Motoring Reporter
4 minute read
16 Jul 2015
8:00 am

Fiat pumps up it’s cute 500

Motoring Reporter

The Fiat 500X makes its debut on South African soil with a new compact crossover in the 500 family.

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Heir to the Fiat 500 of 1957, the new Fiat crossover extends the 500 family, comprising the 500, 500C, 500L and 500L Trekking models. These are cars which are different in terms of vocation and character, but with roots in common: the iconic Fiat 500.

The new Fiat 500X will be available in three different versions – 500X Pop Star, 500X Cross and 500X Cross Plus – be equipped with two efficient petrol engines (1.4l MultiAir or 1.6l E-TorQ), have three types of transmission (5-speed manual, 6-speed manual or twin-clutch 6-speed automatic) and come with front-wheel drive and the unique Traction Plus configurations.

The 500X gives a nod to those who need to tackle urban traffic every day, thanks to its modest dimensions: it’s 4.25m long (200mm longer than the Fiat 500X Cross version), 1.8m wide and stands 1.61m in height. Compact outside, welcoming inside: a large, protective environment with extensive use of fine materials, high-quality finishes and practical storage compartments.

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The comfortable cabin is unmistakably made-in-Italy and offered in no fewer than seven interior configurations through the matching of various types of fabric, leather and colours. This is all made even more functional through the many seat-adjustment possibilities and the spacious luggage compartment (245 litres).

Finally, the customer can chose from seven different exterior colours that emphasise the sensual form of the Fiat 500X. The new Fiat offers various combinations of engines and transmissions to meet all usage requirements, always with respect for nature and maximum efficiency in terms of performance, consumption and emissions.

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The following petrol engines will be available: 81kW 1.6 “E-torQ” (5-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive), 103 kW 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II (front-wheel drive and 6-speed manual gearbox or twin-clutch 6-speed automatic).

The new 500X offers the “Drive Mood Selector”, which acts on engine, brakes, steering and transmission, permitting three different car behaviours based on the driving style most appropriate to the situation or road surface conditions: Auto (for the best in terms of comfort, consumption and CO2 emissions), Sport (for a drive that favours performance), “All Weather” (maximises traction on low friction surfaces such as wet roads), Pop Star and “Traction” (improves grip on rough and slippery terrain) and on Cross and Cross Plus.

Equipped with MacPherson suspension at the rear, the Fiat 500X ensures the right balance of handling and comfort. What’s more, to guarantee protection of occupants, the new Fiat crossover combines a body designed according to the most modern criteria with active and passive safety content that ensures excellent performance.

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

Standard on the entire range is some important content, such as six airbags (front, window bags and side bags), front headlights with daytime running light function, and fog lights with self-adaptive cornering function, in addition to the sophisticated ESC (Electronic Stability Control).

In addition, depending on the version and market, the advanced Lane Assist (lane departure warning system) and Blind Spot Assist (lane change assistance system to get around blind spots) devices are available as standard or on request. On request, it is also possible to equip your 500X with the new ParkView rear camera for reversing.

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

In terms of comfort and infotainment equipment, the Fiat 500X stands out thanks to the sophisticated Uconnect systems with 5″ or 6.5″ touch screens. Both versions come complete with Bluetooth interface, Aux-in connector, USB port and voice commands. Additionally, the Uconnect Radio Nav 5” device offers TomTom 2.5D navigation, while the 6.5″ Uconnect Radio Nav features satellite navigation with 3D maps, progressive route guidance and One Shot Voice Destination Entry to enter addresses with voice commands.

Using the colour touch-screen, the system lets you access all the main functions. The 500X range will initially be launched with the 1.4l Cross and with the 6-speed manual transmission; and in limited numbers of the 1.4l Cross with the 6-speed DDCT transmission.

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The Fiat 500 is living up to its iconic name. Picture: Supplied

The pricing will start at R344 900 and R359 900 respectively.

The 500X 1.4l Cross Plus and the 1.6l Pop Star will be priced at R379 900 and R310 900 respectively. The Cross Plus DDCT will be be priced at R394 900.