The Fiat 500X small crossover SUV – the latest add to the Fiat lineup – gives Fiat a whole new dimension through an innovative vehicle that can be either urban street savvy or aggressive adventuring capable depending on the trim level you select. And whatever trim level you select, it is loaded with styling and features at a price that will not break the bank.
Arriving at mid-year, the new 500X, joining the maturing Fiat 500 and disappointing 500L, has struggled some to gain acceptance as an exciting new dimension for Fiat in North America – which based on our test drives, we think it is. But it is gaining recognition as more get into the consumer garages (over 7,000 in five months) having discovered that the new Fiat 500X is not the Fiat 500 or a 500L – not even close.
To that end, our friends at cars.com recently honored the new Fiat 500X ranking it near the top (in fact number 2) on their ‘Best Subcompact for 2015’ list. The competition included the Subaru XV Crosstrek, Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and Jeep Renegade. At the end of the competition, only the Subaru Crosstrek bested the new Fiat 500X in the 2015 ranking.
We would note that we told you, after our first drive some months ago, that the new Fiat 500X was bringing a new capable and exciting drive experience – with bold style and fun – to the Fiat lineup. So far, over 7,000 owners, and now the folks at cars.com, are in agreement with us.
2016 Fiat 500X Lounge FWD
Wanting to update our impression, we recently spent a couple of weeks driving a new 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge with front-wheel drive (FWD). Our 500X came very well equipped in a rich Blu Venezia (Blue Metallic) – one of 12 colors available – with a very rich Testa di Moro/Grigio (Dark Brown/Gray) interior. The base MSRP for our test 500X Lounge FWD was $25,000.
The Lounge is part of the new Fiat 500X lineup which starts with the basic 500X Pop at $20,000 followed by the more rounded Easy at $22,610, the bolder Trekking at $23,310 followed by the our urban lifestyle enabler – the Lounge at $25,000 and topping out with the adventuring Trekking Plus at $28,210
Our Lounge was well equipped as a perfect small crossover for young moderns, urban life-stylers, right-sizers, empty-nesters and even young families who will appreciate the refined Italian styling (inside and out) coupled with features and functionality well engineered and crafted for their multiple needs.
We fall into the right-sizer and empty-nester category and found the 500X Lounge FWD nearly perfect for our many and varied lifestyle needs.
The 500X Lounge is powered by a 2.4L MultiAir I4 engine mated to the segment exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission with driver selectable Dynamic Drive modes. Fuel economy on the FWD Lounge is a very respectable 22/31 mpg city/highway and 25 mpg combined.
Some of the many standard features include Keyless Entry, Remote and Push Button Start, Electric Park Brake, Electronic Stability Control, ParkView Rear Backup Camera, Automatic Dual Zone Temperature Control, Leather Wrapped and Heated Steering Wheel with Mounted Audio Controls, Front Console Sliding Armrest, Ambient Lighting, 12-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet, 3.5-inch TFT Driver Information Color Display plus Heated Front Seats with 8-Way Power for the driver and Manual Adjusting with Fold-Flat feature for the passenger. The rear bench seat is a 60/40 split that enables accommodation of up to 20 cubic feet of cargo with the seats down. The Adjustable Height Load Floor behind the rear seats will handle over 12 cubic feet of luggage or other cargo easily.
The 500X small crossover SUV, on the outside, displays iconic Fiat styling cues crafted nicely in a bold yet refined Italian styled crossover size and shape. Features include Automatic Bi-Function Halogen Projector Headlamps, Daytime Running Lamps, Fog and Cornering Lamps, Power Exterior Heated Mirrors, Intermittent Variable Wipers, Windshield Wiper Deicer, Rear Window Wiper/Washer/Deicer, Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass and Liftgate Mounted Spoiler.
Infotainment on our 500X Lounge was driven by the Uconnect 6.5N system with 6.5-inch Touchscreen, GPS Navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link plus HD Radio and Integrated Voice Command Bluetooth functionality, USB Ports and Auxiliary Jack.
Building the 500X Your Way
Our 500X came with the ‘Lounge Collection 3’ – one of the six optional equipment and feature ‘Collections’ available on the Lounge model. Each Collection adds a feature (or more) to those preceding it. Collections start with Lounge 1 adding Blind Spot Warning and ParkSense Rear Park Assist with Cross Path Detection for $350 and going through Lounge Collection 6 which adds very high end features like Auto High Beam Control, LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus, Rain Sensitive Washers and Forward Collision Warning-Plus for $5,350.
The Lounge Collection 3 on our test 500X was priced at $2,050. It included the ParkSense Rear Park Assist with Cross Path Detection, the stunning Testa DiMoro (Dark Brown/Gray) Leather Trimmed Seating plus added a set of elegant looking styled 18-inch Fine Grained Painted Aluminum Wheels mounted with 225/45R18 All-Season tires.
Since we know you will ask, the Lounge Collection 2 adds the leather trimmed seating while Collection 4 adds the really nice Dual Pane Power Sunroof and Collection 5 adds the Beats Premium Audio with eight speakers and a subwoofer.
With the comprehensive Lounge Collection 3 Package our test 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge FWD priced (with delivery and prep) at just $28,045.
Our updated impression?
The fun of driving this beauty comes at no extra charge.
All-Wheel Drive Option
The Fiat 500X is available with AWD (not available on the Pop) for another $1,500. You may want to equip your 500X with AWD if you live where heavy rains or snow and ice are a regular challenge during seasonal changes and or winter months – but you really do not need to.
One of the design features of the nine-speed automatic transmission is its control strategy that monitors temperature, speed and electronic stability control continuously to select one of 20 distinct internal shift maps that are available for maximum performance and drivability.
The nine-speed automatic transmission Dynamic Selector system also features a Traction + mode which enhances low-speed traction on slippery surfaces for more controlled starting and driving in poor weather conditions. That, plus an Auto Stick manual shift makes the FWD more than capable for most road conditions all year long.
IIHS Top Safety Pick+
The 2016 500X, loaded with safety features including the available Forward Collision Warning-Plus with Full Stop system to warn and assist drivers in avoiding front end collisions, earns the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating (when it is so equipped). Our test 500X Lounge FWD was not equipped with that option, but – with its other standard safety features – is still a IIHS Top Safety Pick earning a GOOD (top) rating in the other five serious crash simulation tests.
Read about those tests and more about the new 2016 Fiat 500X – click on “Suggested Links” below.