Fiat is following up on the March unveiling of the Jeep Renegade with its own compact crossover, the oft-rumored and teased 500X, which is making its big debut later today at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The 500X will be built alongside the Jeep Renegade at Fiat's Melfi, Italy factory, with sales to begin during the first half of 2015.
Like the Renegade on which it shares a platform, the 500X comes to bat with the choice of a 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder – the same 160-horsepower, 184-pound-feet mill used in the 500L, 500 Abarth and Dodge Dart – or Chrysler's 2.4-liter, 180-horsepower Tigershark four-cylinder. Also like the adorable Jeep, 500X customers can have their turbocharged engine with a six-speed manual, while the 2.4 is paired with a nine-speed auto. Front-drive is standard, while the optional all-wheel-drive system features a disconnecting rear axle for improved economy.
While the bits under the hood are identical to the Renegade, this new model dispatches the Jeep's blocky SUV-inspired looks for something more in keeping with a modern crossover. The influences from the 500L are clear, but Fiat's designers at Centro Stile in Turin have delivered something less polarizing than the brand's five-door hatch. The fascia is rounder with a trapezoidal nose to more closely resemble the standard 500, while the roofline plunges more aggressively at the rear of the car, creating a larger C-pillar. That move in particular goes a long way towards cancelling out the square shape. The total effect is a design that is far more elegant, especially in the Matte Bronze shown above.
The 500X also departs from the appearance of the Renegade in its cabin, where there's a chic Italian-ness on display. The dash is quite reminiscent of the 500L, but departs noticeably in the instrument cluster, where a three-binnacle setup can be found, complete with a central 3.5-inch TFT display. The central touchscreen is a five-inch unit, although Fiat will also offer a larger 6.5-inch display for those that enjoy a bit more screen real estate. Upholstery choices are decidedly Italian, with Fiat offering standard contrasting designs (black and red or dark brown and gray), as well as the rich Tobacco brown leather seats, shown above.
The 2015 500X will be available in five different trims, four of which should be familiar to Fiat customers. The base Pop, mid-level Easy and premium Lounge trims are joined by a more rugged and assertively styled Trekking and Trekking Plus. The 500X will be built alongside the Renegade at Fiat's Melfi, Italy factory, with sales to begin during the first half of 2015.
We'll have more on the 500X when it hits the stage in LA later today. While you wait for that, be sure to scroll down for Fiat's full press blast on its latest offering.