Fiat 500X 1.6

MultiJet Cross Plus

Fiat 500X, side, moving
Fiat 500X, front, static
Fiat 500X, front, action
Fiat 500X, front
Fiat 500X, side, action
Fiat 500X, side
Fiat 500X, rear
Fiat 500X, rear, action
Fiat 500X, dashboard
Fiat 500X, interior

JUST like BMW'S retro take on the Mini, the Fiat 500 family is growing and the latest addition to the range is the 500X crossover.

When the retro car craze started, some might have accused Fiat of jumping on the BMW bandwagon but the Italian car-maker has very much ploughed its own furrow and in terms of creating a crossover that nods to a bygone age is ahead of the game.

There's no doubting the 21st century Fiat 500 is a great reinterpretation of an automotive icon and has enjoyed deserved success.

It retains all the charisma and character of the original but wraps it up in a modern and desirable package that has seen it fly off the forecourts at a furious rate.

While the MINI range has mushroomed rapidly the 500 family has seen a slightly slower evolution - more measured some might say.

Other than the 500C convertible the first real radical departure was the 500L - a kind of MPV that's achieved fame as the car driven by Peter Kay in the hit sitcom Car Share.

In truth the 500L doesn't really feel like a 500. It's a practical enough vehicle that fulfils a mandate of doing what it says on the tin but lacks any real charm or character.

And though the 500X doesn't feel like a 500 either it somehow manages to hit the spot in the same way the 500 does.

The 500X is Fiat's take on a crossover and sees the car coming with pumped-up bodywork and the option of all-wheel-drive - although this particular version was in a conventional front-wheel-drive set up.

There's an array of funky compact crossovers to choose from these days with cars like the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur leading the pack but the 500X looks like being the car that can really give them a run for their money.

It looks great and while its profile doesn't mark a radical departure from the basic crossover blueprint it has something about it which really sets it apart.

At the same time distinct design flourishes, the front end in particular, help create that instantly recognisable 500 factor.

Cleverly Fiat have opted to create two distinct looks, a city look version which is closer to the 500 or an off-road look which veers more towards traditional SUV styling.

While both could be described as a Fiat 500 on steroids the off road look model is certainly beefier, though buyers will need to be prepared to fork out more - the ranges starting at £18,595 compared to £14,595.

City look trims include Pop, Pop Star and Lounge while the off road look models come in Cross and Cross Plus guises.

On the inside the 500X retains that essential 500 flavour, though it's fair to say it is noticeably more grown-up and sophisticated.

At the centre of the bright and easy to navigate dashboard is a 6.5 inch colour touchscreen and the switchgear, along with features like the door handles and gear knob, have that unmistakable retro look and feel.

The cabin feels open and spacious and rear seat passengers are well catered for.

The boot isn't huge at 355 lites but compares well to hatchbacks if not other compact crossovers.

With the seats down it offers 1,000 litres of load-lugging capacity.

There's a decent range of engines to choose from, including 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrols and an impressive array of diesels - a 1.3-litre, a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre - and a choice of front or four-wheel drive.

This was a mid-range diesel in font-wheel drive form and proved a more than capable all-rounder.

It offered plenty of pulling power from a smooth and refined engine and crucially it also felt fun to drive.

A little different to the standard 500 which scores highly in this regard but offering an excellent driving experience all-round, combining surprisingly agile handling with a comfortable ride.


Fiat 500X 1.6 MultiJet Cross Plus

Price: £21,845

Mechanical:120bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 116mph

0-62mph: 10.5 seconds

Combined MPG:68.9

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 109g/km

Bik rating: 19%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 100,000 miles


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