Funky and fun Fiat

family transport

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

ISN'T it time everyone driving without insurance was automatically jailed for a week and lost their licence for three months?

It would be a great deterrent to the estimated million plus drivers out on the roads without any cover - a number that seems to be rising every time statistics are released.

Insurance is part of owning a car. Look up the cost first and shop around. If you can't afford it, don't buy the car.

Only low lives with no morals drive without insurance as far as I'm concerned and they put premiums up for everyone else.

These thoughts came to mind reading my local paper recently as I sat in the Fiat 500X small SUV, waiting for she who must be obeyed, and read of drivers being slapped on the wrist in court for driving without insurance.

Although the 500X uses the same moniker as the funky little 500, they share nothing apart from that.

It's very smooth and svelte looking with a family sized interior and more than acceptable performance.

The 1.0-litre, three cylinder turbo engine is very free revving and willing, pulling hard from 2,000 revs and well from lower down.

But under 1,800, there is a thrum if the accelerator is pushed too hard, even though it does respond well.

It's very smooth and sounds lovely when revved, pulling happily from 1,400 in thirdor fourthgear with a slight thrum.

But ask it for acceleration in fifthor sixth under 2,000 revs and that thrum from the three cylinder engine gets much worse.

But on a very gentle accelerator it will trickle along happily in sixthgear just above tickover.

You just have to remember to change down to fourthif you need serious acceleration and urge in thirdis marvellous for overtaking, when it's happy pulling hard uphill and feels absolutely brilliant.

The engine is wonderfully smooth above 2,000 revs, willing and tuneful and sounds very much like a six cylinder as the revs rise.

The six-speed gearbox is easy and precise, the clutch as light as a feather and the brakes are excellent.

The road-holding and handling are also excellent for a tall car and it doesn't lose traction through a corner even when pushed much harder than most people are likely to.

Grip is fantastic and the precise steering comes with good feel that instils confidence.

The car I drove is front wheel drive, but there are a couple of all wheel drive models at the top of the range.

Comfort is good at speed and also generally around town. It takes speed humps very easily but there is a little bump-thump from the tyres over imperfections.

As is often the case with Fiat there is a very wide array of models in the range, including many special editions with added value, plus more and less powerful engine choices.

The cabin is funky and comfortable place with a simple design incorporating the body colour across the dash.

There's a 7.0-inch touchscreen at the top of the centre console that has modern, good-looking graphics, but the TomTom sat-nav was a little slow.

Apple CarPlayandAndroid Autoare compatible with the Uconnect system that's fitted as standard, and, if you have a smartphone, you can use the mapping on that instead.

Equipment in the range-topping Cross Plus I drove is very good and includes climate control, cruise, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and camera, automatic start stop, remote locking, phone connection, multi-function steering wheel, USB sockets and a false floor in the boot to increase its size.

FAST FACTS

Price: £21,500

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

Max Speed:117mph

0-62mph: 0.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 48.7

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions:136g/km

Bik rating:31%

Warranty:3yrs/100,000 miles

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