and cubby holes. The boot is a useful 350 litres and can be extended to 1000 litres with the two rear seats flattened, although the high loading lip can make it tricky to lift heavy items into it. A two-level boot floor is available as an option and there's plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear, which makes the 500X suitable for carrying four adults.
Standard equipment levels are good, with base models getting air con, tyre pressure monitoring and cruise control. As with the standard 500, the 500X can be upgraded with a huge number of options, including mood lighting, automatic climate control, leather trim and customisable dashboard finishes.
The 500X also has a four-star Euro NCAP rating and gets six airbags as standard. The options list includes autonomous city braking, a lane departure warning system and a blindspot warning for overtaking vehicles and to assist with reversing out of a parking space.
Standard equipment from launch:
Pop includes 16-inch wheels with gloss silver hubcaps, body-coloured bumpers, chrome-effect brightwork, cruise control with speed limiter, manual air conditioning, remote central locking, electric front and rear windows, height-adjustable driver's seat, body-coloured dashboard panel, electronic stability control (ESC), dynamic steering torque, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic rollover mitigation, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, electronic parking brake, front fog lights and six airbags.
Pop Star adds 17-alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors, front fog lights with cornering illumination, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, “Drive Mood” selector and a five-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Bluetooth.
Lounge trim gets 18-inch alloy wheels, 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment system with navigation, dark tinted rear windows, HID headlamps, adjustable cargo floor, front floor mats, chrome-effect exterior styling kit, leather-trimmed gear shifter, adjustable front armrest with storage and ambient interior lighting.
Cross is the entry off-road trim and features Cross-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, traction Plus system, dark tinted rear windows, roof bars, unique bumpers front and rear, chrome exhaust trims, satin silver exterior detailing, leather-trimmed gear shifter, special dashboard finish plus an adjustable front armrest with storage.
Cross Plus gets (in addition to Cross) Cross Plus-specific 18-inch alloy wheels, 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment system with navigation, HID headlamps, adjustable cargo floor, front floor mats along with ambient interior lighting.
Urban models get 16-inch alloy wheels, Techno-leather steering wheel, new instrument panel with 7-inch Uconnect with Apple Car Play and Android Auto and double USB port, manual air conditioning, Cruise Control, electric parking brake and 60/40 split rear seat. The standard equipment is completed by the new Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Assist, as well as Lane Assist system, six airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
City Cross adds the off-road look, with 17-inch alloy wheels, satin chrome inserts and body-coloured door mirrors. Front fog lights, 3.5-inch colour TFT monitor, automatic climate control and rear parking sensors complete the trim.
Cross Plus comes with LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, roof bars and dark tinted rear windows. Inside, it adds TomTom navigation to the 7-inch touchscreen, along with Parkview rear parking camera, dusk sensor and front armrest.
Child seats that fit a Fiat 500X (2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Fiat 500X (2015) like to drive?
The 500X was developed alongside the Jeep Renegade and shares the same platform and off-road running gear. As a result it's a genuine off-roader, with the choice of two-wheel or four-wheel drive, with the latter using a torque management system to activate the rear axle whenever needed.
This means the 500X is genuinely well-suited for those in rural areas and even two-wheel drive models on Cross specification will have little trouble navigating icy roads and hills, thanks to the addition of an electronic diff.
Of course, despite all that ability, the vast majority of 500X buyers will never venture anywhere more taxing that a grass verge. The good news is that it's very capable and comfortable on-road.
All models handle keenly, with little body pitching in the corners. The steering is a little overpowered, but not enough to prevent the driver from getting a fair understanding of how much grip is available.
The 500X can be specified with 16, 17 or 18-inch wheels, but the latter upsets the ride with occasional jarring over potholes and speed bumps. As a result we'd recommend sticking to the standard 16 or 17-inch wheels, with both providing a smooth and comfortable ride on all but the worst of road conditions.
The original engine line up saw front-wheel models availablle with the 110PS 1.6-litre and 140PS 1.4 MultiAir petrols alongside 95PS 1.3-litre and 120PS 1.6-litre Multijet diesels.
Four-wheel drive models got the 140PS 2.0-litre Multijet diesel and 170PS 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol, but commanded a significant price premium.
Come 2018, when Fiat facelifted the 500X, it dropped the diesel from the line-up and replaced the 1.4-litre MultiAir with new Firefly engines.
The good news, they are excellent and suit the 500X perfectly. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit may seem too small for a car this size, but it feels genuinely nippy and quicker than its 120PS would suggest. Not just around town but on the open road and even the motorway, it has more than enough power. We think it's excellent.
Alongside it is a four-cylinder 1.3-litre Firefly with 150PS that comes as a DCT dual-clutch automatic only. The entry-level model remains the non-turbo 1.6-litre petrol.
In our view the 500X is an impressive all-rounder, with keen handling and low running costs. Admittedly, the off-road versions are pricey, but it's difficult to deny the classy and likeable nature of the 500X. Backed by proven Jeep four-wheel drive tech, it will easily cope with British winters, while the lighter two-wheel drive versions will prove to be practical and economical for those who rarely venture beyond the urban environment.
|1.0 120||49 mpg||10.9 s||132–139 g/km|
|1.0 120 Firefly||-||-||131–133 g/km|
|1.3 150 DCT||46 mpg||9.1 s||141–146 g/km|
|1.3 150 Firefly DCT||-||-||139–146 g/km|
|1.3 MultiJet||69 mpg||12.9 s||107 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir||47–50 mpg||9.8–9.9 s||133–139 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir 140 Automatic||50 mpg||9.9 s||133 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir 170 4WD Automatic||42 mpg||8.6 s||157 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir 4WD Automatic||42 mpg||8.6 s||157 g/km|
|1.6 E-Torq||42–47 mpg||11.5 s||139–154 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet||69 mpg||10.5 s||109 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet Automatic||66 mpg||10.5 s||113 g/km|
|2.0 MultiJet 140 AWD||58 mpg||9.5 s||130 g/km|
|2.0 MultiJet 4WD Automatic||51 mpg||9.8 s||144 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Fiat 500X (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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