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2018 FIAT 500X KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 7.6 / 10
This Car - 2018 FIAT 500X
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Consumer Rating 7.6 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor - Updated Date: 3/9/2018

Based on the 500 “Cinquecento” subcompact car, the 2018 Fiat 500X adds an additional two doors, standard all-wheel drive and increased ground clearance. Built to rival other subcompact-crossover SUVs like the Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax and Honda HR-V, the 500X looks good on paper, but in reality falls far short of the reliability and resale figures of the aforementioned competitors. The 500X also isn’t nearly as much fun to drive as the CX-3 or Trax, and its 9-speed automatic transmission continues to rack up performance complaints. On the flip side, the 500X’s sub-$21,000 price tag, numerous safety features and colorful palate make it a tempting choice. Those looking for true off-road ability should look to the 500’s kissing cousin, the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the individuality and colorful expression of small European cars, but need something that can handle snow and ice, delivers good fuel economy and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, the 2018 Fiat 500X could be the little Italian for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a small car with strong reliability and resale, the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 are better choices. The HR-V offers more interior room while the CX-3 is a superior driver with better fuel economy. The Jeep Renegade offers a better platform for off-road adventures.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the 500X gains as standard the UConnect 4 system that brings a 7-inch display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also standard this year is Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and a rearview camera.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Although the 500X’s perky exterior and inviting interior had us hoping we’d found a less pricey alternative to the Mini Countryman, our hopes were soon dashed. Unlike the Mini, a day spent driving around country roads in the 500X just isn’t very satisfying. Over modest road imperfections, the 500X is far too bouncy and unsettled, although it does glide nicely over smooth pavement. The 500X’s electrically assisted power steering brought mixed reviews from our test crew, with the majority stating the feeling was somewhat numb and unnatural. The feature that drew the most ire, however, is the 500X’s 9-speed automatic transmission. Mated exclusively to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, the 9-speed does a poor job managing the engine’s modest power, with slow reactions to throttle input and occasional hard shifts. Ironically, the more desirable 6-speed manual is offered only on the base car and only with the less powerful 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Favorite Features

Little more than a gimmick in some cars, the Fiat 500X’s drive-mode selector actually produced a noticeable difference between settings. Better still, the feature is available on every model with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Safety shouldn’t be just for those who can afford it, which is why we’re glad to see Fiat offering systems like lane-keeping assist and collision mitigation on the 500X. Buyers can opt for these as well as blind-spot detection, augmenting the standard airbag and electronic stability-control systems that help keep everyone safe.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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