Fiat 500X Sport

Firefly

Fiat 500X, dynamic
Fiat 500X, front
Fiat 500X, rear
Fiat 500X, interior
Fiat 500X, controls
Fiat 500X, boot

EVERYONE knows Fiat's best selling 500 model - you can hardly go a mile without seeing one on the road.

So it was a clever idea of the Italian car maker to capitalise on the success of its best selling baby by creating a larger version for drivers who had outgrown the tiny car but wanted something larger but with a similar profile.

So the FIAT 500X was born, with a racy television advert showing a Viagra tablet dropping into the fuel tank of a 500 model and the little car expanding in all directions to form the new bulkier 500X.

And since the launch of that original larger model in 2014 the 500X range too has continued to expand, with the new Sport Firefly model now aimed at drivers who want that little bit extra zip.

Under the bonnet is a 1,300cc four cylinder engine that turns out a sprightly 150bhp ensuring that this Fiat can always stay ahead of the pack.

And with a more distinctive look thanks to body coloured side skirts as well as mirrors, bumper inserts and door handles in contrasting titanium grey and a ride height lowered by some 13mm the Sport lives up to its name.

Inside too there's a sporting bias with a titanium grey dashboard, side hugging sports seats with leather panels and flat bottomed leather and Alcantara steering wheel.

And there are plenty of useful storage areas to cope with life's little necessities, including both an upper and lower glove box. This combined with a boot which accommodate 300 litres of luggage rising to 1,000 litres with the rear seatbacks folded down and a useful double floor system makes the 500X an ideal family car.

A centre set touch screen gives access to most of the onboard systems as well as featuring the satellite navigation system and rear view camera.

The 150bhp model driven here comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox which features paddles behind the steering wheel for when you want to control the gear changes yourself.

But while this sports model is quick off the mark it felt somewhat jerky at low speed in automatic mode and lacking some refinement unlike the lower powered 500X models. Pick up speed and things get better however. Drive it in manual mode and the symptoms disappear altogether.

Wind the gears up and the Firefly really does start to fly at an impressive rate for a 1.3-litre and becomes a really enjoyable drive.

The lowered suspension is on the firm side as you would expect for a car of this nature and that means confident cornering and excellent road holding.

Frequency Selective Damping on the front and rear suspension and adjusted shock absorbers ensures the 500X Sport Firefly goes exactly where you point it with very little body roll.

It's a car which comes with a host of safety features including traffic sign recognition, lane assist, hill holder clutch LED headlights and cruise control with speed limiter.

FAST FACTS

Fiat 500X Sport Firefly

Price: £25,770

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,332cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 9.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.2

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 163g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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