Fiat 500X

If the latest crop of crossovers seems to have gotten too big and too pricey for your tastes, you'll find the Fiat 500X to be an appealing alternative.

As traditional compact crossovers have grown larger and more expensive, automakers have brought forth a handful of smaller versions. A good example is the Fiat 500X. While it shares the same basic shape of the Italian automaker's subcompact 500 coupe, the 500X crossover adds an extra pair of doors, a slightly elevated ride height and beefier bodywork. Other notable additions include available all-wheel drive and a more upscale interior with higher-quality materials.

There are some nits to pick, including a lack of cargo space and lackluster fuel economy, but overall we think the Fiat 500X will be a good choice if you want a crossover SUV that's easy to drive, affordable and distinctive.

Current Fiat 500X The 500X comes in three available trim levels: Pop, Trekking and Lounge. Under the hood, the Pop trim level features a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard.

Also available (optional on Pop models and standard on Trekking and Lounge) is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive offered as an option.

The Pop model's list of standard features includes 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, cruise control, a driver information display, and a four-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port.

Opt for the available 2.4-liter engine and you also get keyless entry and ignition and remote start. A Popular Equipment package — which bundles 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with an additional USB port (charging only) — is offered as an option.

Step up to the Trekking trim level and you'll get most of the above features as standard, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights and rear privacy glass. A Popular Equipment option package is offered here, too, and contains roof rails, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a four-way power passenger seat and ambient interior lighting. A navigation system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and HD radio is also offered as an option.

The top-of-the-line Lounge version includes all of the above plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-speaker audio system and a rear cargo cover.

Both Trekking and Lounge models are also offered with two additional option packages. The Advanced Safety package adds automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, and rear parking sensors. The Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, a dual-pane sunroof and a nine-speaker Beats premium audio system. You can also get leather seating for the Trekking and Lounge as a stand-alone option.

The cabin's overall look is attractive, and the materials are higher in quality than those found in many rival crossover SUVs. Front-seat occupants have more than enough head- and legroom, and rear-seat space is sufficient. There is enough room for a week's worth of groceries behind the rear seats, and the rear seat folds down (but not fully flat) to expand that to 32.1 cubic feet.

In Edmunds performance tests, a front-wheel-drive 500X went from zero to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, an admittedly pokey performance, but one that's just about average for the segment. Both the 1.4-liter and 2.4-liter powertrains deliver EPA combined fuel economy numbers that top out in the mid-to-upper 20 mpg range, lower than those earned by some competitors.

We do like the Fiat 500X's maneuverability. Its diminutive dimensions allow it to weave through congested streets and slide into parking spots drivers of larger vehicles would scarcely give a second look. In addition to that nimble handling, the suspension delivers a ride quality that is firm but well-controlled. Power from both engines is adequate, but the gearshifts of the 2.4-liter engine's nine-speed automatic are disappointing, occasionally clunky at low speeds (as in when stuck in heavy traffic) and slow when downshifting for highway passing.

Used Fiat 500X Models The Fiat 500X has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 2016, save for a reduction in the number of available trim levels and a rejiggering of option packages. As as result, earlier versions are a workable alternative to brand-new models.

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