500X, a welcome addition to the 500 family

POTENTIAL buyers of the funky five door Fiat 500X are spoiled for choice because they can choose from two versions of the popular small SUV which are available either for urban “fun loving” motorists or for more adventurous owners wanting a rugged off-roader writes Bryan Longworth.

The 500X which is another derivative of the very popular 500 range is available with two wheel drive for the urban model which I have just been testing and with four and two wheel drive for the Cross model that is suitable for light off-road driving and for keeping on the move in wintry conditions.

500X which faces rival crossovers like the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka is closely related to the Jeep Renegade but has its own distinctive style as I discovered on my test car the 500X 1.4 MultiAir 140hp Pop Star which cost £17,595.

The turbo petrol engine powered the front wheels through a six speed manual gearbox providing a top speed of 118mph a zero to 62mph time of 9.8 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 47.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

The more aggressive shape of this particular 500X and that of the Cross 4x4/2x4 is arguably the most impressive in the 500 family and the bright banana yellow paintwork on the test car which was an extra £1,000 made it look even better although I am sure this particular colour will not be to everyone’s liking!

There were several optional extras on the car which had plenty of standard kit including Nav Pack at £1000 which has a 6.5” touchscreen with DAB radio and sat nav plus the safety pack at £650 that had lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation and a very user friendly rearview camera that made difficult reversing situations much easier.

I liked the pleasant and roomy interior with its comfy seats and easy to see and use instruments and switchgear especially the information panel that included a facility for a large digital speedometer right in front of the driver

The driving seat provided me with a high commanding view of the road ahead and linked with the well balanced steering that could be easily adjusted and excellent handling the car provided a very enjoyable driving experience.

At the back is a roomy 350 litre load area with a spacesaver wheel underneath which can be extended to accommodate a wide variety of loads using the fold and tumble rear seats and the fold flat front passenger seat with a removable load platform that is reversible and height adjustable being also available.

There were two features that were occasionally irritating - when the electronic parking brake was at times reluctant to automatically disengage and when the engine stop start system was a bit tempremental.

My test car with the Pop Star specification was near the bottom of the 13 car 500X price range and in my opinion one of the best value for money models being well over £6,000 cheaper than the lowest priced four wheel drive 500X.

It is the 500X I would go for and I would fit it with winter tyres that offer a near 4x4 traction capability and still have six grand plus in the bank to spend on a nice holiday or a home improvement!

Fact File

Model: Fiat 500X 1.4 MultiAir 140hp Pop Star.

Engine: 1.4-litre four cylinder petrol.

Output: 140hp.

Transmission: Six speed manual.

Top speed: 118mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.8 seconds.

CO2 emissions: 139g/km.

Price: £17,595.