Fiat 500X 2021 review

The 500X is a funky-looking small crossover sold by Fiat since 2016

£12,639
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Fun styling
  • Decent to drive
  • Good equipment levels

Cons

  • Limited safety kit as standard
  • Not much engine choice
  • Rivals offer roomier interiors
  • MPG

    43 - 48

  • CO2

    122 - 128 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model review

Fiat has had roaring success with its ‘500’ since the model was revived in 2007, proving that modernised retro styling was the way to go. And given the popularity of the standard city car, it’s not hard to see why the Italian firm has expanded its range beyond. In 2009 the convertible 500C was launched, while in a bizarre move Fiat would launch an MPV version – the 500L – in 2013. It would even expand to a seven-seat variant. 

But the real good fortune arrived in 2015 with the arrival of the 500X crossover – a new compact SUV sharing the 500’s iconic looks. Bringing plenty of style to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, buyers could choose it in a more ‘urban’ guise or as a more ‘rugged’ option. Four-wheel-drive versions were even available for a short period of time, while the model’s roomier interior brought it widespread appeal to families.

Latest model

Towards the end of 2018 Fiat would introduce a revised version as part of a mid-life update. Styling changes weren’t huge, though could be spotted by its new LED lights at the front and rear, as well as new bumpers and a skid plate to give it more of a rugged look. The interior is also a bit more upmarket than before, with a restyled cockpit and a more premium-feeling steering wheel. 

A pair of new turbocharged petrol engines was also introduced that maximise efficiency, while at the same time diesel 500X versions were removed from the range. Since then the 500X has spawned various special editions and new trim levels, including a Hey Google trim, S-Design and model celebrating Fiat’s 120th anniversary in 2019. Perhaps the most noticeable addition though is a ‘Sport’ version, which brings more aggressive styling, along with a sportier suspension setup and recalibrated steering system to improve the way it drives.

 

Value for money

The 500X is pretty bang on the money in the crossover class, with prices starting from just under £20,000. Considering the model’s stylish design and reasonably generous equipment levels – rear parking sensors, cruise control and a seven-inch touchscreen are all included – it’s not bad at all. Top-spec versions do get quite pricey, with a Sport model with the top engine costing a steep £26,565. 

Used 500Xs are an attractive proposition, too, with the earliest 2015 examples available from around £7,000 with 50,000 miles on the clock. You might want to spend a bit more if you want a few more luxuries, though. At the time of writing, a facelifted 2018 car could also be had from around £12,000. There are welcome savings to be had by choosing a nearly-new example too, with a six-month-old car available from around £16,000, which is certainly a welcome saving off the original list price. 

Looks and image

Possibly the best thing about the 500X is the way it looks, as Fiat’s successfully managed to apply the well-loved styling of the regular 500 to this SUV without losing any of its charm. With its funky round headlights, neat grille and huge personalisation options, it certainly looks the part, though admittedly it won’t suit everybody. The ‘Sport’ version also successfully offers a racier character to the model, with its sporty bodykit, large alloy wheels and two-tone roof being rather effective. 

That same charm carries on to the 500X’s interior, with its coloured dashboard and chunky buttons and switches all giving this crossover a character of its own. A seven-inch touchscreen features across the range, while the updated steering wheel on facelifted cars is pleasant too. It’s not the most cutting-edge of models in this class though, while rivals like the Mini Countryman and Audi Q2 certainly offer a more premium cabin, admittedly at a cost. 

The 500X is largely quite pleasant to drive too, with well-controlled body lean and sharp steering making it preferable to many others in this class – more so in ‘Sport’ guise that gets a few mechanical changes to improve things further. Just be aware that larger alloy wheels have quite a negative impact on comfort, so if this is a priority it’s worth finding an example with smaller rims. 

Video review

Space and practicality

If you’re coming from the regular 500 and need something roomier, the 500X certainly fits the bill. The boot holds 350 litres, while the rear seats will be suitable for all but the tallest adults. However, it’s certainly not the most spacious model in this class, with the majority of its rivals offering more spacious interiors. 

It’s four star Euro NCAP rating also falls short of rivals, and though recent updates give the model lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition, it misses out on autonomous emergency braking – something that’s commonplace in most cars in this class. 

 

Engines

The latest 500X is available with a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines, both of which are front-wheel-drive. The first is a 1.0-litre unit that’s combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, and allows for a 0-60mph time of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 119mph. 

The top model is a 1.3-litre unit that’s purely available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and produces 148bhp. This allows for a 0-60mph time of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 129mph.

If you’re looking at pre-2018 500X models, the engine choice is quite broad, including a 110bhp 1.6-litre petrol and a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol available with 138bhp or 170bhp. As for diesel, versions available include a 94bhp 1.3-litre unit, a 118bhp 1.6-litre and a 138bhp 2.0-litre. The most powerful diesel and petrol versions were both available with four-wheel-drive too. 

 

Running costs

If you’re looking to keep your running costs down it’s worth taking a look at a used diesel model, with Fiat claiming these can return more than 60mpg, while low CO2 emissions of just 109g/km means you could pay as little £20 in road tax, which isn’t bad at all for a high-riding model like the 500X.

The current petrol options aren’t quite so efficient, though, as Fiat claims around 45mpg, while CO2 emissions ranging from 140g/km and 158g/km really aren’t much to shout about. The one good thing is that these two petrol options are quite evenly matched when it comes to running costs, meaning you won’t be penalised for choosing the more powerful version. 

Things to look out for

Fiat doesn’t have the best reliability reputation and it seems the 500X doesn’t do a lot to rectify this image. Though no major problems are reported, bodywork and electrical niggles are quite common. It could be worth taking out an independent inspection before buying a used example, or making sure an aftermarket warranty is available. 

 

Rivals

The Fiat 500X sits in the hugely contested compact crossover segment, with key rivals for this model including the Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and Seat Arona. If you’d like something with a slightly more upmarket image, the Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman are both worth your consideration, though will be noticeably more expensive to buy.

 

Depreciation

Though Fiats are known for heavy depreciation, the 500X does fare relatively well, and won’t plummet in value quite as steeply as you might expect. That said, if you’re looking at nearly-new examples, you can expect welcome savings of up to around £4,000 off the original list price. 

Which 500X to pick

Cheapest to buy when new

1.0 Urban 5dr

Most MPG

1.0 Urban 5dr

Fastest model (0-60)

1.3 Lounge 5dr DCT

Trims explained

A choice of five trim levels are available on the 500X, including a special edition version. Equipment highlights and prices are as follows.

Pop

Standard equipment is reasonably generous on the 500X, and includes rear parking sensors, cruise control. An electric parking brake and blue dashboard. You also get a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, along with 16-inch alloy wheels, lane assist, traffic sign recognition and a leather steering wheel.

From £19,865

Connect

Upgrading to the Connect adds more stylish touches like larger 17-inch alloy wheels, a matte silver dashboard, LED daytime running lights and tinted windows. You also get automatic lights and wipers, front fog lights and a front centre armrest with a storage compartment.

From £20,765

Hey Google

As part of Fiat’s collaboration with Google, we have this special edition, which adds a range of Google-themed logos and colours, along with further integration of the tech giant’s software.

From £21,765

Cross

Higher spec Cross versions build on the Connect with their more rugged styling, including satin chrome inserts and more rugged-looking bumpers. You also get 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, half leather upholstery and front parking sensors.

From £22,565

Sport

At the top of the range is the Sport, which adopts racier styling thanks to its sports body kit, along with dual chrome exhaust, dark headliner, sports seats and Alcantara steering wheel.

From £24,065

Summary

  1. Funky SUV that shares styling with the iconic 500
  2. Quirky interior
  3. Not the roomiest in its class
  4. Limited engine choice on newer models
  5. Four-wheel-drive available on used examples
  6. Quite good to drive
  7. Relatively good equipment levels…
  8. Though more safety technology could be included
  9. Good value for money
  10. A crossover that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but better rivals are available

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