2016 Fiat 500X Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Compact crossover SUV
  • Designed and built in Italy
  • Shares platform with Jeep Renegade
  • On sale in summer of 2015

Introduction

A member of a rapidly expanding subcompact crossover SUV segment, the 2016 Fiat 500X shares its platform and powertrains with the Jeep Renegade, replacing that model's boxy styling and rugged interior design with Italian style and sensibilities.

Offered in Pop, Easy, Lounge, Trekking, and Trekking Plus trim levels, the new 500X will compete with a number of models when it goes on sale in the summer of 2015. Those models include the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Juke, and Subaru XV Crosstrek.

Exterior Features

Designed and built in Italy on an assembly line alongside the Jeep Renegade, the new Fiat 500X displays what Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) characterizes as signature Cinquecento design themes. Buyers can choose one of the two Trekking trim levels for a more "adventurous" appearance.

Interior Features

Employing what FCA calls "purposeful and distinct Italian design," the new 500X features circular 3-gauge instrumentation immediately in front of the driver, a body-color instrument panel, and pods above and below central air vents that contain the infotainment and climate controls.

Cargo space measures 18.5 cu. ft. behind the rear seat. Fold the rear seat down and the 500X can swallow up to 50.8 cu. ft. of cargo. A fold-flat front passenger's seat is standard on all versions of the 2016 500X, helping to expand cargo capacity.

Optional Features

Options for each of the Fiat 500X trim levels are grouped into stair-step packages, meaning you must purchase one before the other. Depending on the trim level, highlights include a number of infotainment and safety-related upgrades, as well as dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, windshield wiper de-icer, power dual-pane sunroof, leather seats, and more.

Under the Hood

The Fiat 500X will have a standard turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, the same motor that is installed in the 500L multi-purpose vehicle and the 500 Abarth performance models. The engine makes 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available from 2,500 rpm to 4,400 rpm. The only transmission available with this engine is a 6-speed manual gearbox.

A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is available and is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It generates 180 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque, and the optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system features a rear-axle disconnect design in order to improve fuel economy. Auto, Sport, and Traction Plus powertrain settings are available.

Safety

Though the new Fiat 500X will compete in an entry-level segment of the crossover SUV market, it will be available with a long list of sophisticated safety systems. In addition to such expected features as a reversing camera and rear park-assist sensors, the 500X can be equipped with automatic high-beam headlights and Uconnect Access service including 911 Assist.

In addition to these upgrades, the 500X can be fitted with a blind-spot monitoring system including rear cross-path detection, full-speed-range forward-collision warning system with active braking capability, and a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist technology.

Technology

Fiat 500X buyers can choose between two Uconnect touch-screen infotainment systems. The Uconnect 5.0 system, optional for the Pop version and included on Easy and Trekking trim levels, includes Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, satellite radio, and a free 5-year subscription to Uconnect Access Via Mobile, which allows owners to stream Internet radio through their smartphone.

A Uconnect 6.5 system is optional, equipping the 500X with a larger, high-resolution touch-screen display as well as a navigation system, real-time traffic reports, HD Radio, voice-recognition technology, and voice-text reply capability.