The Fiat 500X launches with five different trim levels and with two different drivetrain configurations. Pop models are powered by a 1.4L turbocharged engine making 160 hp. It's the same unit that powers the 500 Abarth, though in the 500X it's connected to a 6-speed manual, rather than a 5-speed. All other trim levels of the 500X get a 2.4L 4-cylinder that makes 180 hp. The bigger engine also gets more gears, as a 9-speed automatic is the only transmission available.
Despite the smaller engine, Pop models still have decent acceleration, thanks in part to the 500X's relatively small size and light weight. Despite being the most basic trim, Pop models still come relatively well equipped for the price. Standard features include power windows and mirrors, an electronic parking brake, hill start assist, steering wheel mounted audio controls, a 3.5-inch screen in the gauge cluster, 16-inch wheels and daytime running lamps.
The next trim level up is called the Easy trim. The Easy trim adds the bigger engine and automatic transmission and makes all-wheel drive a $1900 option (all-wheel drive is not available on Pop models.) The Easy also gets 17-inch wheels, a 6-speaker Uconnect stereo and a 5-inch color touchscreen display in the dashboard.
Trekking models are similarly equipped to the Easy trim, but feature a much more aggressive look, with unique 17-inch wheels and a more rugged front and rear bumper design. Trekking models really drive home the idea of the 500X being a pint-sized crossover.
Lounge models ditch the rugged appearance of the Trekking trim and instead add some additional exterior chrome work and a couple of additional daytime running lamps. Additional features on the Lounge include automatic headlights, a leather wrapped shift knob, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, one year of SiriusXM radio and a backup camera.
The top of the line Trekking Plus trim takes the looks of the Trekking model and combines it with the features of the Lounge model, while adding trick looking 18-inch wheels.
The Fiat 500X comes standard with a host of airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control. Optional safety items include a lane departure warning system, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert and a forward collision warning system with active brake assist.
The Fiat 500X is a compact crossover that looks really good on paper. It comes with standard all-wheel drive, a robust infotainment system with and Android Auto, an optional suite of advanced driver-assistance tech and hey, it's pretty affordable, too. For 2019, the 500X gets a new, turbocharged engine that promises improvements in both power and fuel economy, and it helps make this little guy Fiat's most well-rounded offering yet.
But while the elevator pitch sounds great, it doesn't take long to discover the Fiat's shortcomings. And against a growing crop of fiercely competitive compact crossovers, even this updated 500X is harder to recommend than ever.
Puffing up a small car does not result in a particularly pretty SUV. In the same way that Mini's larger models look bulbous, so too does the Fiat 500X. The overall appearance is more dorky than quirky, and I don't like the way Fiat has incorporated body-colored squares into the center of the taillight housings as part of the 2019 model year updo. No, the 500X isn't quite as ugly as the ungainly 500L, but let's be honest, that's really just damning with faint praise.
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