Trekking Plus 4dr Front-wheel Drive
2016 FIAT 500X

MSRP ?

$27,335
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N/A
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EngineEngine 2.4LI-4
MPGMPG 22 City / 31 Hwy
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2016 500X Overview

Fiat's return to the US market four years ago is already cooling off. Neither the Lilliputian 500 or its larger sibling, the 500L, have caught on with mainstream customers. Both were designed years ago for European roads, which are tight and crowded. That's the antithesis of America's driving ethos. Fiat knows this, and its answer is the 2016 500X. It lays the brand's curvy design over a crossover-style package with available all-wheel-drive. There's more room for cargo to suit our national preference for extra space. The 500X still has Italian charm, but it feels more at home on US roads than other Fiats. Put simply, the 500X isn't a transplant, it's made for American buyers (even if it's assembled in Italy, alongside the Jeep Renegade). We were skeptical that the 500X could turn around Fiat's fortunes, but this cute crossover had a way of winning us over. Maybe it was the bright arancio paint (Italian for "orange") of our test car, the most expressive of the 12 exterior hues. Even in the shadowy indoor setting where our test drive begins, in Culver City, CA, this car stands out. In stark contrast, the black and grey interior is subdued and tasteful. Out test car is a Trekking model, the middle of five trim levels, fitted with the optional 2.4-liter engine. This naturally aspirated four-cylinder is a 'free' upgrade from the standard 1.4-liter turbo, but mandates the addition of a nine-speed automatic transmission for $1,500. Taking off through morning traffic, we head for the Santa Monica Freeway. At the entrance we're pitted against an older Toyota Camry in an on-ramp drag race. We lay on the throttle to put the Tigershark engine's 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque into full use, and leave the Camry in the dust. As we head north toward Malibu, we can already tell that the 500X feels like a different kind of Fiat, more substantial. It fills the lane. There's an upright driving position, and we feel confident cruising along at 70 miles per hour. #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045{width:100%;display:block;} Okay, so the 500X can handle an interstate, but what about an open road? We make our way to the Pacific Coast Highway, California's State Route 1, a logical place to test Fiat's claim of being more in step with American buyers. There are stoplights. People wander across the street towards the beach. Cars pass us and we pass them. Subtract the ocean air and surfers, and this road is what a lot of US motorists deal with every day. The 500X is all up for it. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering setup is light on center but returns feedback during lane changes and turns. The suspension handles road imperfections appropriately as we over manhole covers and other small obstacles unflustered. The 500X feels taut, even tossable at times, but isn't overtly sporty. When called upon, the 500X stops fine. There's little dive when we hit the brakes hard. Our only quibble is with the nine-speed …
Full Review

2016 500X Overview

Fiat's return to the US market four years ago is already cooling off. Neither the Lilliputian 500 or its larger sibling, the 500L, have caught on with mainstream customers. Both were designed years ago for European roads, which are tight and crowded. That's the antithesis of America's driving ethos. Fiat knows this, and its answer is the 2016 500X. It lays the brand's curvy design over a crossover-style package with available all-wheel-drive. There's more room for cargo to suit our national preference for extra space. The 500X still has Italian charm, but it feels more at home on US roads than other Fiats. Put simply, the 500X isn't a transplant, it's made for American buyers (even if it's assembled in Italy, alongside the Jeep Renegade). We were skeptical that the 500X could turn around Fiat's fortunes, but this cute crossover had a way of winning us over. Maybe it was the bright arancio paint (Italian for "orange") of our test car, the most expressive of the 12 exterior hues. Even in the shadowy indoor setting where our test drive begins, in Culver City, CA, this car stands out. In stark contrast, the black and grey interior is subdued and tasteful. Out test car is a Trekking model, the middle of five trim levels, fitted with the optional 2.4-liter engine. This naturally aspirated four-cylinder is a 'free' upgrade from the standard 1.4-liter turbo, but mandates the addition of a nine-speed automatic transmission for $1,500. Taking off through morning traffic, we head for the Santa Monica Freeway. At the entrance we're pitted against an older Toyota Camry in an on-ramp drag race. We lay on the throttle to put the Tigershark engine's 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque into full use, and leave the Camry in the dust. As we head north toward Malibu, we can already tell that the 500X feels like a different kind of Fiat, more substantial. It fills the lane. There's an upright driving position, and we feel confident cruising along at 70 miles per hour. #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-66045{width:100%;display:block;} Okay, so the 500X can handle an interstate, but what about an open road? We make our way to the Pacific Coast Highway, California's State Route 1, a logical place to test Fiat's claim of being more in step with American buyers. There are stoplights. People wander across the street towards the beach. Cars pass us and we pass them. Subtract the ocean air and surfers, and this road is what a lot of US motorists deal with every day. The 500X is all up for it. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering setup is light on center but returns feedback during lane changes and turns. The suspension handles road imperfections appropriately as we over manhole covers and other small obstacles unflustered. The 500X feels taut, even tossable at times, but isn't overtly sporty. When called upon, the 500X stops fine. There's little dive when we hit the brakes hard. Our only quibble is with the nine-speed …Hide Full Review