The Fiat 500X has gone on sale, after being unveiled at the Paris motor show in October 2014.
What is it?
The 500X is Fiat’s SUV version of its popular city car, the 500. It is 425cm long, 180cm wide and 160cm tall, making it 70cm longer, 17cm wider and 12cm taller than the regular 500.
It’ll be available in three different trims – Pop, Popstar and Lounge – and there'll be the option of two off-road-focused versions, the all-wheel-drive 500X Cross Plus and the front-wheel-drive 500X Cross.
There will also be a highly specified 'Opening Edition' trim level offered at the start of the 500X's life. Only 500 of these will be sold – 325 will be in two-wheel-drive City Look form, and 175 will be four-wheel-drive Off-Road Look versions.
What engines can I choose from?
There will be three petrol and three diesel engines available at launch.
Petrols include a 109bhp 1.6 with a five-speed manual gearbox and a 138bhp turbocharged 1.4 with a six-speed transmission. Both of these engines come with front-wheel drive, but there’s a 168bhp version of the 1.4 that comes with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.
Front-wheel-drive diesels are available with a 95bhp 1.3-litre engine with a five-speed manual gearbox, and a 120bhp 1.6-litre with a six-speed manual gearbox for the 500X Cross. The AWD 500X Cross Plus has a 140bhp 2.0-litre diesel and either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Each model will have three different driving modes – Auto, Sport and All Weather – which alter the engine response, brake modulation and steering. In the 500X Cross and 500X Cross Plus, ‘All Weather’ will be changed for ‘Traction’. This will create a more aggressive traction control system in the front-wheel-drive models or a quicker transfer of torque to the rear axle on AWD versions.
How much equipment does it come with?
A colour touch-screen called Uconnect comes as standard on all models, with a 5.0-inch screen in Pop trim and 6.5-inch screen for the higher trim levels. Bluetooth, aux-in and USB connections, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition also come as standard on all versions.
TomTom navigation is available as an upgrade on the smaller screen; the larger screen comes with sat-nav as standard.
Uconnect also offers smartphone integration that allows users to access Facebook and Twitter apps, internet radio, weather and traffic information, and news updates from Reuters.
The front-wheel-drive Opening Edition model is based on the 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol in Pop Star trim, which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, climate and cruise controls, and rear parking sensors. The Opening Edition adds 18-inch alloys, tinted rear windows and the Safety Pack and Comfort Pack.
The Safety Pack brings lane assist, a blind-spot warning system, automatic emergency braking and a reversing camera. The Comfort Pack includes keyless entry and engine starting, a front armrest and electric lumbar adjustment on the front seats.
Four-wheel-drive Opening Edition models are based on the 2.0-litre diesel in 500X Cross Plus trim. They get all the equipment of the two-wheel-drive versions, plus the Visibility Pack, which brings automatic lights and wipers, electric door mirrors and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The 2WD version is available only in grey, while the AWD model comes only in red. Both get Opening Edition badges.
How much will it cost?
The entry-level 500X costs £14,595 and the most expensive is £25,845.
The Opening Edition versions cost the same as the models on which they are based, despite their increased equipment levels, meaning the petrol is £17,595 and the diesel is £25,845.
There are also plenty of customisation options; Fiat says there will be 12 exterior colours and eight designs of alloy wheels, as well as a variety of decals and interior finishes.
Can I get a discount?
Target Price savings of up to £1000 can be found on Fiat's similarly sized MPV, the 500L, so it’s possible that deals will be available on the 500X, too.
How good are its rivals?
However, the Renault Captur will provide tougher competition for the 500X, because this stylish and efficient SUV is one of the class leaders.