2016 Fiat 500X crosses over with style
Making its world debut in Paris, the all-new Fiat 500X is a compact crossover the automaker hopes will appeal to buyers in more than 100 global markets - including the U.S. -- when it goes on sale next year. Fiat's newest family member shares much of its mechanical pedigree with the recently introduced 2015 Jeep Renegade and is being built in the same Melfi, Italy, assembly plant. However, specifications released on this slick soft roader were limited to its various Euro-spec incarnations.
Marginally longer, wider and lower than the current 500L, the new Fiat 500X retains clear visual family cues but matches edgier detailing with a sleeker overall profile to add a more contemporary flair. Like the 500L, it will be offered in two trim levels - think base and Trekking - one to woo those with "a spirited, metropolitan outlook" and the other for "active, stylish adventurers." Offering seats for five, the well-finished cabin of the 2015 500X displays its own sense of style but does share with the 500L a host of creature comforts and the availability of 5.0-inch and 6.5-inch Uconnect infotainment systems -- along with an optional Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio package.
Long list of powertrains
The Fiat 500X will offer a bounty of global powertrain choices, including four gasoline and three turbodiesel 4-cylinder engines backed by 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions as well as a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. All-wheel drive versions of the 500X will come standard with a new 9-speed automatic. While Fiat has yet to confirm what combinations we'll see here, it's likely they'll match those in the Jeep Renegade. If so, expect to see a 160-horsepower/1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo and a naturally aspirated 184-horse/2.4-liter Tigershark four with the 6M and 9A shifters either standard or optional depending on trim grade and the number of driven wheels.
Euro versions of the 500X also will boast many standard safety features including numerous driver-help items including Lane Assist, Blind Spot Assist, a ParkView backup camera, Brake Control and adaptive-cornering front fog lamps, all of which are likely to turn up here as well. More details on pricing and packaging for U.S. version of the 2016 Fiat 500X will be released closer to its on-sale date here.
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