2017 FIAT 500X

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2017 FIAT 500X. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Storage areas, cargo versatility
  • Reasonably equipped base model
  • Many premium options
  • Crash-test ratings
  • Inventive styling

The Bad

  • Hiccup-prone automatic transmission
  • Brand reliability history
  • Backseat space
  • Front-seat comfort
  • No Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Mediocre gas mileage with automatic
  • Smaller engine prefers premium gas

Notable Features of the 2017 FIAT 500X

  • Fewer trim levels for 2017
  • FWD or AWD
  • Five-seat subcompact SUV
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Available dual-level load floor
  • Available panoramic moonroof

2017 FIAT 500X Road Test

Kelsey Mays
The Verdict:

Plagued with contradictions, the 2017 Fiat 500X has features and driving characteristics that both exceed and trail its competitors.

Versus The Competition:

The 500X has its moments, but it’s littered with small miscues in drivability and roominess — some of them par for the class, others unique to the Fiat itself.

The Fiat 500X competes in a burgeoning segment of micro-sized SUVs, most of which we tested for our Subcompact SUV Challenge in late 2015. The 500X joined the party for the 2016 model year. For 2017, Fiat slimmed its trim levels from five to three — in ascending order, Pop, Trekking and Lounge models — all with front- or all-wheel drive (see them side by side here and see all the 2017 changes here).

Though the 500X technically offers two engines and transmissions, the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder (160 horsepower, 184 pounds-feet of torque) can only be had with a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive in the Pop trim level. Most variations, including the Fiat 500x Urbana Edition, have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (180 hp, 175 pounds-feet of torque) and nine-speed automatic transmission. That's the combination we tested in an AWD 500X Pop.

Fun Vs. Fuss

Handling is a clear strength for this Fiat, with quick-ratio steering and Mini-like agility. You can throw the new Fiat 500X around; body roll is minimal, and our test car's Nexen all-season tires — hardly a brand known for grip — mask understeer improbably well. As subcompacts go, the 500X has a degree of nimbleness that sets it apart., especially with the all-wheel-drive option.


Mid-corner bumps cause some wheel hop, and the Fiat's suspension chucks you around a lot over rapid dips and rises in the pavement. That's an inevitable outcome for any car with just 101.2 inches between the axles, but I f...

The Fiat 500X competes in a burgeoning segment of micro-sized SUVs, most of which we tested for our Subcompact SUV Challenge in late 2015. The 500X joined the party for the 2016 model year. For 2017, Fiat slimmed its trim levels from five to three — in ascending order, Pop, Trekking and Lounge models — all with front- or all-wheel drive (see them side by side here and see all the 2017 changes here).

Though the 500X technically offers two engines and transmissions, the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder (160 horsepower, 184 pounds-feet of torque) can only be had with a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive in the Pop trim level. Most variations, including the Fiat 500x Urbana Edition, have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (180 hp, 175 pounds-feet of torque) and nine-speed automatic transmission. That's the combination we tested in an AWD 500X Pop.

Fun Vs. Fuss

Handling is a clear strength for this Fiat, with quick-ratio steering and Mini-like agility. You can throw the new Fiat 500X around; body roll is minimal, and our test car's Nexen all-season tires — hardly a brand known for grip — mask understeer improbably well. As subcompacts go, the 500X has a degree of nimbleness that sets it apart., especially with the all-wheel-drive option.


Mid-corner bumps cause some wheel hop, and the Fiat's suspension chucks you around a lot over rapid dips and rises in the pavement. That's an inevitable outcome for any car with just 101.2 inches between the axles, but I found overall shock absorption livable for this class — comfortable, even. Another editor characterized it as firm, however, so decide for yourself.

The Fiat 500X's four-cylinder musters adequate power in most situations, with a degree of low-end grunt that's often absent from subcompact SUVs and even cars. Still, one editor observed that the 9-speed automatic upshifts too quickly for the engine to hit its sweet spot at higher revs. A Sport mode curbs the latter tendency by holding lower gears longer, but the 9-speed transmission needs work. Some downshifts are unobtrusive, but others kick up engine revs for a full second before finally banging into a lower gear. It's better overall than other nine-speeds we've experienced from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but it's a blemish all the same in the 500X.


The Pop manual with the 1.4-liter engine is the most efficient Fiat 500X, with an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg combined versus an underwhelming 24-25 mpg fuel economy for the 2.4-liter engine. But that comes with a caveat: The 1.4-liter wants premium gas for full power while the 2.4-liter makes its maximum output on the cheap stuff.


The Inside

Like many peers, the Fiat 500X's driving position is more akin to a tall hatchback than to an SUV. Inventive styling and decent materials spruce up the cabin — at least in a class rife with low-budget interiors.


It's still, well, small. The low center console leaves room for front occupants to stretch out, but even average-sized drivers may find the seat cushions undersized. The rear seat is tight on legroom for adults and the clearance you'd need for rear-facing child-safety seats (see our Car Seat Check for a full evaluation). If you plan to schlep either one in back, consider the Honda HR-V or Subaru Crosstrek.

Cargo volume measures 14.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 39.8 cubic feet with the seats folded — small for the class, especially compared to alternatives like the HR-V. But the cabin has an array of nooks to store small items. Fiat 500x Lounge and Trekking editions have a dual-level cargo floor that lets you maximize storage height or maintain a flat floor with the folded seats. All versions have a fold-flat front passenger seat to accommodate long, narrow cargo.

What You Get

For its starting price — roughly $21,000 — the Fiat 500X comes reasonably equipped, save its multimedia setup. Steering wheel audio controls and a USB port are standard, but the base setup has an old-school line display and no Bluetooth or backup camera. Five- and 6.5-inch touchscreens are optional, as are HD radio, a camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a second USB port.




A few other features are half-baked. The windshield wipers have only two intermittent speeds. Despite the touchscreens, the Chrysler Uconnect multimedia system doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The one-touch front windows lack the usual extra detent, instead requiring you to press the switch just long enough to send them all the way down. It's a maddening operation if you want to lower them only partway. Our test car's liftgate rattled every time we shut it, giving the impression it hadn't latched when it had.

Pile on the options, and you can get a Fiat 500X with a panoramic moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control — all rarities in this class. But the features come at a price: Loaded with factory options, the 500X can balloon to more than $31,000. That's territory few competitors reach.


Questions Remain

Eighteen months ago, a 2016 Fiat 500X placed second in Cars.com's seven-model Subcompact SUV Challenge. It might fare similarly today, but the class at large remains questionable. If you can do with a lower driving position, similar money buys a bigger hatch — think Volkswagen Golf or hatchback versions of the Honda Civic or Chevrolet Cruze. Any of those are better choices for practicality and overall refinement than the Fiat. If you need the AWD and ride height of an SUV, a little more money can get you a larger compact model instead of a subcompact one — and similar money can buy a lightly used compact. Again, better choices.


It's little wonder the sales trajectory for subcompact SUVs has fallen back to earth as the rush of automakers entering the field has slowed. It's a head-scratcher of a group, and only its best deserve a look. The Fiat 500X has charm and strong crash-test ratings. But those strengths alone don't make it a must-drive, and shoppers should take note of reliability concerns that plague the Fiat brand.


Latest 2017 500X Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Love my FIAT!

by Daisy19709 from Middletown, Delaware on July 19, 2018

Perfect car for me! I wanted to scale down in size but not style. Super cute, super comfortable, and great ride! Lots of "bells and whistles" at a great price! Read full review

(5.0)

Fun car to drive.

by LL car fan. from Manito, Il on June 2, 2018

This little suv is very comfortable to drive. Fun and enjoy it very much. Has all the bells and whistles you could ever want in a vehicle. Has all wheel drive,sport, and regular modes on the ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 FIAT 500X currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 FIAT 500X Pop

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
marginal

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
acceptable
Restraints and dummy kinematics
good
Small overlap front
good
Structure and safety cage
acceptable
poor
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by FIAT

Program Benefits

Every eligible vehicle is 100% inspected and comes with: A factory-backed 6-Year/80,000-Mile Added Care Plus Warranty*, 24-Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance**, Car Rental Allowance***.

  • Limited Warranty

    6 years / 80,000 miles

    6-years/80,000-miles (whichever comes first). Added Care Plus Warranty runs from the date the vehicle was sold new. A deductible applies. See Studio for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 3 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 100% Inspected.

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the FIAT 500X

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 500X received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Latch or Latch system

A

Infant seat

C

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

B

Booster

(second row)

B
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker