By Otsile Kadiege
I spent some time with the quirky styled and recently updated Italian crossover SUV – the Fiat 500X. The 500X is essentially a larger, more practical Fiat 500. As part of the refresh, the 500X is now available in 4 trim levels, namely Cult, Connect, Sport and Cross.
I drove the Cult grade and some of its exterior highlights include LED DRLs, halogen headlights, dark grey 16-inch wheels, contrasting body cladding, rear parking sensors and LED tail lights. In terms of dimensions, the 500X has a height of 1,600mm, a length of 4,248mm, it’s 1,796mm wide and it has a wheelbase of 2,570mm. The 500X also has a decent ground clearance of 163mm.
Inside, the updated 500X Cult gets a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with a few familiar looking buttons sourced from a few of its stablemates. It’s fitted with semi-leather seats with a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a decent quality 6-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch display with okay graphics and an easy to use UConnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 3 USB ports and a decently sized luggage space (350 litres).
Underneath the sculpted bonnet of the 500X lies a 1.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine making 103kW and 230Nm mated to a 6-speed manual. The latter impressed us greatly – it’s peppy, quiet and the 6-speed manual transmission is buttery smooth. Ride quality is also commendable and the cruise control eases the strain of driving long distance.
The Fiat 500X is priced from R394,900 for the Cult grade. Despite its impressive drive and generous specification, I think the asking price is quite steep considering there are far better vehicles with more space, technology, power, advanced safety features etc.
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