The Fiat 500X has been refreshed and updated, Tom Scanlan goes to Bristol for the UK Launch and drives two variants of the stylish Italian crossover.Read more...
Fiat has already decided that it needed to do something to get more customers into this SUV…So, it says, look at the refreshed styling…
It’s got a lower front bumper; the lights, front and rear are all more-or-less circular, or rounded to some extent, to remind us of the original 500. A variety of new colours and new wheel designs helps the look. The interior has also had ‘refreshing’, with new seat designs and a more prominent central info-instrument in the instrument cluster. The dash features a continuation of the exterior body colour and, particularly with the Italian Blue, our first test car, the effect, on a lovely sunny day, was rather appealing and cheerful.
So, why did Fiat not emphasise the two new petrol engines you can choose from? Could it be that, in spite of the new particulate filter, the emissions are hardly any improvement on the outgoing petrol power units? Nor are they significantly more economical. For example, 139 g/km for the little 1.0-litre is precisely the same as the outgoing 1.4 MultiAir, while the zero-to-62 mph figure is actually one second slower. But don’t switch off just yet.
These refreshments actually add up to a worthwhile development of the range. Not only is it exterior and interior trim and the two engines, but Fiat keeps up its the innovative technology that all manufacturers need to do.
The two test versions featured at the launch in the West Country were the top-of-the-range Cross Plus. Fiat claims that increases in prices over the initial 500X models merely reflect the enhanced features you get.
The entry-level version, now called Urban, (Popstar has gone) starts at £16,995; the next level up is City Cross, and it is difficult to work out what replaces what. Never mind, just get hold of a very glossy brochure (again for the 500X) and all should be revealed after many days of study.
Test route 1 was mainly rural, so fuel consumption came out between what you might expect cruising motorways and negotiating busy town traffic.
For the 1.3 Turbo 4-cylinder, with its 150 PS and smooth, 6-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox, the trip computer for this route indicated 31.2 mpg at an average speed of 22 mph. The official combined figure rates from 43.5 to 45.6 mpg. The 997 cc 3-cylinder was on much busier, slow-traffic roads to be fair, but 25.5 mpg…sorry, oh dear: the official combined is 47.1 to 48.7.
From the fun angle, there was no question that the three-potter was definitely the winner, feeling much more lively and willing, with 10.9 seconds to 62 mph against 9.1 seconds for the 1.3 auto. With so much development the little engine was at least as smooth as any other cutting edge 3-cylinder unit on the market (and the car suffered none of the drumming I experienced last year in Ford’s multi-award-winning similar type of power plant).
On first impressions, it was not obvious how to access all the available information available covering all aspects of the car and its performance and capabilities. However, this can be a comment about most, if not all, new cars now. It is just a matter of sitting down and learning and not setting off on a journey without first understanding how to get displayed what you usually need. Suffice to say that you pays yer money and gets yer choice…of safety, comfort and convenience features.
The new Fiat 500X offers a wide variety of packages and, ultimately, personalisation, even if, as with any other manufacturer, you do indeed pay for it.
But if you simply venture into a dealer and ask what’s on offer, without being too particular, then you could soon be driving a smart, comfortable and enjoyable family all-rounder at a reasonable price. Otherwise, as much as £23,380, as in our top test car.
Car reviewed: 2019 FIAT 500X Cross Plus FireFly Turbo 1.0 120hp – On the road £20,995 0-62mph 10.9 secs Top speed 117mph Fuel Economy combined TBC CO2 emissions TBC Engine 999cc 3-cylinder unleaded EU6D Max Power Engine [email protected] Engine Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual
Excellent choice of personalisation
A genuinely good all round family car
A fun, original crossover
Personalisation, can get pricey
What the others say about the Fiat 500X on YouTube...
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