Fiat 500X Marks the Spot

Third Fiat model arrives stateside next year.

Fiat 500X

The Fiat brand is slowly taking hold in the US with two 500 variants currently serving the market. First, we had the tiny 500 and its multiple model lines, then the larger 500L followed. A third line, the Fiat 500X, was introduced this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. It represents an all-new crossover for the 2016 model year.

2016 Fiat 500X

The Fiat 500X was introduced just one day after Mazda took the wraps off of its own compact utility vehicle, the CX-3. Fiat and Mazda will compete with the Nissan Juke, a model that has been credited with getting the segment going when it emerged on the scene in 2011.

“The Fiat 500X will significantly expand the reach of the FIAT brand in North America,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand North America, Chrysler Group LLC. “The all-new 500X delivers the Italian design and personality that we are known for, along with an unprecedented level of equipment and technology. In addition, it will be the first vehicle in our portfolio to offer an advanced all-wheel-drive system that will provide customers with peace of mind in all driving conditions.”

The standard engine for the Fiat 500X is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder rated 160 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque. It is the same engine found in other Fiat models.

Customers can also choose a 2.4-liter four cylinder naturally-aspirated engine making 180 horsepower and 175 foot-pounds of torque. The base engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission; the larger engine gets a nine-speed automatic transmission. It is with the larger engine where customers can opt for all-wheel drive.

Fiat 500X

Roomy Interior

Fiat is making a big deal about passenger room with the 500X, saying that it comes “with comfortable setting for five.” That may or may not be a slap at the Juke, a crossover best suited for two or with two little ones in the back seat. Likely, the Mazda CX-5 will offer comparable seating room to the Fiat — let’s see how Nissan responds when the next generation Juke comes out in a year or two.

Fiat also says that the the 500X comes with up to 70 standard and available safety and security features. Stability control, hill-start assist, electronic roll mitigation and seven airbags are included with all models. Also available is forward collision warning, lane sense departure warning, blind spot warning and rear cross path detection.

This model makes available Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen color display, navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio, keyless entry, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Fiat 500X

Trim Levels and Packages

Five trim levels will be offered, including the familiar Pop, Easy and Lounge editions. Trekking and Trekking Plus are new to the brand and come with unique front and rear fascias, along with satin silver accents.

Other features available will include: automatic headlamps, fog and cornering lights, a power sunroof, tinted glass, a rear wiper, dual-zone climate control, cloth or leather seats, ambient lighting, audio system packages, a power driver’s seat, tire upgrades and wheel choices.

Fiat will also offer at least 20 package upgrades, with most corresponding to the trim level selected. For example, the Trekking Plus Collection 1 package brings in a dual-pane sunroof and an eight-speaker Beats audio system.

Anticipated Release Date

Fiat Chrysler says that the 500X, built in Melfi, Italy, will go on sale in the first half of 2015. It will be marketed in more than 100 countries worldwide. Pricing and other details will be provided closer to its release date.

Photos courtesy of Fiat Chrysler.

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Matthew Keegan
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