There is a bit of a bewildering line up of 500s now – not like in the 1960s heyday of the original – so you may say do we need another one?
Well yes – as the 500X offers something different from the rest of the range, including a 4x4 option.
The 500X is a compact crossover and an important car for Fiat as they expect it to be one of their best sellers in the UK.
Physically it is a world away from that original, tiny 1960s 500 – for a start it is almost twice the size and immeasurably more practical and comfortable.
And there are a multitude of models – from the basic 500X Pop with a 1.6, 110bhp petrol engine up to a 2.0 MultiJet 140bhp diesel Cross Plus 4x4. There are also Pop Star, Lounge and Cross trim levels plus 1.6, 120bhp diesel and 1.4 MultiAir turbo petrol engine options.
Like all modern Fiats there is a long list of personalising options with 12 different colours and a range of interior trim choices plus 11 different alloy wheels and eight option packs – which means very few 500X cars will be exactly the same.
All the latest electronic aids are also on offer as either standard or options including radar operated brake control, lane assist, blind spot warning and inside is Fiat’s Uconnect entertainment and sat-nav system.
I got the chance to try the 1.4 turbo petrol version on a 60-minute drive through some beautiful North Yorkshire villages and twisty moorland roads and was pleasantly surprised by the power from the car’s MultiAir power plant (140bhp) and its crisp 6-speed gearbox.
The 500X handled very well and rode over some challenging surfaces with no fuss. Certainly it will be a contender in this hard-fought sector.
There was also the chance for some light off-road testing with a 4x4, 2.0 diesel version and despite it being an automatic and having normal road tyres the 500X tackled steep, slippery grass slopes and deeplyrutted tracks with aplomb.
Prices start from just under £15,000 up to almost £26,000 and watch out in our Motors section over the coming weeks for a full road test report.