Long Term Updates
Long Term Updates
Date: March 2020
The cute-ute craze has once again hit the MotorWeek long term test fleet, this time in the form of the 2020 Fiat 500X.
It comes to us in “Trekking Plus” trim with standard all-wheel drive and sports a playful Italia Blue exterior paint job. Equally playful is the powerplant. A 1.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo churns up 177 horsepower and connects to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
This 500x’s engine may be small, but it’s torquey, which can be a lot of fun. It makes a little noise under hard acceleration, but it quiets down nicely once up to speed on the highway. And then around town, the automatic stop-start system has been relatively smooth.
So far we’ve racked up about only about 800 urban miles, but fuel economy has been solid, averaging 26.6 miles-per-gallon on regular grade. Right on with the EPA’s Combined rating.
Inside are leather-trimmed bucket seats, which are a bit firm, but also nicely bolstered. And, we’re enjoying the standard Uconnect infotainment system. As it is one of the best.
We’re still in the “getting to know you” phase with this 500X, but so far, so good.
Date: July 2020
This very playful looking, 2020 Fiat 500X has been in our fleet for 3-months, with the odometer just creeping over 2,200–miles. That’s much less than typical, as the 500X was on lockdown like the rest of us for the bulk of the Spring.
Back in business, this cute ute has delivered 25.7 miles-per-gallon and more than a few smiles along the way. It’s not quite a Mini Cooper when it comes to fun behind the wheel, but the 500X can be quite entertaining when roads get twisty.
With its compact proportions and modest engine size, the 500X makes a lot of sense in city settings, but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle some country back roads. The steering is quick and it changes direction well for how high it sits. So the Fiat fun factor is definitely here.
The smooth Italian style may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly unique from the cookie-cutter quasi-rugged look of most compact crossovers.
Date: August 2020
There are many choices when it comes to small crossovers these days, but we’ve learned over the last 5-months that our 2020 Fiat 500X is quite a good one.
“We test a lot of small utilities these days and this 500X still manages to stand out. It just has character, especially in the way it drives. The eager engine and responsive handling really make that daily commute more of a drive.”
Summer driving has resulted in better fuel economy, as our average is now up to 27.8 miles-per-gallon. The 1.3-liter turbo-4, with its 9-speed transmission has proved a capable combo. Despite its small size, it’s quite torquey off the line, and always seems to have a little in reserve when you need it.
We are appreciating the well-crafted interior more and more. The seats may be a little firm for some; but the layout, controls, and small touch screen are all simple, straightforward, and easy to use.
Trekking Plus trim, means most everything you’d want comes standard,though you do have to add the Advanced Driver Assistance Group to get Full-speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking as well as Lane Keep Assist.
Date: September 2020
Our 2020 Fiat 500X has seen miles added at a much slower pace. And, with many of our commutes now consisting of walking from the bedroom to wherever our laptop happens to be in the house, it’s understandable.
5-months in, we’ve travelled just 4,500-miles. So our mostly short hop fuel economy currently sits at 26.9 miles-per-gallon of regular.
While it doesn’t have quite the off-road chops of platform-mate Jeep Renegade, the 500X was the first Fiat to be equipped with all-wheel-drive when it arrived here in 2016. It’s standard with all trims and copes just fine with heavy weather and mild offroading.
While we do like the style inside and out, some recent excursions have reminded us how small the 500X is; just 14.1 cubic-ft. of cargo space is obviously limiting, but that small size also makes scooting about town as easy as it gets.
Date: October 2020
When it comes to the more crowded subcompact crossover segment; this 2020 Fiat 500X stands out with its smart Italian style, and just right stance that has us feeling a little guilty for not taking it out on all of those adventures we had in mind when it first arrived.
Yes, the virus means most trips have been short and sweet. Only 5,000 miles in 6 months. While it’s light and agile around town, we found the 500X to be surprisingly nailed down on four-lanes. A very European feel. Fuel economy sits at a fine 26.7 miles-per-gallon.
DAVE SCRIVENER: I’m more than halfway through this 3000-mile solo journey I'm taking in the Fiat 500X, and I'm pleasantly surprised. The engine is peppy enough to cruise at 70 and 75 miles an hour, still get 30 miles per gallon plus on the highway, and not feel overworked. There’s plenty of head, leg and elbow room, the cabin is quiet, the ride is fairly smooth. The only downside for me is the seating position, it’s a bit upright, my legs sit at a weird angle, but the adaptive cruise control means I set it and forget it. I haven’t touched the pedal in hours and my legs aren’t getting tired. so the 500x has been a great long-distance cruiser for me.
Date: November 2020
Another one of our long-term utilities, this 2020 Fiat 500X, has been hitting the highway as well; taking us all the way to North Dakota and back here to the Mid-Atlantic.
Despite its small size, it had no problem keeping up with traffic for hours on end at interstate speeds; its tiny 1.3-liter turbo 4 is more responsive than its 177-horsepower rating would suggest.
Interestingly enough, it’s around town where it’s not quite in its element, as the slight turbo lag can be a little annoying when powering away from a stop. 8,000 issue free miles is what we’ve travelled so far at 7-months into our test.
Unlike in the Outlander, all of those highway miles have lifted the 500X’s fuel economy average; now sitting at a respectable 27.1 miles-per-gallon.
Date: November 2020
It’s that time of year when we take a pause to sit back and reflect on all the things we’re thankful for. Well, 2020 has been a challenging year to say the least, but this little Fiat 500X has been a steady companion through it all, and we’re thankful for it.
9-months into our journey, this peppy pint-size utility has hauled our crews around to shoots, taken us nearly all over the country, and provided reliable commuting with 27.1 miles-per-gallon frugality.
It’s hard not to feel a little invigorated when driving this 500X. It’s packed with personality as FIATs tends to be, and while its expressive style and sharp chassis can be love it or hate it attributes, we all agree that it is not boring.
The 500X’s small size and quick steering make it a breeze to maneuver around town; while Euro-style firm but comfortable seats and tuning make the ride to Grandma’s house an enjoyable one.
Date: January 2021
We’ve driven 9,800–miles in this 2020 Fiat 500X so far; and have recently been reminded of just how European it is. From the firm seats that offer good long distance comfort, to the “quick on the trigger” turbo engine, and even the somewhat choppy ride on city streets. Yet it feels plenty solid enough for stress free interstate travel.
Subcompact vehicles like this 500X often don’t get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to highway comfort. Yes, it has a short wheelbase and we’ve noted its stiff suspension, yet somehow it’s still a comfy highway cruiser.
Currently, mileage sits at 27.1 miles-per-gallon, which is just above the government’s Combined rating for this 177–horsepower 1.3-liter turbo-4.
Date: January 2021
Many times, living with a small vehicle entails a lot of sacrifices. Well, as we’ve learned these last 10-months, our 2020 Fiat 500X requires very little in the way of small car compromise.
A climate control system that gets up or down to temperature very quickly, the responsive and intuitive Uconnect infotainment system, and plenty of room to stretch out, are all small things that make living with a small car much easier.
The 500X’s convenience features are great, but its agility is what most comments in the logbook revolve around. It’s a basic formula; quick steering plus a responsive powertrain minus an extended wheelbase equals driver engagement.
In this strange year, it has taken us longer than typical to pass the 10,000-mile mark, but we’ve finally done it, averaging 26.2 miles-per-gallon along the way; and have had no mechanical issues to deal with so far.
As for handling winter’s worst? The Fiat 500X has sliced right through everything Mother Nature has thrown at the Mid-Atlantic with ease.
Keep in mind, this vehicle does share a chassis with both the Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Compass; and while Fiat makes no claims of being “trail rated” the 500X’s standard all-wheel-drive system features much of the same hardware and capabilities as its Jeep cousins.
Date: March 2021
Next, it’s arrivederci to our 2020 Fiat 500X. This pint-sized Italian runabout has served us well over 12–months and 11,000–miles. Our yearlong fuel economy average wrapped up at a nice even 26.0 miles-per-gallon.
The life of a MotorWeek Long Term Test car isn’t always glamorous, but the 500X has made it through a year-long service with European style, grace and even a little bit of grit. The all-wheel drive system had us confident to take it off road during shoots and the suspension’s highway comfort had our staff constantly taking it for longer journeys. I think it’s safe to say the 500X surprised us a little bit and it will be missed.
Engine: 1.3 liter