2023 Fiat 500X lands in SA

15 February 2023 - 13:08
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The Fiat 500X in Sport trim.
The Fiat 500X in Sport trim.
Image: Supplied

Fiat was shrewd to expand its 500 family beyond the dinky original. In doing so it appealed to owners whose needs stretched further than what the cute three-door tyke could offer.

The brand launched the 500L, ungainly in appearance but immensely practical, endowed with a spacious interior replete with nifty storage spaces and generous elbow room. The 500X took on the burgeoning B-segment crossover market, rivaling products like the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota C-HR, Peugeot 2008 and Volkswagen T-Cross.

You might already know that underneath the 500X is based on the Jeep Renegade. A reminder that the two brands were part of the same household since the Fiat-Chrysler marriage in 2014. Today, the firms are still under the same umbrella, part of the large Stellantis operation.

The 500X continues to soldier on. A refreshed version arrived in South Africa this week, boasting subtle styling tweaks and enhanced specification that includes the option of a trick fabric roof.

Sport version gets Alcantara wheel and titanium-like dashboard inserts.
Sport version gets Alcantara wheel and titanium-like dashboard inserts.
Image: Supplied

Six airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are standard across the range. All models are powered by a 1.4-litre, turbocharged-petrol with four cylinders, producing 103kW and 230Nm. This is paired with a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Gone is the manual option.

Infotainment is taken care of by a seven-inch touchscreen unit, comprising navigation, voice control, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. On the driver assistance front, the 500X offers a lane-keep assist system that uses autonomous steering interventions to ensure the vehicle maintains a steady path.

The range starts with the Cross model, coming in at R509,900. It rolls on 18-inch wheels and features roof rails, skid plates, as well as full LED headlamps and foglamps as standard. Inside a soft-touch steering wheel and dual-zone climate control are part of the deal.

The 500X Sport EST gains a fabric roof.
The 500X Sport EST gains a fabric roof.
Image: Supplied

Next up on the hierarchy is the Sport model (R560,900), distinguished by body-coloured mouldings, side skirts, dual chrome exhaust tips, Sport badges and 19-inch wheels. The steering wheel is finished in Alcantara, complemented by a Titanium-like dashboard finish.

About that trick roof. The brand is offering a special Sport EST model for R580,900. EST stands for Extended Soft Top, an electrically-operated fabric top. According to Fiat, the peel-back facility pretty much accounts for the entire roof area, making it a convertible of sorts. It can be operated at speeds of up to 100km/h.



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