A queen! My little readers will say immediately. No, petrolheads, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of metal. It was not an expensive piece of metal. Far from it. Just a common block of steel, one of those thick, solid curved plates that are used in the mid-century.
From the Fiat 600 to the Fiat 500X
Back in the 60s, when Fiat decided to launch a car that really answer people needs. We don’t talk about the famous Fiat 500 but the forgotten Fiat 600. Unlike its predecessor, it offered 4 real seats in a compact and cheap car. It is the perfect car for southern Italians who work in the north and come back in the south with their entire family for the summer. Today nothing has really changed. The 500 is still a little city bourgeois car and the 600 (finally the 500X), is the family version. Except weight and height (SUV trend) it inherits large 17 inch rims, a high ground clearance, a high grille and a huge red X.
First time we heard about the 500X we thought, “Wow, a Fiat 500 is going to be wild! “. Well no, the 500X is not 4×4, is not a rocket and will see nothing but bitumen between school, supermarket and home. Too bad.
After 4 years of existence, we put our prejudices aside and we dared to get aboard the new Fiat 500X! From the outside we obviously feel the 500 touch, all reminder the best sealer. Even the colors available are less dolce vita and more serious. Big crush for the front face of the Cross version which presents an integrated bumper which looks like a strong bull bar, with imitation brushed aluminum finish, that gives an evil air to the 500X (not the one we tested). The angry new front light, unpainted wheel arches and large 17 or 18 inch rims get the job done, specially the Machined ones (not the ones we got). Finally, the integration of the latest 500 perforated rear lights makes the X version a more modern look.
In the new, not so new, Fiat 500X
We are not lost in translation. The interior is very close to what we already knew: full plastic. The dashboard is a good and nice reminder of the body paint, but also the only element that brighten up the cabin. The new steering wheel falls well despite a high driving position that actually gives a good view of the road and a sense of security but also the impression of driving a small truck.
Far from Turin where she was born, we are going to Belgium to test the newest creation (improvement) of the small (not so small) Italian crossover. On the road the gearbox is short and pleasant. The new 1.0 FireFly Turbo T3 engine is nice, it is low-end discrete, flexible and versatile (finished diesel engines, congrats guys). When we go up in the rpm it becomes expressive and nothing else happens. Thanks to the 120 cv we got. At high speed, it could be a little noisy. Very clearly the car is not made for that, but still nice in town and in cruising mode on the highway. Meanwhile, when you go fast on ridding roads, you feel the soft and flexible suspension, very flexible. You must to place and rebalance the weight. Comfort is obviously the priority. At the gas station we have a big smile (which happens very rarely), only 6 liters/100 kilometers. However, we would love to use this 6 liters to have more fun on the road.
The 500X is getting bored!
Equipment on board proves it. The great novelty comes from the detection of signs and the adaptive controller: always more comfort, technology, safety and weight. Honestly, it’s not a revolution but it has the merit of bringing the 500X into the 21st century.
This Fiat 500X is not the most “dolce vita”, the most powerful, the most beautiful, the most luxurious, the most technological … But probably one of the most successful mini Urban SUV thanks to its noble lineage 500. Indeed, it has a little something that reminds us of those beautiful years of carelessness. Same time where the good fathers transformed simple popular family cars into charming little rockets…
Is the Fiat 500X a fun to drive car?
No. Actually the Fiat 500X look is too far from the driving behavior. At a time when every premium manufacturer is launching a radical version of its SUV, Fiat could play the mini sport SUV card. For us, the 500X would have deserved a sportier and more wild version. Here is the recipe:
- less unnecessary weight (if possible even if the market seems to appreciate technologies used twice a year)
- all-wheel drive transmission (we are a Fiat 500X or we are not)
- engine over powered (probably the 1.4L Turbo-Jet 180cv which is already on the Abarth 695)
- reinforced chassis (as Abarth does)
- much firmer suspensions (idem)
- load exhaust system from Akrapovic (already on the Abarth 695 Rivale)
- adventurer body kit (with a long skirt, wide bumper poles and Abarth style bull bar)
- long range lights (like rally cars from Abarth teams)
- trapper roof rack (with a spare wheel on to be ready for all eventualities)
- more power (something like 180 or 200 hp would not hurt)
- and even more power (to compensate the weight of the AWD and styling accessories)
That’s what would make this Fiat 500X the most insane small SUV. As you can see, Fiat and Abarth already have everything they need to make it a fun car. Abarth 695X sounds good isn’t it? But will they ever do it?
Garage Italia, maybe you should do it if Fiat doen’t?
#FunToDrive score : 46/100
Not really, it’s a daily small family car but it has good potential! It looks like a wild mini SUV so give it the what he and we want. Please make a fun version of the cool Fiat 500X.
#MakeDailyCarCoolAgain and Keep it #FunToDrive.