The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2016 Fiat 500X Easy AWD Crossover Review By Larry Nutson +VIDEO


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2016 Fiat 500x Easy AWD Crossover

2016 Fiat 500X Easy AWD Crossover Review

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel


It’s the third new Fiat body style to arrive on the U.S. shores in just about as many years. The 500X Crossover is Fiat’s offering in the hotter-then-every subcompact crossover segment.

It seems every time I turn around there’s a new CUV hitting the market. This is good news for buyers giving them plenty to choose from. However, it certainly can become confusing trying to make your way through all the choices and narrow down to your top pick and make a purchase decision.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The 2016 Fiat 500X certainly will give buyers plenty of choice. It comes in five different trim models: Pop, Easy, Lounge, Trekking and Trekking Plus. The Trekking and Trekking Plus models feature unique front and rear fascia designs and Satin Silver accents for a distinct, aggressive appearance.

The lowest priced Pop model has a base price (MSRP) of $20,000, plus a destination charge of $900. From there, the Easy is $22,300, Trekking is $23,100, Lounge is $24,850 and Trekking Plus is $27,100.

The Pop FWD model has as standard a 160HP 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. This is the 500X with the best EPA test fuel economy ratings of 28 mpg combined, with 25 city mpg and 34 highway mpg.

Optional on the Pop and standard on the four other models is a 180 HP 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission on all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive models.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

EPA test fuel economy ratings for FWD models with the 180HP engine are 25 mpg combined with 22 city mpg and 31 highway mpg. AWD models are rated one mpg less in each.

The Easy, Trekking, Lounge and Trekking Plus models are all available with the Fiat 500X’s advanced all-wheel-drive system for an additional $1,900. A nice feature that reduces fuel consumption is the disconnecting rear axle that allows for reduced parasitic loss when all-wheel-drive capability is not needed.

A Dynamic Selector system allows the driver to choose between Auto, Sport and Traction-plus modes for different driving conditions.

The 500X is very big-city friendly with an overall length of only 167.2 inches. The two Trekking models are an inch longer due to their unique front and rear fascias. I found scooting between parked cars and double-parked delivery trucks quite easy. Parking maneuvers were just as easy especially with the help of the rear view camera.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

On the inside the 500X has seating for five, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat and up to 32 cubic feet of cargo volume if you load up to the headliner.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Fiat hasn’t skimped on equipment. You can get Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection. And on the inside, seats come in cloth or leather depending on model. And features like Uconnect 6.5 radio with a 6.5-inch high-resolution touchscreen and navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio, a 3.5-inch color thin-film transistor cluster display, Keyless Enter ‘n Go, and heated front seats and steering wheel are offered.

To further complicate a buyer’s choice, there are twelve colors to pick from and up to a half dozen option packages on various models. The 500X can even be had in a matte finish color. However, I will agree that choice is good and it’s nice to have variety and not see yourself coming and going on the roads all the time.

The media-loan 500X I had for a week’s time was the Easy AWD model with a base price of $24,200. Options fitted on this vehicle included a Convenience Package, Safety Group, Dual-pane Sunroof, NAV system and Beats premium audio. All this brought the total to $29,100.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

As mentioned previously, I found the 500X easy to maneuver with its subcompact exterior size. Ride and handling was just OK with perhaps a bit too much firmness in the suspension. The engine provided ample but not outstanding acceleration. Highway merging and passing were good. Occasionally when driving in city stop and go traffic the transmission seemed to not know what gear it wanted.

Like most all CUVs, ingress and egress is easy and outward sight lines are quite good. I didn’t make any long road trips to be able to judge seat comfort over long time periods, but I found the seats good for around town driving. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the interior considering the price of the 500X.

A funny little tid-bit is that my wife liked that she could see the Fiat logo on the steering wheel center hub and the 500 logo on the IP in front of the passenger seat and know immediately what kind of car she was in. Since we auto writers change cars so frequently we are often requested to explain what we are driving. Most vehicles have no interior badging near the front seat passenger that lets that person know the vehicle model.

If you want to compare the 2016 Fiat 500X to other subcompact crossovers you can do that here on the Fiat Buyers Guide or check out more details and specifications and configure your own 2016 Fiat 500X on www.fiatusa.com.

The Fiat USA website has a concierge service. Maurizio, a kind-appearing Italian gentleman, is the Fiat XLab commander-in-chief. He will help you select your Fiat 500X. This alone is worth a look even if you are not yet in the market.

It’s as easy as A to X.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy