X factor for new Fiat


06 September 2018

FIAT has updated its 500X crossover range, which gets a new look, more equipment, and a pair of ultra-efficient new turbocharged petrol engines.

As is increasingly the case, diesel engines have quietly disappeared from the range, with unsold stocks being slashed in price by a whopping £6,000.

In their place are a total of three new petrol engines, one of which is a completely new one-litre three-cylinder unit, which despite its diminutive size generates a very respectable power output of 120bhp.

This engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and achieves pulling power of 190Nm.

There is also a larger four-cylinder 1.3-litre option with power of 150bhp and torque, or pulling power of 270Nm.

In this case the transmission is a sophisticated six-speed dual clutch automatic system.

The third engine is a more mundane 1.6-litre unit with a relatively low output of 110bhp and is used for the entry-level model only.

The cars come with a choice of three trim levels comprising Urban, City Cross and Cross.

New daylight running lights and LED rear light clusters are standard across the range, which not only look different but bring major safety benefits.

They use only a fifth of the energy of traditional halogens and improve visibility hugely.

At a speed of 55mph obstacles can be spotted up to four seconds sooner, which equates to a distance of 100 metres.

The Urban version gets a new front and rear bumper design, whilst the new Cross acquires protective skid plates for tackling rougher ground.

There is also a restyled interior with higher-quality materials, more storage areas, and a choice of seven different finishes.

Traffic Sign Recognition, Speed Advisor and Lane Assist are now offered as standard on all versions, whilst Blind Spot Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and City Brake Control are options.

All now come with a seven-inch touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

This Uconnect system includes a Bluetooth hands-free interface, audio streaming, text reader and voice recognition, Aux and USB ports with iPod integration and controls on the steering wheel.

The system can be further enhanced with an optional Parkview rear parking camera and new TomTom 3D integrated navigation system.

In Urban trim level, there are 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, a new instrument panel, manual air conditioning, cruise control, electric parking brake and 60/40 split rear seat.

The City Cross version has 17-inch alloys, satin chrome inserts and body-coloured door mirrors, plus front fog lights, a 3.5-inch colour TFT monitor, automatic climate control and rear parking sensors.

The flagship Cross Plus version adds LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, roof bars and dark tinted rear windows. Inside, it adds TomTom navigation to the seven-inch touchscreen, plus Parkview rear parking camera, dusk sensor and a front armrest.

Prices range from £17,000 for the entry-level 1.6-litre version to £23,200 for the 1.3-litre Cross Plus automatic.