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Review: Fiat 500X

CAR OF THE WEEK: Fiat 500X, price range: £15,175–£26,395 (image credit: Fiat)

WHILE IT did not lift me off my feet, Fiat’s 500X did leave an impression on me.

The Fiat 500X arrived in 2014 looking like a butch SUV version of the 500 city car. Put the two side-to-side, though, and the 500X looks significantly bigger.

If a crossover is defined as a car with tough, off-road looks allied to supermini running costs, then the Fiat 500X is its very embodiment.

The 500X looks like one of the best-rounded cars that Fiat has produced in many a year – and a serious contender in its class thanks to all-round competence and ability.

Capitalising on the charming Fiat 500 hatchback’s popularity, the 500X is a larger, five door machine that takes on many a manufacturer who have been in the mini 4x4 sector for some time now.

The Fiat 500X is offered in two distinct guises, the urban-focussed City Look and a more rugged Off-Road Look Cross. The latter can be chosen with either front-wheel drive layout found in the City Look, but fortified by Fiat’s Traction Plus system to help in tough conditions, or a four-wheel drive system, though either are more comfortable dealing with a soggy campsite than a jungle track.

Trim levels are different for the two models as the City Look comes in Pop, Pop Star and Lounge spec, while the Off-Road Look is available is Cross or Cross Plus trim. Not everyone will fall for the cutesy looks, but those who do will find it a practical lifestyle accessory.

Much like its exterior, the interior of the Fiat 500X has been given a less chic, more grown-up tweak in comparison with the city car that so clearly inspired it. You still get the cutesy rounded panels and uncluttered control layout, but there’s a bit more of a mature feeling in the 500X. Part of that is down to the Fiat 500X being a far more spacious car – as in, unlike the regular 500, it can actually accommodate more than two people in comfort at a time.

There is good head space and leg room for driver and passengers whether they be in the front or rear, which always has to be a consideration for today’s family-orientated world.

Fiat’s website suggests that this fashionable vehicle has ‘the allure of Italian style and the intrinsic values of the 500, a global icon, married through contemporary design in a SUV with an elegantly metropolitan spirit.’

After seven days’ evaluation I’d have to say that the adjectives superbly sum up the 500X.

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