Family Fiat

Fiat 500X
Fiat 500X, 2018, front, action
Fiat 500X, 2018, side, action
Fiat 500X, 2018, rear, action
Fiat 500X, 2018, front, static
Fiat 500X, 2018, side, static
Fiat 500X, 2018, rear, static
Fiat 500X, 2018, interior
Fiat 500X, 2018, boot, maximum

FROM the outside the Fiat 500X looks pretty cute and cuddly - not unlike its smaller city car sibling.

But then, despite the fact that it's a much bigger car, that was the company's intention.

That said, the X stands up to scrutiny from any angle with very good space inside for four - or five with a bit of a squeeze.

This is a real medium sized family SUV that works beautifully in almost every way.

I recently drove the 1.0-litre turbo version and thoroughly enjoyed it. This car is practical - but it's also fun.

Not only does it have plenty of people room - as it should - but it also has one of the biggest boots in the class. It's also very family friendly in other ways, with a USB port in the back for tablets and loads of storage all around the cabin.

It's well built and cheap to finance and to run, and my contacts in the trade say it has a good reputation for reliability, with no major problems reported.

The 1.0-litre is the smallest engine in the range, which perhaps surprisingly, no longer offers a diesel or four wheel drive.

This follows the sales of the previous model showing that neither was very popular.

The little 1.0-litre Firefly power unit is a three cylinder - like so many others - but it produces enough power for great acceleration when required and it is beautifully willing, smooth and tuneful.

It drives through a lovely, sweet changing six-speed manual and the combination works like a dream.

The engine has a beautiful sound when pressed up the rev range, but there's no need to do so.

It also pulls beautifully from low speeds even in sixthgear, although there, it does have a slight thrum typical of all three cylinder engines.

It's hugely willing and peppy at slower speeds in town, giving good acceleration and is also happy cruising quickly and quietly on the motorway.

It's a lovely car to drive, with a positive feel steering through the corners and very safe handling thanks to good feedback and perfect 50/50 balance from the suspension.

The ride is good at speed, but the Cross Plus model I drove had big alloys and low profile tyres, and these did affect the comfort it town, where I felt every ripple and cat's eye.

Despite the fact that these bigger wheels look better, if you want the best of comfort in almost any car, stick to the smaller wheels and higher profile tyres.

Safety has been upgraded with the latest model and all the models in the range now come with traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed assist cruise control and lane assist systems.

Upper models also have the latest in connectivity, with Fiat's Uconnect seven-inch touchscreen, including Apple CarPlay and Android Autocompatibility and the Cross Plus also gets sat nav as standard.

As with so many cars these days, there is still plenty of personalisation on offer, even including contrasting seats and body-coloured interior trim.

The electric parking brake works beautifully, the clutch is light, and it has automatic lights and wipers, USB and aux, rear parking sensors, stability control, climate, alarm, sunroof and cruise.


Price: £21,300

Mechanical: 120bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 48.7

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 139g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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