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  • Writer's pictureMpho Mahlangu

Launch Drive: Fiat 500X


We recently attended the media launch of the Fiat 500X in Gauteng and we were left with the impression that customers looking for Italian flair would be quite impressed with this offering.


The Fiat 500X was initially introduced to the market in 2021 however with a growing B-SUV segment, Fiat has now given the model a number of enhancements along with introducing a new 500X Sport EST (Extended Soft Top) model which is available for a limited time.


Exterior Design

The entry-level Fiat 500X Cross benefits from roof rails and skid plates, black mirror caps, full LED headlamps and LED fog lamps. Standard amenities also include a soft touch steering wheel, courtesy light on the sun visor and automatic dual-zone air conditioning.


Fiat 500X Sport models further benefit from body colored wheel arch mouldings, side skirts, 19-inch alloy wheels, 'Sport' badging, dual exhaust tips finished in chrome, techno leather and alcantara steering wheel, titanium-styled trimming on the dashboard, a 3.5-inch TFT color cluster, and alcantara finish on the instrument binnacle.


Interior Design

The 500X EST offers a panoramic fresh air experience by means of a soft top which can open and close in 15 seconds, at speeds up to 100km/h. On our launch day route throughout Gauteng, we enjoyed the ability to open the soft top, especially at higher speeds. If you ask us, we'd say that this is what the Fiat 500X should be all about.


Safety in the 500X are comprised of Lane Assist, an electronic parking brake, six airbags, ABS and ESC.


Entertainment is made possible thanks to the fitment of 7-inch HD touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system which boasts integrated Navigation. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity are also integrated in the system.


Engine and Power

Up front is a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine which delivers 103kW and 230Nm of torque. Power is more than sufficient! We found the small SUV to be quite nippy and enjoyable to drive. The peppy engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which is fairly decent at carrying out its duties. We however experienced instances where the transmission held on to gears for far longer than we would've liked before shifting up. Furthermore, we weren't particularly impressed with the lack of a Hill Start Assist feature. Fiat says that the entire range is fitted with this feature however on our launch drive, both 500X Cross and 500X Sport EST models which we drove didn't include this.


Pricing

Gripes aside, we enjoyed our first drive of the improved Fiat 500X. The model line-up is priced as follows:

  • Fiat 500X Cross - R509 900

  • Fiat 500X Sport - R560 900

  • Fiat 500X Sport EST - R580 900

Pricing of all models includes a 5-year/ 100 000km warranty and roadside assistance and a 3-year/ 60 000km service plan.

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