What's the used Fiat 500X estate like?
If you’re a hip young thing, the Fiat 500 is probably a car you’ve long had your eye on. However, you've moved on in life and now you have responsibilities (read: children to transport around) and need something bigger. You like the style of the 500 but need the space of an SUV. So what do you? You take a look at the 500X.
The entry-level petrol 108bhp 1.6-litre petrol and 94bhp 1.3-litre diesel versions are fine if you want something cheap, but we’d suggest going for the more powerful 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel; it has punchier mid-range performance yet its fuel economy is the same as for the smaller 1.3 diesel. There is also a turbocharged 1.4 petrol with 138bhp that’s great for people who don’t do many miles. If you need four-wheel drive, you'll need the 138bhp 2.0 diesel, which has it fitted as standard.
After the 2018 facelift, all diesel 500X engines were dropped and two new petrol engines were introduced to join the carry-over 1.6-litre petrol. The three-cylinder, 118bhp 1.0-litre is fine around town, while the 148bhp 1.3-litre sounds good on paper, but its standard automatic gearbox is reluctant to change down and therefore it doesn't feel as fast as expected.
The ride at town speeds on smaller wheels is rather good, managing to smooth out the bigger bumps and remaining settled over patched-up surfaces. The high-speed ride isn’t quite so supple, though, and can cause the 500X to lurch over mid-corner bumps and undulations. Ultimately, it’s not a car for barrelling into corners because it leans over in to bends on its softly sprung suspension; the 500X suits a more laid-back style.
The amount of grip the 500X provides is decent; you can chuck it into corners with confidence, despite its slightly vague steering. If you need a bit of extra traction for wintry conditions, or perhaps light off-road capabilities, then look for a Cross Plus model. These are fitted with an active four-wheel drive system that will be capable of dealing with the odd muddy track and snow shower.
Unlike the smaller 500, the 500X gets plenty of soft-touch materials inside, and fit and finish is generally good. The variety of colours and its interesting design sets it apart from rivals. It’s certainly more attractive than the sensible but rather plain interior of a Vauxhall Mokka.
Space up front is fine and can only be bettered by the likes of the Citroën C4 Cactus and Skoda Yeti. You get a decent range of adjustability, with plenty of seat height adjustment, although getting the angle right is a trifle fiddly; you have to release a leaver and lean forward and backwards until you find a comfortable posture. Rear leg and head room are ample for two medium-sized adults and the rear doors open up to nearly 90deg, allowing easy access to child seats. The boot isn’t the biggest in the class, but its square aperture and depth of it means loading a pushchair is no problem.
Trim levels begin with Pop that comes with air conditioning, cruise control and electric windows, while Pop Star adds 17in alloys, dual-zone climate control, and a 5in infotainment system. The posh Lounge trim gets bi-xenon headlights and sat nav. For those looking for a hint of SUV styling, the Cross model has chunkier 18in alloy wheels and plenty of extra exterior body cladding, and the Cross plus has keyless entry.
After the facelift, the range was altered to include a new entry-level Urban, which comes with 16in alloys, a 7in infotainment system, air conditioning and cruise control, along with lane-keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition, with speed recognition assistance. Lounge models have bigger 17in alloys, front and rear parking sensors, light and rain sensors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Sport models have larger still 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, Alcantara seats and sporty exterior details. City Cross has exterior body cladding, while Cross Plus adds 19in alloys, a Tom Tom sat nav system and a rear-view camera.
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