Fiat 500X Cross

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

WITH the exception of Italy the UK is the biggest market for Fiat's best selling baby the 500.

So it's hardly surprising that when the Italian car maker launched a much bigger version in the shape of the 500X it was well received here. After all, young 500 drivers eventually start families and need more space in their car.

With the 500X there are two styles to select from, a more rugged looking version in Cross and Cross+ spec or a more city-like version in Pop, Pop Star and Lounge trim.

Either way you get a tall, spacious, family five-door that looks like a 500 on steroids.

In fact this Italian crossoverr is larger than many of its competitors including the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

Cross trim+ is the tough looking four-wheel-drive version but the Cross trim model I tried is two-wheel-drive yet retains much of the off-road look about it including black mouldings over the wheel arches, a black moulding under the rear for underbody protection and roof rails.

All 500X models are well equipped and this particular car not only had heated front seats but a heated steering wheel too.

Other features included satellite navigation, dual control air conditioning and the facility to change the ride with a centrally mounted dial which offered auto - more of a comfort setting, sport and a superior grip mode for driving in slippery conditions like snow.

Smart alloy wheels and heavily tinted privacy glass in the rear side windows all add to the smart appearance.

Inside there's a traditional three dial dashboard as well as a centrally mounted touch screen for numerous on-board features including the sat nav.

Large front seats with bulky side bolsters are especially comfortable and hold you firmly in place on tight bends and on the driver‘s there is an electrically operated lumber support.

There's plenty of flexibility when it comes to luggage space thanks to a double decker boot - offering 350 litres of space - and the ability to lower the back seats flat to boost it to 1,000 litres.

And on the inside the 500X is one of those rare cars to offer two glove boxes - an upper and a lower one - to ensure you can tuck your valuables out of side.

Getting in and out of the 500X is easy because of the additional height, which also helps with all round vision.

On the move the 1.6-litre engine is responsive and has plenty of torque even in the auto setting. Change the dial to Sport and you instantly feel the car surge ahead.

In Sport the 500X becomes really sharp and the whole persona of the car changes.

There is some roll on corners but there is still plenty of grip and even at high speed this is one quiet car thanks to generous use of sound absorbing material.

FAST FACTS

Fiat 500X Cross

Price: £20,245

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: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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