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Fiat 500X Cross Plus 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
7
At the end of 2015 Fiat expanded its 500 range with the introduction of a crossover called the 500X. Significantly bigger than the standard Fiat 500 it has more interior space, utilised through the convenience of rear doors. The Fiat 500X was designed in conjunction with the new Jeep Renegade. Italian Fiat now

At the end of 2015 Fiat expanded its 500 range with the introduction of a crossover called the 500X. Significantly bigger than the standard Fiat 500 it has more interior space, utilised through the convenience of rear doors.

The Fiat 500X was designed in conjunction with the new Jeep Renegade. Italian Fiat now controls Jeep after American company got into financial trouble during the GFC. There's a nice combination of Italian style and American 4WD knowhow in this partnership. Fiat 500X as tested this week is an all-wheel-drive (AWD) Cross Plus, rather than a true 4WD in the manner of a Jeep.

Should you not need AWD the Fiat 500X also comes with 2WD, through the front wheels, at a lower cost.

Design

Visually, the Fiat 500X is an expanded version of the 500 with a family resemblance to its baby brother at the front, in various details around the body, and in its funky interior. The latter has the pseudo metallic look that appeals to all Fiat lovers.

Cross Plus is easily identified by the protection bars front and rear, with further body mouldings around its wheelarches and on the sills.

Like its little brother the 500X is offered in a huge variety of colours and you can choose from a large range of accessories to permit personalisation. There are 12 body colours, 15 dress-up decals, nine choices of door mirror covers, five door-sill inserts, five alloy wheel designs, fabrics and leather can be part of the pack. Even the key fob can be ordered in five different designs.

Our test 500X was in glowing white with red door mirrors and stripes in the same bright hue on the lower areas of the doors, best of all is the red-and-white '500X' decal stretching most of the way along the roof. You have to be tall to see this feature - but it looked brilliant when viewed beneath our balcony at home - particularly with a nice cappuccino in hand...

Value

The range starts at $28,000 for the 500X Pop with front-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual gearbox and rises to $39,000 for the all-wheel-drive 500X Cross Plus with automatic transmission.

In between are the Pop Star (great name!) at $33,000 and the Lounge for $38,000. The 500X Pop can be specified with a six-speed dual-clutch auto for an added $2000, the automatic is standard in the Pop Star. The AWD models, the Lounge and Cross Plus, have a nine-speed automatic.

Equipment levels are high to justify the prices. Even the entry level 500X Pop has 16-inch alloy wheels, a 3.5-inch TFT instrument display, cruise control, paddle shifts on the automatic, Fiat's Uconnect system with a 5.0-inch touchscreen, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

The 500X Pop Star gets has 17-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, three driving modes (Auto, Sport, and Traction plus), keyless entry and start, and a reversing camera. The Uconnect system has a 6.5-inch touchscreen and GPS navigation.

Fiat 500X Lounge also receives 18-inch alloy wheels, a 3.5-inch colour TFT instrument cluster display, automatic-high-beam, a BeatsAudio Premium sound system with subwoofer and eight speakers, dual zone automatic air conditioning, interior ambient lighting and two-tone premium interior trim.

Cross Plus has steeper ramp angles, xenon headlights, and a different finish on the dashboard.

Engine

Power in all models is from a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol in 500X all models. It produces 103kW and 230Nm in the front-drive models and 125kW and 250Nm in the AWDs.

Safety

Fiat is very strong in the safety field and the 500X has more than 60 standard or available items that include a reversing camera, forward collision warning; LaneSense Warning; lane departure warning; blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. The ESC system has integrated electronic roll mitigation Seven air bags are installed in all models.

Driving

Ride comfort is very good and it's obvious a lot of work has gone into noise and vibration suppression. Indeed, the Fiat 500X is as quiet, or quieter as many SUVs from the next class up.

Interior space is good and four adults can be carried, though tall travellers may have to compromise on legroom at times. A family with three children will find it just right.

Handling isn't exactly Italian sporty, but the 500X is neutral in the way it feels until you're well above the cornering speeds likely to be attempted by the average owner. Outward visibility is very good thanks to the relatively upright greenhouse.

Verdict

The new Fiat 500X offers Italian style, the ability to be personalised in thousands of different ways - yet is very practical. What more could you ask?

Does the funkier styling of the 500X appeal to you over some of its rivals? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Fiat 500X pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$18,990
Based on 11 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,500
Highest Price
$24,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Cross Plus 1.4L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO $22,990 – 24,999 2016 Fiat 500X 2016 Cross Plus Pricing and Specs
Lounge 1.4L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO $19,800 – 25,080 2016 Fiat 500X 2016 Lounge Pricing and Specs
Pop 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $14,500 – 17,888 2016 Fiat 500X 2016 Pop Pricing and Specs
Pop Star 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $16,060 – 20,570 2016 Fiat 500X 2016 Pop Star Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$18,990

Lowest price, based on 5 car listings in the last 6 months

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