Fiat crosses over with new 500X


Following on from its smash-hit 500 boutique hatch and subsequent 500C, 500L and 500L Trekking derivatives, Fiat South Africa has added a fifth variation in the form of the 500X compact crossover.

Based on the same platform as the recently launched Jeep Renegade, the 500X is touted by the Italian auto giant as being a vehicle that combines an active lifestyle with elegance, while the off-road inspired 500X Cross is aimed at bringing the gap between ruggedness and sophistication.

Claimed to offer the same amount of practically as a SUV but with the same compact dimensions as the regular 500, the 500X will initially be available with the option of two petrol engines and in front-wheel drive only as to avoid clashing with future all-wheel drive Renegade models.

Measuring 4 248 mm in length and 1 608 mm in height, the 500X is also the first local model to feature Fiat’s Drive Mood Selector, which allows for the choosing of thee settings; Auto, Sport and All-Weather, that alters steering, throttle response and gear changes. A special Traction mode is available on Cross models only.  

As with the regular 500, the 500X can also be have with a range of customised trim pieces, while standard equipment, depending on the model, includes a five or 6.5-inch UConnect infotainment system, the latter also incorporating voice activation and 3D satellite navigation, Bluetooth audio streaming, Lance Departure Warning, Blind Spot Assist and a ParkView reverse camera.

Consisting of five models, the base Pop Star uses a slightly revised version of the 500L’s 1.6-litre normally aspirated engine which now produces 81 kW and 152 N.m of torque. A five-speed manual is the sole transmission option available.

Making up the remainder of the range, the Cross and Cross Plus use the same 1.4-litre MultiAir turbocharged engine as the Renegade with power being rated at 103 kW and 230 N.m of torque. Transmission options include either a six-speed manual or similar ratio dual-clutch automatic.

No word yet exists as to whether the 1.6 or 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engines will become available, while the North American market 2.4-litre Tigershark petrol and nine-speed automatic box are unlikely as the combination will soon be offered on the Renegade.

A three year / 100 000 km warranty and maintenance plan is standard on all models.



1.6 Pop Star 81 kW / 152 N.m R310 900 
Cross 1.4 MultiAir 103 kW / 230 N.m R344 900 
Cross 1.4 MultiAir DCT 103 kW / 230 N.m R359 900 
Cross Plus 1.4 MultiAir 103 kW / 230 N.m R379 900 
Cross Plus 1.4 MultiAir DCT 103 kW / 230 N.m R394 900