Italian manufacturer completes its family of 500-derived models with the 500X, which is a rival to the Vauxhall Mokka, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur
Matt Burt
3 October 2014

The Fiat 500X, a compact crossover that completes the Italian manufacturer's family of models based on its popular 500 supermini, has been revealed at the Paris motor show.

It will go on sale in the UK in the second quarter of 2015 and sit alongside the regular 500 and larger 500L derivatives in Fiat's line-up.

Two versions of the new model have been created, mirroring a strategy adopted with the 500L and 500L Trekking. One is intended as a chic urban car, while the other has more rugged design themes.

The 500X gets the same retro-inspired styling as the rest of the 500 family, but also includes a more prominent front-end grille design, with chrome trim used around the front bumper. Tinted windows, roof rails and a boot-mounted lip spoiler also feature.

Designed at Fiat's Centro Stile design hub, the new 500X sits on a modified version of the SCCS platform that underpins the Fiat Punto and Vauxhall Corsa. It measures 4.25 metres in length, while the rugged version is 2cm longer. Both versions are 1.80m wide and 1.61m in height.

Boot space is put at 350 litres, and Fiat is playing up the "extensive use of high-grade materials, top-quality finishes and practical storage compartments" inside the car. Personalisation plays a large role in the 500X's appeal: a choice of 12 different body colours and eight designs for the alloy wheels will be offered. Wheels come in three sizes – 16in, 17in and 18in.

The engine range comprises four petrol engines and three diesels. Front-wheel drive, petrol-powered models are either equipped with a 108bhp 1.6-litre engine with a five-speed manual gearbox or a 138bhp, turbocharged 1.4-litre with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed twin-clutch transmission. 

All-wheel-drive petrol models, which are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard, are powered either by a 168bhp version of the turbocharged 1.4-litre or a 181bhp, 2.4-litre engine. The latter will not be offered in the UK.

The front-wheel-drive oilburning range starts with a 94bhp, 1.3-litre turbodiesel that comes equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard. Next up is a 118bhp, 1.6-litre turbodiesel equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The four-wheel-drive diesel option is the 138bhp 2.0-litre, which is fitted with either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 500X is the first Fiat to be offered with this nine-speed gearbox.

The 500X incorporates a 'Drive Mode Selector' that offers three modes for engine, brake, steering and transmission settings. Auto is the most frugal, Sport is geared towards spirited driving and All Weather' adjusts the settings to best cope with low-grip conditions. 

On the more rugged version, the All Weather mode is replaced by a Traction function, which speeds up the transmission of torque to the rear axle on four-wheel-drive versions or activates a Traction Plus control system on front-wheel-drive cars.

The latter, says Fiat, suits drivers who only encounter extreme low-traction situations occasionally and can't justify the additional costs associated with a conventional four-wheel-drive system.

Cabin technology includes 5.0- or 6.5-inch Uconnect colour touchscreen infotainment systems depending on variant. Both systems feature Bluetooth, aux-in and USB connectivity and can be operated via steering wheel remote controls and voice commands. A new Uconnect Live system integrates with smartphones. 

Domestic specifications and pricing for the Fiat 500X will be announced closer to the car's UK launch.

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Our Verdict

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

2 October 2014
surprisingly good looking after the 500L hideousity.

2 October 2014
Orangewheels wrote:

surprisingly good looking after the 500L hideousity.

I agree. At last Fiat has successfully translated the 500 design language to something bigger (better than Mini have managed). Now it needs to go back and restyle the "hideousity" mentioned by Orangewheels. Then Fiat should move on to a new design theme.

2 October 2014
This looks really good as a less practical alternative to Captur/Mokka/Juke. However, with it's nearly B class dimensions, I can't help thnking that this should have been been the direct replacement replacement for the Bravo. I think Fiat have got themselves into a tricky sityuation like Citroen. No-one wants teh standard models, but instead want the 500, Cactus or DS version instead.

2 October 2014
Guys.. give up with the "SCCS" thing. It just shows you did a Google search on "FIAT Punto Platform" and blindly repeated the out-of-date information you read by clicking the Wikipedia link.

SCCS ended with the FIAT-GM marriage, and both Opel and FIAT have developed new small-car architectures since. In FIAT's case, 500x's "platform" is called "Small, US-Wide" and can be wider, longer, and with a different rear suspension possibilities to the previous small-car design.

But, more to the point, why not stop talking about "platforms" altogether? Modular design means that that the same components can be used across different sizes of car -- and also, different components can be used across the same size of car in order to meet cost targets - look at how VW uses cheap rear suspension in some Golf models; same "platform", inferior performance.

2 October 2014
This looks a decent car of its type, certainly preferable to the Renegade, in my opinion. But, as someone mentioned before, why can't they get away from the 500 moniker (I think 600 was mentioned), it just shows a lack of confidence and imagination by the manufacturer, and dilutes the appeal of the excellent 'original' model.

2 October 2014
That's nice, really nice. On the day that the new Suzuki Vitara has been unveiled and demonstrates that yet another Japanese manufacturer has lost its styling department it is good to see a crossover going in the right direction. In fact I prefer this to the 500 city car. Excellent job Fiat.

2 October 2014
So Fiat haven't lost the ability to design an attractive car. How the same company can churn out this and a 500L I do not know. However, I'm getting bored of them naming everything 500. Citroen (with DS) and MINI both have had more success in their branding exercises.

2 October 2014
The Fiat 500 brand will face similar problems that Mini is now facing. When a brand bases its styling explicitly on an iconic classic all subsequent generations will have to refer to the straitjacket of the original. And look how debased the Mini brand has become - irrelevant models, hideous looks.

3 October 2014
Unlike some others, I like the 500L. Nobody buys a bland Fiat, and this I think is a bit bland, like a Vauxhall Mokka. I don't think it will set Fiat dealers alight, unless by some miracle it turns out to be genuinely good to drive. Might look better in a more cheerful colour, but given the choice, I'd rather have the Jeep version, which looks more characterful.

3 October 2014
...it's priced like a Juke it should do OK. Design a car that's reasonably attractive and you'll get people through the door.


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