Lots of adjustability; optional lumbar adjustment would be a wise choice
The Fiat gets a decent range of adjustability, including a broad range of seat-height adjustment. It’s harder to get the right angle on the backrest, because you adjust it by releasing a lever and leaning back and forward; it’s less accurate than electric or rotary controls would be. Electrically adjustable lumbar support and a central armrest are available as part of the reasonably priced Comfort Pack, which is definitely worth adding.
The seats are comfortable enough even on longer journeys, and the pedals are also well placed; it’s one of the better driving positions in this class.
The dashboard is less ideal; most functions are controlled through the touchscreen, which can be a convoluted interface. At least the air-conditioning controls are logical and easy to reach.
Fiat 500X visibility
Thick windscreen pillars, High bootline makes parking tricky
Predictably, the 500X’s semi-high-riding stance gives a good view, so you’re not overly bothered by the fairly chunky front pillars.
Rear visibility is also fine, although there are over-the-shoulder blindspots that you’ll need to be conscious of in lane changes.
The fairly high bootline means you’ll be making good use of the rear parking sensors that are standard on all but base Pop trim.
A Safety Pack is available, and adds lane-departure and blindspot warnings plus a rear-view camera, although it isn’t cheap. It also requires you to add the Comfort Pack, which adds up to a near four-figure cost.
A heated screen is available as part of a Winter Pack, which includes a heated windscreen and steering wheel.
Fiat 500X infotainment
All but base trims get a colour touchscreen, but DAB and nav are expensive on most trims
Avoid the entry-level Pop trim if you can, because it’s the only model that doesn’t have Bluetooth or the standard user-friendly 5.0in colour touchscreen, which responds quickly and is mostly logically laid out. The screen is a bit small, though, and to get a bigger screen in the Fiat you must upgrade to a 6.5in system complete with sat-nav, which is an expensive circa four-figure extra on most trims. Even on top-end Lounge and Cross Plus models, which get navigation as standard, you have to pay extra for the bigger screen. That’s a shame given that rivals such as the Citroen C4 Cactus and Kia Soul, and even the smaller Renault Captur, offer bigger screens with sat-nav as standard in mid-level trims. You also have to pay extra for digital radio on all Fiat 500X models; you get this as standard on plenty of budget-oriented city cars these days.
Still, all models get USB, 12V and auxiliary inputs that are positioned in a dish that’s ideal for storing your phone, and Pop trim and up also get Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming, a multifunction steering wheel, and six speakers. A nine-speaker Beats sound system is expensive but available across the range.
Fiat 500X build quality
Feels like one of the classiest interiors of the urban SUVs
Fiat has a reputation for producing quite cheap-feeling interiors, but the 500X is a departure from this. Plenty of soft-touch materials, and generally good fit and finish make it feel classy – better even than most rivals. The variety of colours and generally interesting dash design means you can make it look quite colourful (at some substantial extra cost if you go to town on the optional design features), or quite subdued depending on what you prefer. Perhaps some of the switch damping and some sharp edges around the seat adjustments let it down a touch, but overall the Fiat is very good in this area.