Classic Italian style is hard to come by in a subcompact crossover, but the 2020 Fiat 500X has plenty of it. It shares its turbocharged engine and platform architecture with the Jeep Renegade, but compared with the box-shaped Jeep, its lines flow like the foam on a cappuccino. Alas, there's not much utility inside the 500X, and it isn't all that fun to drive, either. High pricing makes this Fiat especially hard to justify, as fully loaded versions cost as much as larger, compact crossovers. Unless you're smitten with its style, we'd steer you toward better-packaged rivals such as the Hyundai Kona or the Kia Soul.
What's New for 2020?
Fiat adds the 500X Sport to the lineup. Slotting in above the Trekking, the Sport model has a new front end with LED headlamps and a Sport badge, body-color side moldings, and a restyled rear end with twin chrome exhaust tips. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, with 19s optional. Inside, the 2020 Fiat 500X Sport features seats with added bolstering, along with simulated-suede inserts and red stitching on both the seats and the restyled, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and aluminum trim on the pedals.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
There isn't much differentiation between the trim levels on the 2020 Fiat 500X. The Trekking Plus comes with a few more features than the Trekking and Sport, but these items are optional on the lower trims. Since styling is such a big part of this crossover's appeal, we'd go for the new Sport model. The Sport's available 19-inch wheels give the 500X a nice stance, and the interior details are tasteful and worth the spend over the standard Trekking model.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All 2020 Fiat 500X models come with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The all-wheel-drive system has three driver-selectable settings to optimize traction in varying conditions. All models come with 17-inch aluminum wheels, except the Sport, which has standard 18s (optional on both Trekking models) and available 19-inch wheels. Regardless of trim level, the 500X isn't the quickest crossover in this class nor is it the most fun to drive. The Fiat's suspension is comfortable for highway cruising but loses its composure on curvy back roads. If you're looking for a more entertaining SUV, we'd suggest the Kona or the Mazda CX-3.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is so-so for a pint-sized crossover, as the EPA rates the 2020 Fiat 500X at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is tight in the 500X, and the quality of its interior materials is far from best in class. On the upside, the layout of its controls are good, and the driving position should suit a range of body shapes and sizes. It's also an attractive cabin—especially the Sport version with its upgraded seats and snazzy styling details. You'll be able to fit a few bags of groceries in the Fiat 500X, but cargo capacity is low even for a subcompact SUV with just 14 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 32 cubic feet when they're folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard in every 2020 Fiat 500X. The Trekking Plus also includes a factory navigation system; it's optional on the Trekking and Sport. An upgraded Beats audio system is optional on all trims, except the base Pop. Every 500X has two USB charge ports at the bottom of the center stack.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not released crash-test ratings on the Fiat 500X, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2018 crossover "Good" in its moderate- and small-overlap front- and side-impact crash tests. Selecting the Advanced Driver Assistance Group package adds a suite of driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and automatic high-beam headlights. This package is optional on the Trekking, Sport, and Trekking Plus models. The Trekking Plus comes with LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors. These items are a package option for the Trekking and Sport. Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Fiat offers solid limited warranty coverage, but the 500X's powertrain warranty is skimpy. Most rivals offer five-year/60,000-mile coverage, while the Hyundai Kona tops the class with its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance