First ride: The new Fiat 500X

What the Golf used to be to us car buyers is now the compact SUV. Crossovers that look a bit like off-road vehicles, but in the end just have to rumble over curbs. Such fashionable crossovers should no longer be missing from any manufacturer. And even a recognized specialist for small cars like the Italian Fiat group has to reach the top. Or at least stretch the popular models a little. The new Fiat 500X presented now is - as they say in Turin itself - probably the most important Fiat of all time.

But is he the best Fiat ever?

First ride in the new Fiat 500X

Fiat Panda and Fiat 500. In the future, Fiat only wants to sell these two model series. The current range of Fiat 500 variants is only visually related. The iconic retro charmer 500 has the larger Fiat 500L than Living or Trekking Although borrowed the name and the nose, but under the tin, the relationship is rather rudimentary.

Power nix, The new Fiat 500X has also gotten much more from an American than from Luigis Cinquecento. The most recently presented Jeep Renegade and the new 500x share a lot in common. But nothing toox power. The Jeep Renegade was again based in fragments on the 500 L. For the US offshoot, however, variants with great climbing pleasure were developed, a new rear axle, a new 9-speed automatic transmission and many details were subjected to the sense of traction. The family of 500 remains optically true to itself and the fact that they now have a Schwipp brother-in-law in the USA doesn't bother anyone. So back to the Fiat 500x - with its 4.25 meters it should now poach in the area of ​​the coveted crossover and compact SUV. It used to be a classic golf size. Today are Renault Captur, Opel Mokka and the Juke of Nissan the top dogs in this size segment. And in this segment, the new Fiat 500x now has to push its cute nose into the wind. And not in the slipstream. Because in Turin they want to be no less than “among the most successful” as soon as the 500x has been on the market for a whole year.

Fiat 500x 117 First test drive

Between pizza, pasta and plastic

From the front the resemblance to his brothers can be clearly seen. Even though the nose looks a little coarser, the eyes a little squat and the mouth a little more pinched. In the sideline, the early sloping C-pillar is noticeable, the bottom looks lifted from behind like Kim Kardashian's buttocks. Fiat offers the 500x in two optics. That, too, is now a popular solution. The driven version (the red one in the photos) is the 500x in the “Cross +” variant. In addition to the martial look, this is also the highest equipment line. While one should mimic the city SUV with a lower bumper, the Cross Plus is the new friend for the gravel paths and excursions into the forest.

With 4.25 meters, the length remains barely manageable, but the trunk suffers from the early retracted tailgate and is also divided by a shelf in two floors. That's good for the height of the sill inside. This makes it easier to unload heavy items and also helps to keep order in the trunk, but minimizes the load space available on a daily basis.

No driving report to an Italian car without analogies to pizza and pasta. 

In this case, because the qualities of the new Fiat 500x extend far beyond the usual subtleties of the Dolce Vita. Nice and nice, exciting, tasteful, but always a bit southern negligent. So you imagined the Fiat models and all too often one was confirmed.

The new Fiat 500X should be different there. And at the first exit, he also brings a whole new talent. Totally off the usual wine and pasta analogies. Oh, and dull or even cheap plastic fortunately does not belong!

And because the Italians are serious about the new 500x and want to go to the top of the crossover movement with it, they have also knitted an enormous range. From the base price of € 16.900 to over € 30.000 for the CrossPlus top models. And such a thing then had to endure the first test drive.

Fiat 500x Cross + with the 140 PS diesel & 9-speed automatic

140 hp diesel, two-liter displacement, nine gears from an automatic box - and all-wheel drive. The tested Fiat 500x had indulged in the full package and ended up in the price list as Cross + (martial look, larger angle of approach) at € 30.000. A lot of money for a “somehow” compact crossover. But you get a fine and smooth shifting 9-speed gearbox, a diesel engine with a lot of power and - this is really important now - a well-coordinated crossover. The Fiat 500x is really fun on winding country roads. He willingly gives in, follows his driver's choice of line and delights the driver's heart with a pleasing agility.

Obliging agility, the Fiat 500x was tuned a little tighter than it was probably necessary. And if you can blame him for something after the first trip, then maybe a little too much ambition when trying to appear dynamic. The result of the coordination is the positively perceived agility, but also a certain reluctance to let the suspension work on small bumps. In my opinion, the springs could be designed a little more progressively. However, when it comes to the impression of comfort after the first drive, one has to consider: the test car had the large 18 ″ wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport3 tires. Not a tire size that is notorious for driving comfort!

Because the Fiat 500x can't be blamed for anything else, the hard cordiality of the chassis is forgiven. From the depths of the chassis, you can feel a slight rumble on rough slopes. This is all the more noticeable because the rest of the Fiat 500x appears extremely stable, quiet and low in vibration. Wind noise on the motorway is rather secondary, the soft foamed dashboard looks solid and many of the plastic elements in the interior make a really pleasant impression.

The combination of the 140 PS Diesel with the 9-gear machine works in the new Fiat 500x even better than half a year ago Jeep Cherokee, Unlike its US off-road brothers, the Cross + is limited to only three driving programs for the interplay of engine control, traction control and all-wheel-drive distribution.

Fiat 500x

Fiat will offer the 500x with 8 different engines. Not all of them right from the start, but over the coming year. In addition to these eight engines, there are four transmission versions: the manual transmission with 5 and 6 gears, the 6-speed dual clutch transmission and a 9-speed automatic transmission. These options, which are already inflationary, are joined by a 4 × 4 system with variable all-wheel drive, a version with front-wheel drive and electronic differential lock and the normal front-wheel drive.

Selection is therefore ensured. The offer exceeds thus the combination possibilities of other competitors partly clearly!

Over hill and dale and in the internet

If the 4 × 4 drive of the 500x is not enough for constant contact everywhere, you can order the Fiat Uconnect system at the same time. In the best case scenario, the 6.5 ″ touchscreen system acts as a multimedia center and of course also as a navigation device. You can connect your own smartphone to the Uconnect system via an app and then use Twitter and Facebook via it. The TomTom “Live” function, which transmits traffic situations in real time, is likely to be more important in everyday life. This will hopefully avoid the next traffic jam and just in case you have ordered the Cross + version with 4 × 4 drive ...

The conclusion remains:

Fiat Famosi

The Opel Mokka and the like will have to stretch hard. The Italian espresso Doppio is likely to put an Italian stamp on the more or less compact SUV market. The Fiat 500x has as much in common with the actual Fiat 500 as Mama Miracoli has with real Italian cuisine - but it doesn'tx. Because that's how the "x“Talents that would actually be worthy of a Jeep, combined with the cute look of the 500. Thanks to good workmanship, worthy materials and a considerable price range, the 500x should secure its place in the field of successful crossovers! I will avoid this answer as to whether it is the best Fiat of all time. I think every era has had its heroes.

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Fiat 500x Cross + 2.0 Multijet 9 gear automatic

For sale: immediately - from February 2015 at the dealer
Base Price: 16.950 €
Engine performance: 1.956 ccm³
Drive and transmission: 9 automatic transmission (ZF)
Acceleration: 9,8 seconds from 0-100 km / h
Fuel consumption: 5,5 liters on 100 km
maximum speed: 190 km/h
Length, width, height, wheelbase 4.273, 1.796, 1.608, 2.570 mm
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What would the blogger order ??

Although I often and often tend to the base version of a car, here I would prefer the driven 500x. The 140 PS Diesel is fun, the 9-gear automatic is convincing and without four-wheel drive I find crossover boring.

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Three-cylinder with and without turbo

The new Fiat 500X will be built at the SATA plant in Melfi, southern Italy. From there it is exported to 100 countries worldwide, including the US. The new Fiat 500X is presented in two different model versions: one is mainly in the city at home, the second is the ideal companion for outdoor activities (Cross +). Both are equipped with efficient diesel or petrol engines. There are initially three transmission variants available: a manual six-speed manual transmission, the six-speed dual-clutch transmission and the nine-speed automatic transmission. Depending on the application, customers have the choice between front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive with electronically controlled limited slip differential TRACTION +.

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How the others experienced the new Fiat 500x:

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All photos: Bjoern Habegger

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