Fiat 500X 4x4 - Used

Car Review

Fiat 500X, front
Fiat 500X, nose
Fiat 500X, rear
Fiat 500X, rear, static
Fiat 500X, interior
Fiat 500X, dashboard

IT all started in 1957 with the little Fiat 500, a cheap-to-buy, cheap-to-run, yet practical rear-engined city car.

Sadly, it finally met its demise in 1975.

But surprise, surprise, come the 50th anniversary of the car's original launch, Fiat gave us another 500, this time with the engine up front and powering the front wheels.

With its retro styling reminiscent of the original, this little masterpiece quickly gained a huge following throughout the world.

Then, it was followed by the 500L multi-purpose vehicle, a 500L Trekking and seven-seater 500L MPW.

Then the final piece in the current 500 jig-saw hit our shores in the form of the compact 500X crossover, and like the rest of the current 500 range, has clear links to the 1957 original.

From its launch in 2014, two distinct models made up the 500X range in the form of an elegant urban version in three specifications along with a more rugged looking version in Cross and Cross Plus spec which included an off-roading, all-wheel-drive version.

The newcomer was available with a wide range of powertrain options. Front-wheel-drive petrol-powered models were fitted with either a 110bhp E-torQ 1.6-litre engine or a 1.4-litre 140bhp turbocharged MultiAir II unit.

Diesel choices were either a 120bhp 1.6-litre turbo MultiJet II or a similarly-powered two-litre MultiJet II, which was reserved solely for the all-wheel-drive version. It came available with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

The 500X kicked off with the Pop version. Sitting on 16-inch wheels it was decently equipped with body-coloured bumpers, cruise control with speed limiter, electric windows, remote central locking, air conditioning, height-adjustable driver's seat and, like its larger siblings, body-coloured dashboard.

Moving up the range, the Pop Star version added 17-inch alloys, body-matching door mirrors, fog lamps, climate control, rear parking sensors and five-inch Uconnect infotainment system which allowed those on board to sync their smartphone in order to keep in contact with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter, or listen to an endless list of music tracks through Deezer.

Pop Star trim offered a wider choice of engines, including the 1.6-litre MultiJet II diesel and the 1.4-litre MultiAir II with either manual or DDCT transmissions.

Lounge versions added HID headlights, 18-inch alloys, chrome-effect exterior styling kit, an adjustable front armrest, ambient interior lighting pack and 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment system with satellite navigation.

A Drive Mode Selector allowed for three different modes of engine performance, power steering settings and ESC calibration, allowing drivers to select between Auto, Sport and All Weather, depending on road conditions.

All-wheel-drive versions, which started in Cross trim, also incorporated goodies such as 3D navigation, adjustable cargo floor, 3.5-inch TFT colour display and ambient interior lighting.

And it could be argued that the 300X was the finest vehicle to ever sport a Fiat badge, and it certainly looked the part as it steered the brand into a totally new sector.

My first encounter with the 500X was in the range-topping two-litre MultiJet II diesel, all-wheel-drive version.

First impressions were just how quiet it was out on the road. With little tyre or wind noise to spoil the drive, it also proved highly-refined thanks mainly to its unique-in-class nine-speed gearbox.

No diesel clatter, yet smooth and fleet on the hoof, this machine proved a joy on both undulating A-roads and on fast motorways alike.

And out on the Italian maker's own tough off-road test track, the 500X passed the test with flying colours, taking the slippy course with its deep water holes, steep inclines and muddy tracks firmly in its stride, proving it to be a decent enough match for the likes of the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and Skoda Yetis of this world.

With its high crossover stance, extensive list of safety features and nicely-designed cabin with quality fixtures and fittings, this fab little Fiat has brought a whole lot of X Factor to the sector since it hit the streets a couple of years ago.

Used examples are now showing up in used car showrooms and a 2014 64-plate 500X 2.0-litre all-wheel-drive example in Cross trim with 40,000 miles on the clock are available with a price tag of between £11,175 and £13,225, while an automatic version will add around £500 to the above prices.

Similar aged Cross Plus versions will come in at between £11,915 and £14,105 while auto versions will still command the extra premium.

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