When Fiat returned to sell cars in the US a few years ago, the company wasted no time in distinguishing itself. Its first model was the 500, a stylish and charismatic alternative to a subcompact car. Now Fiat has expanded its lineup with the 2018 500X. It’s just as affordable as the same-sized crossover, but the Fiat 50- inspired exterior design, high-quality interior materials, and a good interior layout are enough to make it one of the favorites in this class.
It may be difficult to choose between the 500X and other crossovers in the Fiat lineup, the 500L. It’s a bit bigger than 500X, has more passenger and cargo space, and almost the same price. However, the 2018 Fiat 500X is more flexible, offers all-wheel drive, and has many advanced safety aids that aren’t available in the 500L. The 500X interior is definitely more appealing and feels more agile when cornering.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Fiat 500X is a five-passenger subcompact crossover SUV available in three trim levels: Pop, Trekking and Lounge.
Standard features for the Pop trim includes full power accessories, 16-inch steel wheels, remote unlocking and locking, heated mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, a driver information display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a fold-flat front passenger seat, height-adjustable front seats, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Keyless entry and ignition, a center armrest and remote engine start are included if you pick the 2.4-liter engine. All-wheel-drive models also get 17-inch alloy wheels and adjustable driving modes.
The Popular Equipment package includes rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, a center armrest, front and rear floor mats, satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system and an additional charging USB port.
The 2018 Fiat 500X Trekking trim includes all of the above features except the parking sensors plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, adjustable drive modes, an upgraded information display, height-adjustable cargo floor panel, upgraded cloth upholstery and a removable.
The Popular Equipment package for the Trekking adds roof rails, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone climate control, a four-way power passenger seat, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with four-way power lumbar adjustment. The Cold Weather package adds a windshield de-icer, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. A stand-alone option includes a navigation system.
The 2018 Fiat 500X Lounge includes all of the above features along with chrome exterior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rear cargo cover and an eight-speaker audio system.
Available for the 2018 Fiat 500X Trekking and Lounge is the Advanced Safety package. which adds automatic wipers, automatic high-beam control, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention and rear parking sensors. The Premium package adds a dual-pane sunroof, 18-inch wheels and a nine-speaker Beats premium audio system. Leather seating available a stand-alone option for the Trekking and Lounge.
The 2018 Fiat 500X Pop is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s offered only with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive.
Optional for the Pop and standard on the Trekking and Lounge is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive available as an option. The AWD system regularly powers just the front wheels, such as when cruising on the highway, and can send up to half of the engine power to the rear when the front wheels lose grip.
In performance testing, the 2018 Fiat 500X Lounge FWD accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, the AWD did in 8.7 seconds. Its slow in general but close to average for the segment.
The 2018 Fiat 500X with the 1.4-liter engine and manual transmission earned an EPA rating of 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway). The 2.4-liter engine rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) with FWD and 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway) with AWD. A lower figure than competitors such the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.
The 2018 Fiat 500X gets high marks for its interior. The overall look is appealing, and the quality of the material is better not only found in other Fiat but also larger and the same price range SUV. Soft touch surfaces are found on the armrest and dashboard, and Fiat creates center consoles standard where they can be optional in this class. There’s still some hard plastic on the dash and the door tops, but it seems appropriate for the price.
Fiat also offers modern connectivity for buyers who choose the latest Uconnect system. It works through a 7-inch touchscreen and offers features like remote locking and start, navigation, Yelp search and internet radio via your smartphone, text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities, and with additional cost, Wi-Fi hotspot. Uconnect is easy to operate and understand, it is one of the best infotainment systems on the market.
Since the 2018 Fiat 500X is small, it has less rear space and cargo than other compact hatchbacks like the Mazda 3 and VW Golf. Compared to other subcompact SUVs, its average. The front seats have more than enough headroom and leg room, with optional eight-way power seats that offer a truly impressive level of adjustment even for tall people. The rear seats are sufficient, though an optional sunroof can take up the headroom. There’s enough space for groceries behind the backseat, and folding down the backseat expands to 32.1 cubic feet.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Fiat 500X is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Key competitors include the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf and Toyota CH-R.
The base 500X Pop starts at $20,990 (include a $995 delivery fee). The Trekking trim level begins at $24,680. The highest trim Lounge start at $26,510.