Fiat’s 500X Lounge is fun to drive and handles slick roads well, but this compact SUV is so small that it doesn’t offer the same space perks you might be looking for in a sport utility vehicle.
Although the 180-hp, 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is peppy, it’s hamstrung by an overzealous nine-speed transmission. I found the 500X wasted time and effort with constant shifting in the automatic setting. In what appears to be an effort to maximize gas mileage, the transmission felt like it was designed to constantly shift into the highest gear possible.
Luckily, the sport setting solved the problem and had the engine winding out the lower gears before shifting up, which really improved overall performance.
And, if you’re looking for better traction in inclement weather, there’s also a third transmission mode.
Although the 500X has finely tuned steering and a rigid ride, it felt rough on long trips. Engine and road noise was loud, which is fine when you’re scooting around town — but the sound wore on my ears during longer drives.
The test Fiat 500X was equipped with AWD and gripped the road solidly, even on slick surfaces.
The Fiat 500X has a stylish overall appearance and features a new front grille. It has a sharp-looking blue Venezia metallic paint job, 17-inch aluminum wheels, halogen projector headlamps and a Fiat 500 logo in the chrome surround. The tobacco-colored interior is a nice compliment to the metallic blue exterior — which was also splashed across the dashboard. It has leather-trimmed heated seats and a heated steering wheel, both features you’d expect at a price point of $33,380.
There weren’t enough power ports for accessories, but that’s par for the course when it comes to compact cars.
Storage is a sore point, too. It is hard to fit larger items in the rear storage area without removing the cargo cover.
There is a nice bonus storage area under the cargo floor.
Rounding out the features on the 500X are rear park assist and blind-spot monitoring, both features that will soon become dealbreakers if the car is not so equipped.
So, if you’re looking for a cute car for city driving while carry some extra cargo, the Fiat 500X makes sense — but don’t expect to get everything you’d find in other SUVs in this class.
Fuente: Boston Herald