Car Review: Looking for a small crossover? Dare to be different with the stylish Fiat 500X

Small crossovers are everywhere and they are starting to look the same — like tough little boxes that are ready to tackle just about anything.

The Fiat 500X takes a different approach to the small crossover, adding a dose of style. Built alongside the popular Jeep Renegade in Italy, the Fiat 500X looks more like a tall, stylish car than a boxy Ute.

The Fiat 500X might be a small package but it has a great deal of space for its size class. There is room for adults in the back seat which not all small crossovers can claim.

The Fiat 500X Trekking is the midlevel trim package and it comes nicely equipped with comfortable cloth seats. Leather is an extra cost option. The materials seem to be nicer than other Fiat models but not as high-end as some other small crossovers in its class.

The Fiat 500X has more interior style than other crossovers with accents like a plush, quilted pattern on the seat and metal-looking finish on the dash.

The big addition for this year is a new, smaller turbo engine that is a much better fit than the previous four-cylinder engine. The new engine wakes up the once sleepy crossover with peppy acceleration, though the same nine-speed transmission can still be a buzzkill as it seems a bit confused and slow at times.

This Fiat, the biggest of the Fiats, is more fun to drive than other tiny crossovers. The AWD system keeps the Fiat planted and sure-footed in all road conditions.

Cost: $25,595; as tested $31,755

MPG: 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway; I managed 27.7mpg in 229 miles of mixed driving.

Safety: Adaptive speed control, lane departure warning, full-speed forward collision warning plus, blind spot and cross-path detection, automatic high beam headlight control, Parksense front & rear park assist system, rain-sensitive windshield wiper

Options: $295 cold weather group; $1,395 advanced driver assistance group; $895 driver assistance group; $195 black side roof rails; $295 compact spare tire; $695 Uconnect 4-NAV; $495 18-inch wheels

Things to know: The Fiat 500X Trekking is a different take on the small crossover with bold style and a more-rounded exterior styling. The Italian crossover gains a better engine that makes it a more pleasant cruiser that doesn’t use very much fuel.

Pros:

  • Big on space for its small size
  • New engine is smaller but it packs a punch
  • There’s big savings on the Fiat 500X since it’s not as popular as the rest

Cons:

  • Transmission can be finicky at times
  • Some plastics are used on the interior and are not as nice
  • Not everyone will like the carlike exterior styling

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