Fiat’s use of heritage marketing has helped bring some lovely cars to the market. The current Fiat 500 is close enough in design to the original that it brings back memories for many. Like the original Fiat 500, the current iteration is a true city car. Yes, the 2020 model is far more capable on the highway, but the vehicle truly shines in urban environments where space is at a premium.
Over the past decade enthusiasts and fans who appreciate the look of the tiny 500 have had new options from Fiat, including the 2020 Fiat 500X. Larger and more practical than the 500, the 500X small crossover not only gives the consumer more seating and cargo space but all-wheel-drive makes Fiat’s little SUV a better choice in less than ideal weather conditions.
The 2020 Fiat 500X is powered by an all-new 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Fiat’s new powerplant features FCA’s MultiAir valve-actuation technology and engine stop-start technology. The tiny engine is surprisingly powerful, rated at 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is best-in-class. Thanks to the advanced tuning and a disconnecting rear axle, fuel economy is also noteworthy at 24 city / 30 highway.
Fans of the 500 will appreciate the Fiat 500X’s incorporation of heritage-influenced styling cues. To our eyes, the 500X does the best job to date of expanding the proportions of the 500 to date. The larger dimensions mean that squeezing five adults into the 500X is possible, if only for short periods of time. The oversized windows and optional dual-pane sunroof enhance the open feeling of the interior, but make no mistake the 500x is definitely a compact vehicle.
Cargo space is at a premium for a compact crossover SUV, more on par with compact hatchbacks than many of the 500X’s direct competitors. The 14 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats expands to 32 cubic feet when they are folded down, still plenty of room for groceries, backpacks or a couple carry-on bags.
The 2020 Fiat 500X’s Uconnect 4 infotainment system features a 7-inch touchscreen radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth audio. Upgrades include navigation and SiriusXM Radio. Those looking for a bit more will want to investigate the 8-speaker and a subwoofer BeatsAudio premium sound system.
All 500X models come with a standard Rearview camera. Additional available safety features include lane departure warning, front and rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind-spot monitors and rear cross path detection.
The 2020 Fiat 500X starts at $24,590 plus fees.