2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD – Piu Piccante Dish, Re-Driven Review

2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD: starting at just above $24K with now standard AWD and 9-speed automatic, the tested Griglio Moda Sport rings up at loud $35,895

MARKED X FOR SURVIVAL:  With a meager appetite for their Italian imports Piccolo Al Dente, and with a PSA to FCA merger cemented, the FIAT 500 city car, including the Abarth, is off the menu in America.  Remaining on the FIAT tavola here is the more Grande and lifted 500X personal crossover. In 2016, sibling outlet ChicagoNow.com “Drive..He Said” compared the then all new jelly beaned FIAT 500X personal crossover utility to its cohort from Melfi, the boxy Jeep Renegade.

REASON FOR RE-DRIVE: FIAT’s personal crossover from Melfi is now more melliferous. The 1.3L 16 valve straight-four gains a new manifold intercooler for a piu piccante 25 psi turbocharger boost. All-wheel drive now comes standard. A more aggressive posing 2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD catches  Roadblazing.com’s eyes.

Driving Hits:

  • 221 lb-ft = +20% torque vs. outgoing 2.4L Tigershark I-4 at -52% engine speed
  • Standard all-wheel drive w/ disengaging rear prop shaft
  • 9-speed torque converter automatic transaxle
  • Multiple drive and terrain modes
  • Performance tires stick in dry
  • Small turn radius
  • Intrepidly aggressive and naturally modulating brake friction
  • Tenacious pedal grips
2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD: middling door pocket storage, slip-proof aluminum pedal grips

Driving Misses:

  • 22 combined MPG decidedly on the low end of the segment
  • Unsubtle engine start-stop
  • Indecisiveness of 9-speed automatic transaxle
  • Sleepy accelerator pedal response
  • Body flex over bumps
  • Bobbing chassis
  • Static steering wheel wind-up
  • Cabin tire and wind noise at speed
  • No all-terrain capability with performance highway rubber
2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD: 225/45 VR-19 unidirectional Michelin rubber maximizes the Sport nature

What It Has Got:

  • From $24,085 (incl. destination) for an all-wheel drive 9-speed automatic 2020 FIAT 500X Pop. The tested 2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD pumps the bottom line up to $31,465
  • On the compact end of personal crossover utility vehicles
  • Distinctive Cinquencento derived Jelly Bean shape but not comically so
2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD:
  • Exterior color matching dashboard appliques
  • Tall stance
  • 5 occupant capacity
  • Flat 2nd Row seat cushion
  • Generous 2nd Row knee room
  • Sport front bucket seats
  • 60/40 split folding 2nd Row seat backs
  • Upper and lower glove boxes
  • Oversized switchgear
  • Some nice standard kit:
    • LED Daytime Running Lights
    • Keyless proximity entry, ignition
    • Cruise control
    • Power windows full express x front
    • Heated wing mirrors
    • 4-Way Power driver’s seat w/ memory
    • Height adjustable mechanical front passenger seat
    • Bluetooth wireless communications and voice commands
    • Split analog driver’s gauges pods
    • Informative TFT color center Multifunction display
    • 7.0″-inch touch U-Connect 4.0 infotainment display
    • 6 speaker 180W HD radio streaming audio
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play
    • Sirius XM, TravelLink and Wi-Fi (by subscription)
    • Leather steering wheel, gearshift selector knob
  • OK safety features & grades
    • IIHS 2020 Good ratings
    • Rear camera w/ active predictive grid
    • Available Forward collision mitigation, Blind Spot, rear cross traffic warning, lane departure warning, part adaptive cruise control, audible / visible park warning
  • 4 year / 50,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty includes 3 years scheduled maintenance

What It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • Advanced driver assistance only part of costly packages
  • optional Adaptive cruise control lacks stop and go
  • Native navigation GPS slightly laggy
  • Heated front seats optional
  • LED headlamps optional and then rather dim
  • Dull soft materials, industrially coarse cabin panels, thin carpeting and indistinguishable steering wheel controls
  • Front bucket seats narrow of width
  • 2nd Row seat backs don’t fold flat
  • Less bass boomy audio

Standout Cool Features on tested  2020 FIAT 500X Sport:

  • More aggressive color matched body flaring and 19″ smoked alloy wheels
  • TomTom based navigation 3-D graphics
2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD: 3-D map detail in the available Tom Tom GPS HDD voice command navigation displayed on 7.0″ UConnect 4.0 LCD media screen
  • Level 1.5 advanced driver assistance
  • Park assist warning
  • Dual moonroofs, front tilt and sliding
  • BEATS 9-speaker, 506 watt premium audio
  • Leather seats, heated front sport bucket, 6-way power driver’s
  • Alcantara trimmed steering wheel and gauge cluster hood
  • Aluminum pedals w/ grippy rubber surfaces
  • Heated steering and headlamp washers
  • Reverse tilting wing mirrors

ROADBLAZING.COM’s SUMMATION:

2020 FIAT 500X Sport AWD = As the menu fare thins this genuine Italian compact crossover dish is now served a Piu Piccante and a bit pricey.

SEE THE CHICAGONOW.COM “DRIVE…HE SAID” COMPARISON REVIEW AND GALLERY OF THE 2016 FIAT 500X AND 2016 JEEP RENEGADE BELOW

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The new 2016 FIAT 500X and 2016 Jeep Renegade small crossover utility vehicles share FIAT Small 4×4 Architecture (BU) derived from the Small Common Components and Systems (SCCS) platform jointly developed with General Motors. These fraternal Cute Utes are assembled on the same FIAT line in Melfi, Italy. Yet their differences are more than skin deep.Divergent Destination:

– The 2016 FIAT 500X fills a large model range gap in U.S. FIAT “STUDIOS.” It slots comfortably between the 500 Cinquecento micro-car and the 500L compact family wagon. Offered with optional all-wheel drive, a northern clime feature lacking in the comparable Kia Soul.

– The 2016 Jeep Renegade, revives a name last affixed to a AMC CJ-7 decal package. Think of the new Renegade as a Wrangler Unlimited which stopped growing at age 15. The new Renegade banks on the Jeep brand’s global reputation for ruggedness. In case off-roading becomes trendy in China.

Civies or Camo:

FIAT 500X is a Jelly Bean with greater definition; Nose says “Cinquencento” but hood is plenty sloped & beltline is high; In a conservative color it avoids “Clown-Car” certification; Windshield & backlight are seriously raked for reduced noise; Wheels have been moved as far to the corners as possible; 17″ wheels seem right at home inside large wheel arches; Resembles a super-lifted MINI Cooper 5-door right down to the taillamp housings.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING CHICAGO NOW “DRIVE…HE SAID” 2016 FIAT 500X & 2016 JEEP RENEGADE COMPARISON REVIEW

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