First drive...

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

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.

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