Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - AUTOS -

The cabin it­self is a funky place, with Fiat’s flair for the dra­matic. The Lounge tested fea­tured a body­coloured dash panel, a nice chunky flat-bot­tomed steer­ing wheel, ex­cel­lent front seats with bol­ster­ing and the top-range au­dio sys­tem, com­plete with nav­i­ga­tion. I liked the fact the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem takes a page out of Chrysler’s play­book, which means it is one of the eas­i­est sys­tems to nav­i­gate be­tween func­tions and menus. A job well done.

The 500X’s util­ity is pretty good, de­liv­er­ing 524 litres of cargo space with the 60/40-split seats up­right or 1,438 L with them folded. The floor is rea­son­ably flat and the in­tru­sions into the us­able space have been kept to a min­i­mum. There is also un­der­floor stor­age.

The big plus is the fold-flat front pas­sen­ger seat. When low­ered it al­lows longer items to be car­ried within the cabin with the tail­gate closed. This elim­i­nates the risk of car­bon monox­ide en­ter­ing the cabin.

The 500X is avail­able with two very dif­fer­ent en­gines. The stan­dard unit in the Pop is Fiat’s 1.4-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der, with 160 horse­power and 184 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed man­ual gear­box or op­tional nine-speed au­to­matic. The rest of the lineup uses Chrysler’s larger 2.4-L Tiger­shark Mul­ti­Air four-cylin­der mated to the nine-speed au­to­matic.

While The Tiger­shark is rated at 180 hp, the 175 lb-ft of torque falls short of the tur­bocharged en­gine. In the end,

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