2020 Fiat 500X

2020 Fiat 500X Review: The Best 500 Around

by Aiden Eksteen

Fiat's iconic 500 microcar design is adored by many, and with the everyday practicality of the subcompact crossover SUV segment only expanding, the Fiat 500X is a sure-fire bet for those avid Fiat fans. Now with an even greater surface appeal, the 500X lines up with a new Sport trim for the turn of the decade, adding an athletic aesthetic to the retro-Italian crossover. The 500X is once again powered by a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-pot engine sending 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Rivals arrive in the form of the mechanically related Jeep Renegade, along with the Honda HR-V and the Ford EcoSport. A spirited turbo engine and cutesy looks are strong selling points for the 500X, but when it comes to the subcompact crossover, substance often matters more than style. Does the 500X have what it takes to best segment rivals, or is it destined for extinction, much like the regular Fiat 500?

2020 Fiat 500X Changes: What’s the difference vs 2019 500X?

To bring a sportier aesthetic to the range, for 2020 a new Fiat 500X Sport model has been added to the roster featuring "sporty" new front and rear fascia designs, body-color painted side moldings and dark-finish exterior accents. It also comes with an all-new exclusive exterior paint color called Revente Red. Its cabin is also given bespoke design and styling elements. Apart from the new model, the familiar black roof appearance option has now been made available for all models within the lineup, while the Blue Sky Edition, 120th Anniversary Edition, Urbana, and Lounge variants are no longer available.

Pros and Cons

  • Zippy turbocharged engine
  • Reasonably fuel-efficient
  • Packed with driver-assist features
  • Contemporary and ergonomic interior
  • Standard all-wheel-drive across the lineup
  • Cute styling stands out from the crowd
  • Rear passenger quarters are cramped
  • Limited trunk capacity and storage solutions
  • Relatively high starting price for the segment
  • Lags behind rivals in handling and ride quality
  • Nine-speed automatic gearbox not the most effective

500X Exterior

Fiat's retro-Italian flair is recognizable in all its vehicles - a design ethos that's either loved or hated. Apart from the historic overtone, each model exudes slightly varied styling: the Pop is relatively homespun, featuring an unadorned body kit with lower black plastic cladding to hint at its semi-rugged crossover essence. The Trekking and Trekking Plus both feature a lifted front fascia with a lower crossbar for an even more rugged overtone, while the all-new Sport gets a wide-mouth lower front fascia and body-color skirtings for a sportier appearance. All but the Sport are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels varying in styles, with 18-inch alloy wheels filling the arches of the Sport. Barring the Trekking Plus, all are fitted with the bi-function halogen projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights and taillights. The Trekking Plus gets all-LED exterior lighting including front LED fog lamps, as well as LED license plate illumination.

2020 Fiat 500X Front View Driving Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Front View Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Front View 1 Fiat
See All 2020 Fiat 500X Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Three of the 500X models share identical dimensions despite each one's bespoke exterior styling. Only the Trekking is a full inch longer in comparison with the other three. The 500X and Jeep Renegade share a common FCA platform, and as a result, both share a wheelbase of 101.2 inches. The 500X is larger though, stretching 167.2 inches in overall length (168.2 on Trekking models) and carrying a width of 79.7 inches, making it somewhat longer and narrower than the Jeep. It is also 2.8 inches shorter in stature, measuring 63.7 inches in height. With a ground clearance of 7.9 inches, the 500X rides 1.2 inches higher from the ground than the Renegade. The 500X, weighing in with a curb weight of 3,305 lbs, is 250-pounds heavier than the Renegade with its curb weight of 3,056 lbs.

Exterior Colors

The 2020 Fiat 500X's color palette comprises a total of 13 hues, with availability varied between each of the four models. Nero Cinema (Black), Italia Blue, and Bianco Gelato (white) are three that are available for all four models. Amore Red and Milano Ivory are available for the Trekking and Trekking Plus only, the latter at a charge of $1,000, while Revente Red is an exclusive option to the all-new Sport model, which can only be optioned in one of five shades, all at no cost. Every model can also be had with an available black roof appearance option for $445 which contrasts the roof in black with whatever body color is chosen. There's also an Adventure Edition package available for the Trekking alone, which alters it with black roof rails, orange lower-side stripes, and orange mirrors atop the selected paint.

  • Milano Ivory Tri-Coat
  • Bianco Gelato (White Clearcoat)
  • Grigio Moda (Graphite Grey Metallic)
  • Italia Blue
  • Rovente Red
  • Nero Cinema (Black Clearcoat)
  • Amore Red Metallic
  • Blue Sky Metallic
  • Blu Venezia (Blue Metallic)
  • Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic)
  • Rosso Passione (Red Hypnotique Clearcoat), Build Out: 09/10/2019
  • Passione Red
  • Vibrante Green Metallic
  • Arancio (Orange)
  • Beige Cappuccino Clearcoat

500X Performance

Though to no extent a performance-oriented vehicle, the 500X is still relatively quick for the class: real-world testing yielded a 0-60 mph sprint time of around eight and a half seconds, which is on par with the Jeep Renegade but lags behind the efforts of the Honda HR-V.

The Fiat 500X is capable of towing a maximum capacity of 1,000 lbs. This is by virtue of every 500X model coming equipped with an AWD system as standard whereas many other subcompact crossovers, including the Jeep Renegade, usually offer front-wheel-drive as standard with AWD optional. The Renegade, when optioned with the AWD system, is availed with a 2,000-pound maximum tow capability.

2020 Fiat 500X Front View Driving 1 Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Rear View Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Wheel Fiat

Engine and Transmission

The Fiat 500X carries an obvious penchant for the urban streets, where, with its 1.3-liter turbo-four and nine-speed automatic gearbox, it delivers spirited acceleration off the line. Rapid throttle responses are conducive to the urban environment. The turbo-four's 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque are sent to all four corners of the 500X as standard, making for smooth and consistent acceleration. The auto gearbox manages to keep within the engine's powerband as it transitions through its gears accurately. It can, however, sometimes downshift too slow, and the four overdrive gears at the top of the range seldom see full use, even when prompted with the shift paddles.

Power delivery and throttle responses slowly begin to taper off as the 500X motors up to higher speeds; merging onto the highway and commencing high speed overtakes do take a little effort and forethought as it gradually builds up momentum without selecting the best gear to get up to speed. But it never feels considerably underpowered - and the fact the turbo-lag is less present than in the old 1.4 is a bonus. As a purposed urban runabout, the powertrain fits the 500X very well - it's just not the best setup around, with many rivals getting more refined engines overall.

  • Engine
    1.3-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

There's not much driving enjoyment delivered by the Fiat 500X at all; the Hyundai Kona or the Mazda CX-3 are both far more entertaining crossover SUVs, and perhaps also a little more comfortable on the road too. The 500X does feel generally composed and grounded at its core, and its ride quality is reasonably comfortable, but it does get noticeably jittery around too many bends. Suitable handling dynamics and comfort levels are maintained in casual driving and when cruising on the highway, but the 500X doesn't do particularly well around windy roads or over most broken road surfaces. A small amount of body roll is always exhibited around turns and there's no escaping the 500X's tall ride sensation. Standard AWD keeps it nicely grounded though and helps add some traction to not so grippy tires. Still, you wouldn't want to throw the 500X into sudden bends or turns.

In terms of handling, the 500X's steering is appropriately light and responsive, though it can feel a little jerky at higher speeds. The brakes, fortunately, provide ample stopping power and are a breeze to modulate in every day driving. As for ride quality, comfort teeters on acceptable - its suspension is firmly sprung which means any road surface short of perfection will be felt through the cabin. But the 500X's seats are its savior, damping any vibrations and knocks that make it past the suspension effectively.

500X Gas Mileage

Fiat equipped the 500X with the 1.3-liter turbo-four engine for the 2019 model year, dropping the 1.4-liter and 2.4-liter mills for a single, better refined and more well-rounded alternative. Even so, the 500X's gas mileage estimates are middling at best, the EPA recording estimates of 24/30/26 mpg city/highway/combined. That's less fuel-efficient than the turbo 1.4-liter engine with which the 2018 500X returned 25/33/28 mpg. Nevertheless, the new engine is a lot more powerful and with the 2020 lineup's standard AWD system slightly more fuel-efficient than the AWD options from 2018. The 500X utilizes only premium unleaded fuel for consumption, and with its 12.7-gallon gas tank filled, it's capable of traversing around 330 miles before running dry.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.7 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/30 mpg
* 2020 Fiat 500X Pop AWD

500X Interior

One of the 500X's greatest perks is its iconic and super attractive retro-modern cabin which exudes a premium feel, adorned in high-quality materials and integrated with exceptional attention to detail. Soft-touch surfaces cover all key touch-points and any hard-touch panels, including the signature color-keyed dash panel, are properly integrated to retain the premium impression. We also feel that the Fiat steering wheel design is one of the more attractive designs out there. The driver's cockpit and the infotainment and climate controls are all ergonomically laid out; the seats and all also feel thoughtfully constructed. The new Sport model features a host of bespoke interior styling elements, such as a flat-bottom techno-leather steering wheel with Alcantara inserts and with Sport-inspired seating.

2020 Fiat 500X Dashboard Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Seat Details Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Seat Details 1 Fiat
See All 2020 Fiat 500X Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The 500X is equipped to accommodate a total of five occupants, though the rear quarters are a little cramped and only the two outboard seats will offer any level of comfort for adults. The seats in the front and rear are exceptionally comfortable; they're well-cushioned and contoured for all-day comfort and bolstered suitably to deliver ample support during light cornering. While six-way manually-adjustable front seats are standard in all but the top-spec model, a 12-way power-adjustable driver seat is standard in the Trekking Plus and available for all but the Pop. Front-seat heating is exclusive to the Trekking Plus. Regardless, the driver is positioned with a commanding outward view of the road ahead and with suitable all-round visibility. Passenger room is more than adequate up front, though some taller adults will find that the rear quarters are rather limited in head and legroom.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The cabin of the 500X comes fitted with a signature color-keyed panel across the dash that matches the color chosen for the exterior on all but the Sport trim, which gets a gloss gray panel instead. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob are standard in every model with the Sport getting its own unique items, and seats come upholstered in either cloth or premium leatherette with only a few hue options dependent on the model. The seats in the Pop are upholstered solely in black cloth, the Trekking gets black premium quilted cloth seats with an Avorio (Ivory) hue option. Black or brown perforated leather-faced seats are also optional which are standard in the Trekking Plus. The Sport boasts the most unique cabin, featuring Alcantara inserts in its techno-leather steering wheel and featuring a dark headliner, bright alloy pedals, and new Sport-inspired seating in black sport-cloth upholstery, with sport-leather-trimmed bucket seats optional.

500X Trunk and Cargo Space

With only 12.2 cubic feet of usable cargo room in the trunk, the 500X is far behind its class in terms of practicality. Even the Jeep Renegade offers a little more, with 18.5 cu-ft of cargo room offered behind the rear seats. Fortunately, the rear seats in the 500X do fold in a 60/40 split, which results in a total cargo room bay of 50.8 cubes. With those seats in place, there's room enough for a couple of large stow-away cases. The top three trims additionally get a height-adjustable cargo floor.

As for in-cabin storage, the 500X proves a little better, with a dual-split passenger-side glove box, large door side pockets capable of holding large bottles, two moderately sized cupholders, a small circular console for small items, and a front passenger-side seatback map pocket.

2020 Fiat 500X Luggage Space Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Luggage Space with Storage Box Fiat
2020 Fiat 500X Luggage Space with Storage Box 1 Fiat

500X Infotainment and Features

Features

Fiat equipped the 500X with a relatively decent amount of standard-fit features. The Pop, though somewhat bare-bones, still comes standard with remote keyless entry, remote start, and an engine stop-start system. The multi-function steering wheel and gearshift knob are leather-wrapped and both the front seats feature six-way manual-adjustability, there's a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, standard air conditioning, a day/night rearview mirror, and all-power doors and windows. In the Trekking, a color 3.5-inch TFT display replaces the Pop's standard monochrome display. The driver's seat in the Trekking Plus gets 12-way power-adjustability including four-way lumbar support, the Trekking Plus is also fitted with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and ambient interior lighting. In terms of safety and driver-assist features, all come outfitted with an integrated rearview camera, cruise control, and hill-start assist; the Trekking Plus alone comes with front and rear parking sensors. An Advanced Driver Assistance Group for $1,395 adds a full suite of driver aids but is not available for the Pop.

Infotainment

A seven-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard throughout the lineup; although relatively small in size, the Uconnect 4 setup at the heart of the infotainment system is intuitive and contemporary and boasts great functionality including full smartphone integration with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There's also integrated voice command with Bluetooth wireless connectivity. SiriusXM radio connectivity on a one-year all-access trial is standard in all but the Pop. All models but the Trekking Plus come outfitted with a stock six-speaker sound system - the Trekking plus gets a premium eight-speaker audio layout. A single auxiliary audio input jack, two USB ports, and a single 12-volt power outlet are provided up front with a single charge-only USB port provided in the rear. A premium Beats surround sound audio system is optional for the Pop.

500X Problems and Reliability

There has already been a recall commissioned for the 2020 Fiat 500X pertaining to a fractured right rear brake caliper which could potentially fail, ultimately resulting in reduced braking performance and increased chances of an accident. The previous year model was also subject to one recall relating to faulty safety software. J.D. Power has not given the 2020 500X a quality and reliability rating, but Fiat sells the 500X with a typical four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, powertrain, and corrosion warranty.

500X Safety

Curiously, the IIHS has only evaluated the Fiat 500X for its roof strength and optional crash avoidance aids. For both the 2020 and 2019 iterations - a top score of Good was given for roof strength and a rating of Advanced was awarded for front crash prevention features. The 2018 model was fully evaluated though, and being that the more current models share the same platform, the ratings of Good for four other test areas should carry over. The NHTSA has not evaluated the 500X.

Key Safety Features

The Fiat 500X is moderately-outfitted with safety and driver-assist features and technologies, at the base level, the 500X comes with a standard consignment of seven airbags including a driver's side knee airbag, dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. As for features, all models come standard with a rearview camera, cruise control, and hill-start assist, a ParkSense front and rear park assist system is standard only in the Trekking Plus and optional for the rest. For the Trekking, Sport and Trekking Plus, there's an Advanced Driver Assistance Group available which adds automatic high-beam headlamp control, full-speed forward collision warning plus, lane departure warning plus, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot alert with cross-path detection.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Fiat 500X a good SUV?

There are many crossover SUVs that are better all-rounders than the Fiat 500X, but with its contemporary cabin space, comfortable seats, and many creature comforts, the Fiat 500X does still make for a great commuter. Where the 500X lacks in is in the standard safety offering with an average airbag complement and too few advanced safety features as standard compared to rivals in the segment. The rear of the cabin is a little confined but would be more than suitable for a couple of teens. Passengers are further catered to by the highly functional infotainment system, which features full smartphone integration and many other connectivity capabilities as standard, though the touchscreen itself may be a little small.

It offers very little driving enjoyment, but proves reasonably capable on the road and delivers adequate levels of ride comfort; other vehicles in the class do feel a lot more capable though, and even a little more comfortable. The turbo-four engine is competent and somewhat fuel-efficient, but many rivals are a little better in this regard, too. All in all, the 2020 Fiat 500X is neither the best nor the worst subcompact crossover SUV one could buy. But, if there's one thing no other vehicle in this class has, it's the Fiat's truly unique styling.

What's the Price of the 2020 Fiat 500X?

The base model 500X Pop sets the pricing expectations for the lineup with a starting MSRP of $24,590; the Trekking isn't much more expensive and follows at a price of $25,995. The all-new Sport model comes in with a sticker price of $26,895 and the top-spec Trekking Plus with an MSRP of $29,495. This excludes Fiat's destination, processing, and handling charge of $1,495 as well as any tax, registration, or licensing fees.

2020 Fiat 500X Models

There are four trims that make up the 500X lineup: Pop, Trekking, Sport, and Trekking Plus. All are equipped with a 1.3-liter turbo-four engine mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox to drive outputs to a standard all-wheel-drivetrain.

The base model Pop comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and fitted with bi-function halogen projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and with LED taillights. Standard features include all-power accessories, remote keyless entry and ignition, engine stop-start technology, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, tilt/telescoping steering column, six-way manually-adjustable front seats, standard air conditioning, and a day/night rearview mirror. In the way of driver safety and assists, there's a rearview camera, cruise control, and hill-start assist but not much else. A Uconnect 4 infotainment system is shared throughout the lineup, comprising a seven-inch touchscreen tethered to a six-speaker sound system. Android Auto, Apple, CarPlay, Bluetooth, and voice-command are all-inclusive. The Pop gets standard cloth seating upholstery.

Fog lamps, a raised front fascia, and a rugged front end crossbar differentiate the Trekking cosmetically, along with different wheel designs. On the inside, the Trekking gets a color 3.5-inch TFT display, which replaces the Pops standard monochrome unit. SiriusXM radio connectivity is added to the infotainment system and the seats are upholstered in a premium quilted cloth material.

The Sport rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and features bespoke exterior styling elements for a sportier aesthetic. On the inside, it has a flat-bottom sport steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, bright alloy pedals, and a black headliner. It's fitted with sport bucket seats upholstered in a sport cloth upholstery.

Upgrading to the Trekking Plus re-equips 17-inch alloy wheels; it also gets LED headlights. Moving to the inside sees a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, including four-way lumbar support, heating for both front perches, as well as dual-zone automatic climate control and ambient interior lighting. The infotainment system is enhanced with an eight-speaker audio system and the driver-assist systems are strengthened with a ParkSense front and park assist system.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Pop
1.3-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$24,590
Trekking
1.3-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$25,995
Sport
1.3-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$26,895
Trekking Plus
1.3-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$29,495
See All 2020 Fiat 500X Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are numerous packages available within the 500X lineup - from appearance packages to equipment groups.

For the Pop, there's a $595 Popular Equipment Group which gives it automatic headlights, deep tint sunscreen glass, a ParkSense rear park assist system, and one year's worth of SiriusXM radio. A dual-pane sunroof ($1,250) and the Beats Premium sound system ($695) can be optioned on.

Exclusively available for the Trekking is an Adventure Edition appearance package, which, for $945 equips the 500X with 18-inch matte anthracite alloy wheels, black roof rails, a black roof rack with adjustable bars, orange mirror caps, orange side stripes, and with front and rear mud flaps.

There's a $795 Comfort Group available for the Trekking and Sport which upgrades both with a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient cabin lighting, and with dual-zone automatic climate control. Navigation can be added on for $695, and the Leather Seat Group can be added to throw in leather-trimmed bucket seats for $995.

A $1,695 Premium Group is optional for all but the Pop, it comprises 18-inch matte anthracite alloy wheels, 19-inch Sport alloy wheels for the Sport, a dual-pane power sunroof, and a premium Beats sound system. For the Trekking and Sport, a $1,395 Advanced Driver Assistance Group includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and cross-path detection, full-speed forward collision warning plus, lane departure warning plus, and automatic high-beam control. There is also a Driver Assistance group at $895 which covers the bare essentials of parking assist.

What Fiat 500X Model Should I Buy?

The top-spec Trekking Plus is the model to go for as the up-charge from the lower-end models isn't too considerable, and it comes much more comprehensively equipped as standard. The 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with heating for driver and passenger, dual-zone automatic climate control, and ParkSense front and rear park assist systems are just some of the additional standard-fit features the Trekking Plus boasts. It's also the only model that comes standard with leather seating surfaces. The available Advanced Driver Assistance Group is recommended for the handful of advanced driver-assist features it contains, the Premium Group is also suggested for the dual-pane power sunroof and Beats audio system for improved passenger entertainment.

2020 Fiat 500X Comparisons

Fiat 500L Fiat
Jeep Renegade Jeep

2020 Fiat 500X vs Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L is a compact wagon as opposed to a crossover SUV, this means that it will offer a little more passenger room than what's offered from the smaller 500X and a whole lot more cargo room, with 22.4 cubes behind the rear-most seats. That is, however, just about all the advantages it offers over the 500X other than a $2,090 price drop; it's equipped with an underpowered 160 hp 1.4-liter turbo-four engine that also proves to be less fuel-efficient, returning EPA estimates of 22/30/25 mpg. It's ride and handling dynamics are also terrible - far worse than that of the 500X's and it's only available in front-wheel-drive. The 500X boasts a far more premium cabin and significantly better build quality overall, with the 500L feeling more like a stripped-down fleet vehicle. The conclusion here is an easy one: don't ever buy a Fiat 500L, the 500X is the better value for money buy and just a better put-together vehicle overall.

See Fiat 500L Review

2020 Fiat 500X vs Jeep Renegade

As the 500X's most direct rival, the Jeep Renegade is also its toughest competition - appropriate since both share much of their underpinnings. On the road, the 500X seems to deliver slightly better ride quality but both deliver identical straight-line performance, the 500X proves a little more fuel-efficient when in AWD guise, but the Renegade does better in 2WD guise. The 2.4-liter that the Renegade has as standard is otherwise underpowered and far less refined. In the way of features, both pretty much offer the same level of value, the Fiat has the better infotainment setup by a fraction, and a few more safety and driver-assist features. The range-topping models of the Renegade outclass the 500X utterly, however, the Trailhawk offering far greater off-road capability and the AWD models offering a maximum towing capability of 2,000 lbs - double that of the 500X's. Moreover, with 18.5 cubes of cargo room in the trunk of the Renegade, it's the more practical SUV, too. Ultimately, both offer their own advantages and disadvantages; making a decision would most likely come down to purpose and aesthetic: urban practicality versus off-roading ability, and the 500X's classic retro-Italian or the Renegade's all-American ruggedness.

See Jeep Renegade Review

Fiat 500X Popular Comparisons

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