Can a sporty new trim level make the 500X more appealing than ever?
The revived 500 has been an enormous success for Fiat, ever since the Italian marque introduced it in 2007. Despite being 12 years old, sales for the model continue to go from strength to strength.
It’s not a massive surprise then that Fiat has pounced on this success as much as possible by introducing the 500C convertible, 500L MPV and 500X crossover along the way – the latter being particularly popular.
The 500X was boosted last year in 2018 with new engines, more technology and a revised look, but it’s now been bolstered by a new Sport trim level, which, unsurprisingly, adds a dose of sportiness into the range. The performance remains the same, though there have been a few tweaks underneath the surface to improve the 500X’s handling and suspension. But really most of the differences are cosmetic – with this version adding sporty styling, larger alloy wheels, chrome exhausts and a revised interior to help fit this performance billing.
But is this 500X worth choosing over the other options?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the 500X receives no performance gain, so it makes do with the same engines offered in other 500X variants.
The range starts with a 118bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine, but the engine of greater focus is the more powerful turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol engine. This produces 148bhp and 270Nm of torque – enabling zippy performance, with the 500X Sport able to accelerate from 0-60mph in under nine seconds and reach a claimed top speed of 124mph.
It comes paired to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is one of the few issues we have with the car. It makes the 500X feel sluggish and it struggled in places where other crossovers would be perfectly fine – up steeper hills, for example.
Ride and handling
Fiat hasn’t made a huge number of changes to the 500X underneath the surface, but it’s enough to make the 500X feel sharper behind the wheel as well as being more eager to be pushed through the corners. There is also now less understeer compared to before, with this as a result of tweaks to the steering.
Fiat has also dropped the suspension by 13mm, along with fitting new front and rear springs and shock absorbers. This has also led to body roll being in more control, while the new suspension setup helps the car to feel stable and capable – as is the case with the standard 500X.
However, the large optional 19-inch alloy wheels on our test car result in quite an uncomfortable ride. We suspect could be an inconvenience on the UK’s rough roads, as opposed to our Italian test route. Remaining with the standard 18-inch alloy wheels would be a wiser choice.
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Interior and equipment
The sporty theme also continues into the cabin, with Alcantara and leather being used throughout. The sports steering wheel and sports seats are particular highlights, while red stitching add a bit of vibrancy to what is otherwise quite a dark cabin. Interior space is also generous for a car of this size, with plenty of room for rear passengers. The 350-litre boot is not class-leading, but offers plenty of space for family life.
There are a few harder plastics across the interior, but it’s more than acceptable on a car at this price point.
With the Sport sitting at the top of the 500X range, the standard equipment on this version is extensive. It comes with a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, cruise control, rear parking sensors and automatic climate control, along with the aforementioned sporty extras.
With the 500X Sport sitting at the top of the range, prices reflect that – starting from £22,500. That’s £4,000 more than the entry-level Urban Look version, though you do have to consider the many extras that come with this car, as well as the fantastic sporty styling.
The 500X Sport is an ideal model for those wanting a sporty-looking model but without the high running costs or impracticality, as despite its performance styling it remains spacious and easy to live with.
It would make a fantastic family car, and looks particularly convincing with its more dynamic look. We would just advise sticking with the standard 18-inch alloy wheels to ensure you have a more comfortable ride.
Interested in a new Fiat 500X Sport? get local available prices and offers here