By Seán Creedon
Fiat launched their neat 500X in 2014 and now they have given this small crossover a mid-life revamp.
There’s nothing unusual about that as most cars tend to get a mid-life makeover, as some humans also do.
Sometimes a revamp job on a car doesn’t look as obvious as a human make-over. If only we could get a new 1.0-litre turbo engine like the 500X has just got.
Naturally there are other changes also, new LED lights at the front and new brake lights at the back, into which is incorporated the body colour of the car.
The 500X is regarded as one of the best spin-offs from the iconic Fiat 500, which was launched over 60 years ago.
My test car came in a very attractive shade of Italia Blue and that colour was replicated on the dash which made for a very bright interior. So many cars I test have black interiors; the blue on the dash was like a breath of fresh air.
The dash area has also been updated to integrate more technology and improve ergonomics. Pride of place goes to the new seven-inch touchscreen which really looks great in the centre of the dash. The touchscreen provides links to several driver assistance safety systems. And the sporty-looking steering wheel is really cute.
The touchscreen provides links to several driver assistance safety systems. And the sporty-looking steering wheel is really cute.
Sometimes my wife has difficulty in adjusting the passenger seats in press cars; last week there was no problem, her seat was easy to move. In the back there is room for two adults, or maybe three children.
Externally the car looks great, especially in that impressive shade of Italia blue and the two roof rails in the Cross version I drove certainly added to the SUV look. Overall the changes are subtle and focus mainly on the lower sections of the car which gets new bumpers.
The 500X Cross version which I drove had aluminium scuff plates front and back which gives the impression of an off-roader.
There are three trims available, Urban, City Cross and Cross. And as with most new cars the more goodies you want the more expensive the car will be.
On the road I found that with 120 brake horse power this was a very lively motor. Last week I had reason to visit the very tight Fleet Street car park in Dublin city centre and it looks like I am not the only one to have left some tyre marks on the narrow approach in the past. But not last week, the 500X navigated those steep inclines with ease and not a scratch on the tyres!
Prices start €21,795. My top of the range Cross model, with some extras, will cost you €24,995. There is also a 1.3-litre engine available and that has an automatic option.
Road tax is €280. The boot is a decent size, but sadly no spare wheel, just a repair kit.
Fiat, who are hugely popular in their native Italy are probably still struggling to improve their reputation in Ireland.
But if you take a test drive in this revamped 500X, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what this neat cross-over has to offer.
And if you don’t like the Italia Blue, it’s also available in 13 other colours.