While the Fiat 500 minicar and 500L station wagon have made quiet exits from the U.S. market, the 2023 500X carries on, likely because it’s the only one of the Italian brand’s reborn models that resembles an SUV. Never mind that it offers essentially zero off-road capability, despite sharing underpinnings with the surprisingly capable Jeep Renegade. The 500X is better as a commuter car, even if its fuel economy is merely average. It’s available with a semi-convertible soft top and comes standard with a tiny 177-hp four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Its cute retro design makes the 500X stand out among more traditionally styled small SUVs such as the Kia Seltos, the Hyundai Kona, and the Mazda CX-30, but all of those subcompact alternatives are better to drive. Some of them are more practical, too, as the 2023 500X’s tiny rear seats and cramped cargo area limit its usefulness.
What’s New for 2023?
The 500X lineup has been trimmed to just two models this year. The rugged-looking Trekking and Trekking Plus have been discontinued, and the nautical-themed Yacht Club Capri took a bow after spending just one year in Fiat showrooms. That leaves the base Pop and the stylish Sport trims.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since styling is such a big part of this crossover’s appeal, we’d go for the Sport model. The Sport’s available 19-inch wheels give the 500X a nice stance, and the interior details are tasteful and worth the cost over the standard Pop model.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Fiat 500X models come with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The all-wheel-drive system has three driver-selectable settings to optimize traction in varying conditions. All models come with 17-inch aluminum wheels, except the Sport, which has standard 18s (optional on both Trekking models) and available 19-inch wheels. Regardless of trim level, the 500X isn’t the quickest crossover in this class nor is it the most fun to drive. The Fiat’s suspension is comfortable for highway cruising but loses its composure on curvy back roads. If you’re looking for a more entertaining SUV, we’d suggest the Kona or the CX-30.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is so-so for a pint-sized crossover, as the EPA rates the Fiat 500X at 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. When we get a chance to take the 500X on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, we’ll update this story with test results. For more information about the 500X’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is tight in the 500X, and the quality of its interior materials is far from best in class. On the upside, the layout of its controls is good, and the driving position should suit a range of body shapes and sizes. It’s also an attractive cabin—especially the Sport version with its upgraded seats and snazzy styling details. You’ll be able to fit a few bags of groceries in the Fiat 500X, but cargo capacity is low—even for a subcompact SUV—with just 14 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 32 cubes when they’re folded.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard in every Fiat 500X. A factory navigation system and an upgraded Beats audio system are both optional on the Sport. Every 500X has two USB charge ports at the bottom of the center stack.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Selecting the Advanced Driver Assistance Group package adds a suite of driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. For more information about the 500X’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Fiat offers solid limited warranty coverage, but the 500X’s powertrain warranty is skimpy. Most rivals offer five-year or 60,000-mile coverage, while the Kona tops the class with its 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain guarantee.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICES: Pop, $20,990;
ENGINE TYPES: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 16-valve 1.4-liter inline-4, 160 hp, 184 lb-ft; SOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter inline-4, 180 hp, 175 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 101.2 in
Length: 167.2-168.2 in
Width: 75.5 in Height: 63.1-63.7 in
Passenger volume: 91 cu ft
Cargo volume: 12 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 3000-3350 lb
EPA combined/city/highway driving: 24-28/21-25/29-33 mpg
C/D TEST RESULTS FOR:
2016 Fiat 500X AWD 2.4-liter
Zero to 60 mph: 8.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 28.0 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 40.3 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 9.0 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 4.6 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 6.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.8 sec @ 82 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 120 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 163 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.78 g
Curb weight: 3361 lb
C/D observed fuel economy: 24 mpg
More Features and Specs