2017 Fiat 500X Review

2017 Fiat 500X Road Test, Review

It’s not often I drive a car that almost completely changes my perception within a few days however the Fiat 500X Lounge 4X4 did just that.

My first impressions admittedly though were as a passenger along Parramatta rd. at peak hour, probably one of Sydney’s worst arterial roads.

However the next day I went for a drive and almost immediately this urban warrior started to grow on me.

I later opted for a Saturday afternoon drive up the northern peninsula to Palm Beach, where the rich and famous have their holiday houses.

Surprisingly this very chic AWD SUV was quite popular with the locals and tourists alike.

Sitting in a fish and chip shop overlooking Pittwater I noticed just how many people both walking and driving past, either stopped for a better look or looked sideways from their car as they passed.

Yes the style gets a big tick.

While the Fiat is marketed as a 4X4 in reality it is a beefy inner city warrior. So let’s assume that the majority, well, all drivers probably will utilise the 4X4 feature for safety, wet weather and weekend trips to the snow.

The exterior as mentioned is stylish, well balanced and muscular. Internally it is a surprise and a combination of both good and bad as only the Italians could do.

The height and reach adjustable steering wheel in the Fiat 500X feels great in the hands with easy to use controls and good visibility for both the control stalks and the three ring dash.

The central larger dial houses the MFD and I found myself almost exclusively using this for speed and DTE.

The hard metal dashboard divided opinion.

The 6.5 inch centre screen houses the U Connect Bluetooth, sat-nav and is the heart of the outstanding ‘Beats’ audio system. Below that are the controls for A/C, hazard lights, stop start, USB etc.

There is reasonable storage with dual glove boxes, lower one lockable, bottle holders in the padded doors and central cup holders with a small but useful centre storage bin. Rear seats have useful door bottle holders.

The driver’s seat is manually adjustable for both slide and tilt but does have a handy electronic lumbar support that was very welcome.

Front occupants have plenty of room. Rear passenger’s seats are better for two than three, are a little upright and firm with a flat squab and have no separate A/C vents.

Boot space is as you would expect but flexible with fold down 60/40 rear seats that fold almost flat and a couple of handy tie down points.

Powering the 2017 Fiat 500X 4X4 is the 125kW version of Fiat’s 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II, paired with a ZF nine- speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Fiat’s “mood selector” allows a choice between three driving styles. Options are: Auto – Sport - All Weather.

The ride is generally smooth but on uneven surfaces (such as Parramatta rd.) can be choppy and pitchy.

Safety is a feature with the latest active safety systems available to improve handling and assist the driver, including sophisticated ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) systems.

Fiat in their marketing hypo blurb mention over 60 safety features, however mention should be made of a few.

The BSM system emits a loud buzzing sound when you may be changing lanes on another vehicle.

That is good apart from the fact that is scares the bejesses out of you and that it is super sensitive, buzzing when you are way passed the car or in fact when nothing is there at all.

The FCW systems works brilliantly, as I found out. Thank you Fiat.

Overall I have to say I really enjoyed driving the 500X.

There is something about it that transcends metal, it has character and that flows through to being fun to drive.

Without treading on the Fiat marketers I can see this vehicle being ideal for the couple of inner city dwellers that like to travel on weekends and escape the city without being too adventurous off road. For that it is ideal.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Fiat 500X Lounge

  • Engine: 1.4 litre petrol developing 125kW and 250Nm
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Italy
  • Price: from $41,282

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