The Fiat 500X doesn’t have the broad variety of engines that you get in the Skoda Yeti, but most will find an engine that suits.
There’s a choice of petrol or diesel engines. The range kicks off with a 1.6 petrol, and is followed by a turbocharged 1.4 petrol that comes with two power outputs; the higher-powered 1.4 comes with an automatic gearbox. Then there’s the 1.6 diesel that will be the most popular.
We’ve driven the front-wheel-drive lower-powered 1.4, which is sweet-revving and builds speed well once the turbo start to do meaningful work at about 1800rpm. This model is our pick of the range for private buyers.
The 1.6 diesel feels just as nippy in real-world use, picks up better from low revs, and is much more efficient, so is the better buy for company car buyers.
We’re yet to try the four-wheel drive model with its 2.0-litre diesel, or the high-powered 1.4 petrol and entry-level 1.6 petrol.
Fiat 500X ride comfort
Good around town, a bit unsettled at high speeds
Ride comfort around town is very good, provided you stick with smaller wheels. It smooths over big bumps, and stays fairly settled over patched-up surfaces.
What’s less ideal is the high-speed ride, because the 500X becomes a bit fidgety and prone to lurching about over mid-corner bumps and undulations.
Bigger wheels can also make it more sensitive to poor town roads, too. Still, in general it’s a comfortable thing that’ll suit laid-back driving, particularly at urban speeds.
Fiat 500X handling
Lots of body movement, but composed and secure regardless
The softly sprung Fiat 500X suffers lots of body-lean through bends, which could make anyone prone to travel sickness feel a bit dodgy, but it’s not overly noticeable in normal driving.
It has plenty of grip, and you can place it precisely in corners, even though the steering is a bit vague. Still, it’s light and easy for tight parking manoeuvres, so overall the 500X is easy and pleasant to drive in any everyday situation.
If you do want the 4x4 capability, you have two options. There’s a 500X ‘Off-road-look’ model, which can be had with a clever front-wheel-drive system that has an off-road stability system to help it on loose surfaces and in mild off-road situations. Then there’s the Cross Plus model, which comes with a proper active four-wheel-drive system.
Fiat 500X refinement
Petrol is best, but don’t discount the diesel
The manual 1.4-litre 500X is the more refined of the two models we’ve tried. The engine revs smoothly and stays hushed unless you really wring it out towards the red line, while wind and tyre noise are kept to a distant, easily ignored background hum.
It’s noisier in the diesel, which sounds guttural and intrusive under anything more than moderate acceleration. That said, it settles in steady driving situations and is no worse than most equally noisy diesel rivals.
There’s also a bit more vibration through the pedals and steering wheel in the diesel, although both get a light clutch pedal and slick, if long-throw, gearshift.
The entry level petrol, which is only available with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive on the City Look 500X models. We’re yet to drive it.
Our pick 1.4 Multiair II 140hp
Our pick of the range for private buyers, thanks to its sweet-revving nature, good refinement and punchy performance, and a substantially cheaper purchase price than the diesel. Consider the diesel if you do high mileage, though, because this engine is unlikely to be very economical.
1.4 Multiair II 170hp
Only available with the off-road-oriented Traction Plus stability aid, and as the butch-looking Off Road model line, with an automatic gearbox. It’s a pricey option that promises to appeal to a very niche set of requirements. We’re yet to drive it.
The core diesel engine that most buyers will opt for, and should be the default option for company car buyers thanks to the low emissions and tax it offers. Punchy mid-range performance, a satisfying gearshift and fair refinement (by diesel standards) makes this a good choice all-round.
The range-topping diesel engine, complete with four-wheel drive. Pricey, if temptingly well equipped. We’re yet to drive it.