Fiat 500X 1.0 120 Cross Plus

Facelifted cross­over

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - SI­MON DAVIS @si­mon­davisnz

Last year wasn’t the best for the Fiat 500X. Dur­ing the course of 2017, UK sales of the steroidal, cross­over-type cousin to the 500 su­per­mini plum­meted 66% com­pared with 2016. Fewer than 5000 ex­am­ples left dealer fore­courts.

This ob­vi­ously proved to be some­thing of a kick up the back­side for Fiat, as the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer has wasted no time in re­leas­ing this new facelifted model.

There are some mi­nor styling changes, but it’s what’s go­ing on be­neath that retro ex­te­rior and within the cabin that war­rants the most at­ten­tion. Diesel en­gines and four-wheel drive have been dropped from the UK line-up, and Brits can now choose from two petrol en­gines: a 1.0-litre three-pot, driven here, or a 1.3-litre four-cylin­der.

Equip­ment lev­els have been given a boost, with ad­di­tional ac­tive safety sys­tems of­fered as stan­dard, and a 7.0in touch­screen with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto is in­cluded in the £16,995 start­ing price.

The cabin is fairly stan­dard for the class – there are plenty of soft-touch plas­tics and room in the back is snug with­out be­ing overly tight – but there are ar­eas where the 500X is start­ing to show its age, such as the in­te­gra­tion of the ven­ti­la­tion and air-con con­trols. It’s not an of­fen­sive in­te­rior but it doesn’t stand out ei­ther.

There’s enough poke from the 1.0-litre en­gine to en­sure it doesn’t feel to­tally gut­less, and it’ll pull rea­son­ably strongly from about 2200rpm. Be­cause it’s paired with a man­ual gear­box, you have a good amount of con­trol over it too. It’s rea­son­ably quiet and re­fined un­der load and at a cruise as well.

The ride, mean­while, is a touch firm and there’s a de­gree of jos­tle preva­lent at low speeds. This stiffer set-up does make for rea­son­ably im­pres­sive body con­trol through bends, which you turn into with lit­tle in the way of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the oth­er­wise nicely weighted and suf­fi­ciently di­rect steering rack.

The 500X is a like­able enough car, but one that’s not quite as well­rounded as its ri­vals. A Volk­swa­gen T-roc or Seat Arona would still be this tester’s pick.

Even base mod­els get a 7.0in touch­screen with Ap­ple and An­droid phone mir­ror­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.