2016 Fiat 500x: Hey, ya gotta love it!

23 Nov 2016 | 1,401 views | No Comment
By Donald Hammonds You know the routine. You buy a new car and it just seems like the same old, same old. Three Box design, five to six seat space, nothing special on the equipment list, and is so boring that you yawn just thinking about it. Well---if you can reduce your size expectations, juice your adventure quotient as high as you can, and prepare yourself for a ball of fun to drive--we have a car you may want to look at. And it's not a Mini Cooper. We love those, but this is from a whole 'nuther part of the world. We are, of course, talking about FiatChrysler's cool Fiat 500x.  It's a little crossover wagon, smallish, but bigger than the tiny Fiat 500 Coupe.  It drives like you're racing in the Monaco Grand Prix, looks sexy as all get-out, and has a pretty classy interior that resembles what you might see in way more expensive products. 2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus When you get into the 500x, you will first be struck by the easy to operate controls and the large, legible gauges. No strain to see what the car is doing and operating everything with this car. You will also notice the relative opulence of the interior. The really velvety texture of the leather and the two tone interior treatment--we e had dark brown/Gray combo called Testa di Moro---is cosmopolitan and snappy looking. And there is a surprising amount of comfort and stretch space up front. In the rear compartment, well....things are pretty tight in terms of legroom especially, and getting in and out easily is a hard to accomplish feat.  The sound system is purely kick-butt--a very high end sounding system you won't find easily on similar or on many larger cars. 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge Driving it?  What a treat!  It handles like a bobsled--this car goes precisely where you want it to go, and it feels pretty light for an all wheel drive vehicle. Steering and parking is a snap, but visibility in the rear can be a bit limiting. Fuel economy was a disappointment. The federal rating is 24 mpg all around and 21 highway and 30 city--two figures that were awfully hard to come by for us.  Maybe it's because this car invites vigorous driving and I suspect it would be awfully hard for anyone with even a drop of sporting blood to resist. Still, you expect such a relatively small car to do better than that. You will spend $500 more in fuel costs over five years with this car, compared to the average vehicle, and gong 100 miles requires 4.2 gallons.  Annual fuel costs is $1,900 based on $3.00 a gallon gasoline. Our red (Rosso Passione with Red Hypnotique clercoat) test model, a 500x Trekking Plus AWD, had a base price of $29,235,with plenty of equipment including automatic climate control, UCnnect, the company's fabulous entertainment/navigation/climate control system;  Sirius XM, heated front seats, steering wheel mounted controls, accent colored instrument panel bezels; ambient lighting, 12 volt auxiliary power outlet; cargo compartment cover, reversible height adjust load floor, bright exhaust tip, fog and cornering lamps, heated exterior mirrors, and a host of other items. Standard safety equipment included electric park brake, remote start system, dynamic control selector, electronic stability control,  Parkview Rear Back-Up Camera; ParkSense Rear Assist system; blind spot and cross path Detection, and the usual host of airbags. Options like Trekking Plus collection, a Premium Bose Audio system and dual pane sunroof with front power glass  and rear static glass brought the price to $32,230. Fiat 500X is available  in Pop, Easy, Trekking, Lounge and Trekking Plus models. If you really don't need allwheehl drive, you can go for the Pop comes only with front-wheel drive. The  others can be purchased with front- or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment on the Pop model includes 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, full power accessories, heated mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. The Easy adds 17-inch alloy wheels, three selectable drive modes (Auto, Sport, Traction +), keyless ignition and entry, ambient LED lighting, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and a removable height-adjustable cargo floor panel. Electronic additions consist of a rearview camera, the Uconnect control interface with a 5-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an additional USB port (charging only) and six speakers. The Trekking, which was our test model, has 18-inch alloy wheels, and looks quite a bit more macho, thanks to a different and more rugged front fascia, foglights, automatic headlights, an upgraded trip computer and upgraded cloth upholstery. If you want to be on the down low with your 500x, you can choose the Lounge.  It doesn't have the same exterior trim as the  Trekking, but in exchange, you get a windshield wiper de-icer, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, remote ignition, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rear cargo cover. It also gets an upgraded audio system, a rearview camera and the Uconnect 6.5 control interface, which comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, traffic reporting and HD radio. The available 6.5-inch Uconnect touchscreen works well. The top-of-the-line Trekking Plus adds 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alerts and rear parking sensors. If you are not confused enough by now, just wait till you see all the special packages and colors you can get, too. You probably will come out of it all wanting a dozen Fiat 500x cars! I say go for it! The 500x hits the sweet spot for anyone wanting a unique, loveable car with undeniable value.    
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