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Updated Fiat 500X crossover still so refreshingly stylish

Fiat 500X gets new LED headlights as part of facelift. Picture: Fiat

Fiat 500X gets new LED headlights as part of facelift. Picture: Fiat

Fiat

Fiat’s 500X crossover has been updated – Rebecca Chaplin finds out what difference those changes have made.

The Fiat 500X'’s restyling, inside and out, is subtle but new engines and more technology help it to stand out. Picture: FiatThe Fiat 500X'’s restyling, inside and out, is subtle but new engines and more technology help it to stand out. Picture: Fiat

The 500X was a bit of a revolution for Fiat when first launched – the manufacturer took a car famous for being small and made it big. It was a winning formula that worked for MINI and, second time around, Fiat hopes customers will love the new, improved version just as much.

This crossover has enough space for a young family, five seats, a 350-litre boot, a range of tech and this practical, versatile car also wins in the style stakes.

The styling differences are very subtle but new LED headlights, more efficient turbo petrol engines and an improved HD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard.

Safety and driver assistance technology have been improved too, and the 500X is now available with traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed assist, lane assist, blind spot alert and city brake control.

Highlights inside include an improved HD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Picture: FiatHighlights inside include an improved HD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Picture: Fiat

Looks and image

Overall, it looks more modern and those subtle tweaks, particularly around the bumper, have given it a much more imposing look for 2018.

The Cross Look – expected to be the more popular choice – adds rugged black bumpers, while the Urban Look has a sleeker overall appearance with a colour-coded front and rear. This latest model also gets new exclusive colours and alloy wheel designs.

Fiat 500X is available in two distinct versions  rugged Cross Look, pictured, and sleeker Urban Look. Picture: FiatFiat 500X is available in two distinct versions  rugged Cross Look, pictured, and sleeker Urban Look. Picture: Fiat

Under the bonnet

Entry-level Urban Look gets a 110hp 1.6-litre petrol engine, while the Cross Look uses the latest 120hp 1.0-litre and 150hp 1.3-litre turbo petrol units and both offer a great combination of performance and economy.

How it drives

Although there are plenty of positives on the economy side, the driving dynamics won’t set your world on fire. It’s quick to respond though, and handles corners well.

The high ride height gives a great view of the road and, although much wider than the standard 500, it still feels compact and manageable from inside.

Space and comfort

The interior has been subtly updated, the most important change being the latest Fiat Uconnect system.

The stylish Italian design and original Fiat 500 influences continue inside. The seats are rounded with contrast piping, while the curved dash and dials add to the retro feel. Although the plastics and materials don’t feel premium, it’s fun and funky.

Final say

Fiat hasn’t forgotten any of the key factors that first made the 500X great when freshening it for this latest model. It’s got great style, standout looks and new economical engines.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Fiat 500X Cross Plus FireFly Turbo £20,995 (500X range from £16,995)

Engine: 999cc, 120hp, three-cylinder turbo petrol

Performance: 0-62mph 10.9 seconds; top speed 117mph

MPG: 47.1 combined

CO2 emissions: 139g/km

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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