In a world filled with largely forgettable crossovers, the brightly colored 2018 Fiat 500X offers Italian style, all-weather handling, and a fair amount of utility at a surprisingly attainable price. It also comes with a wide variety of optional safety and technology features that help it stand out from the competition.
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2018 FIAT 500X Overview
What's New for 2018
For 2018, Fiat has made the seven-inch UConnect infotainment system standard across all trims, giving all 500X models access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without requiring a pricey upgrade.
Choosing Your FIAT 500X
The Fiat 500X is actually the Italian cousin of the Jeep Renegade, with both vehicles sharing a plant in Italy. That being said, the two vehicles have very different feels. Where the Jeep is rugged and boxy, the 500X feels like you're inside a fashionable jelly bean; they're two different cars for two different types of people.
Despite the differences, the 500X and Renegade share their powerplants. The 500X comes with a 160-horsepower ,1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder and a six-speed manual transmission in the base trim level, a rarity for crossovers and SUVs. Higher trim levels get a nine-speed automatic and a larger 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that puts out 180 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all trim levels have access to all-wheel drive for $1,900 more.
Additionally, all trims have access to extensive options, such as a dual-pane sunroof for $1,250 or an upgraded audio system by BeatsAudio.
Believe it or not, the base Pop trim is the most fun to drive. While it may have a smaller, less powerful engine, it's actually faster than the other trims to 60 mph by a full second due to it's lighter weight and relatively high torque. The manual is also in many ways preferable to the nine-speed automatic, as many complain about the automatic's tendency to be jerky and indecisive in an attempt to maximize fuel economy.
2018 FIAT 500X Review
Subcompact crossover sport utility vehicles represent one of the fastest growing vehicle segments in America. The 2018 Fiat 500X is one such model, delivering standard front- and available all-wheel drive along with a standard turbo engine.
The 2018 Fiat 500X comes in four trims: Pop, Trekking, Urbana, and Lounge. Most shoppers choose the top Lounge trim as it comes well equipped and routinely offers the best discounts. We recommend the Lounge in front-wheel drive, although some customers in snowy climates may prefer all-wheel drive.
- Model: 2018 Fiat 500X Lounge
- Engine: 2.4-liter inline-four
- Output: 180 hp / 175 lb-ft
- Transmission:Nine-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 22 city / 30 hwy
- Options: 18-inch aluminum wheels ($495), leather-trimmed bucket seats ($900)
- Base Price:$26,510 (including the $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$27,905
The 2018 Fiat 500X offers two engine choices: a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four making 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter inline-four with 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The base engine comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the larger engine works with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
This two-engine choice serves the 500X well, although the lack of an automatic transmission option with the base model immediately has a significant number of buyers looking at models powered by the larger engine. Regardless, we think most customers would prefer the 2.4-liter engine anyway as it delivers the best off-the-mark acceleration.
Fuel economy comes in at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Neither number is especially impressive, however.
Fiat has a certain style that’s successfully applied to each of its models. The Fiat 500 is the trendsetter with the 500L and 500X following. As for the 124 Spider, it represents Fiat’s take on its Mazda derivative.
The 2018 500X advances the brand’s circular theme with its large rounded headlights, big wheel arches, and clamshell liftgate. It's a fun and iconic look, one that offers a tribute to the original canvas, while applying it to a thoroughly modern crossover theme.
Inside, the design is no less dramatic with the circular theme applied nearly everywhere – to the instrument panel, center console, door handles, and headrests. The look is playful and youthful at the same time. The 500X lounge offers premium cloth seats, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, an eight-speaker audio system, navigation, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The Best and Worst Things
Some may find the 500X’s styling too sedate. It shares its same platform with the Jeep Renegade, which may explain why the Jeep outsells the Fiat by a 10-to-one margin. Then again, the Jeep is the one with the true and available off-road credentials – you’ll want to utilize the all-wheel-drive 500X on light-duty off-road applications only.
Right For? Wrong For?
Anyone desiring the added utility and available all-wheel-drive capabilities of the 500X will shop this model against competitors from Mazda, Chevrolet, Honda, and the rest.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for optimum fuel efficiency, only the base model with the manual transmission will do. We’re disappointed the nine-speed automatic doesn’t deliver the efficiency edge customers may want.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Fiat 500X takes the brand in a fresh direction, but the competition is fierce. For this reason, discounts are typically strong, lowering your final costs to rival the best prices in the segment.