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Road Test: Fiat 500X

You’d be forgiven for missing updates to Fiat’s chic urban SUV, says Alex Grant.

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SECTOR Compact SUV   PRICE £16,995-£23,195   FUEL 42.2-48.7mpg   CO2 133-159g/km

As brand extensions go, the 500X was an easy win. Positioned as a urban SUV, it scaled up the 500’s styling for those who could no longer fit their life into a city car, and it hit the ground running. This not only outperformed the 500L’s peak sales, it’s pretty much taken all of the MPV’s customers since it arrived in the UK.

So Fiat hasn’t rocked the boat with its mid-life update. There are two ‘looks’ for the 500X; Urban and Cross, and both get new wheels and LED lighting. Urban versions have changed the most, but, with only one engine – a relatively thirsty 1.6-litre petrol – Fiat expects it to account for no more than 10% of UK sales.

Cross is offered in two trim levels, the lower of which gets most of the useful equipment; cruise and climate control, rear parking sensors and Fiat’s Uconnect touchscreen infotainment. Uconnect isn’t overly intuitive, but standard-fit Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are a way around that. Cross Plus adds £2,200 to the price, along with sat nav, a reversing camera and larger wheels, and a two-group rise in BiK.

Diesel dropped out of the UK range before the update, and it’s not coming back. So Cross versions get a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines. The 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder is the likely best-seller, and it’s lively at low speeds with very little rumble under load, but can feel stretched on the motorway. A 148bhp 1.3-litre four-cylinder is also available, but only with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

For now, that’s it. Jeep has a plug-in hybrid Renegade in the pipeline, and the shared platform and production line imply that’s likely (but not confirmed) to reach the 500X too. It’s a further brand extension which can only help.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.