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2016 FIAT 500X: LA Auto Show

author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2014

What Is It?

The 2016 FIAT 500X is a new crossover that combines the Italian automaker's unique styling with SUV benefits such as increased ride height, a larger interior and available all-wheel drive.

Riding on the same platform as the upcoming Jeep Renegade, the 500X boasts its own unique look that can only be described as more FIAT-like than its Jeep counterpart. That means more curves and circles than angles, with a sloping roofline, circular headlights and unmistakably FIAT-rounded taillights. Inside, things are a little more generic: The 500X comes equipped with a lot of shared Chrysler parts as well as the automaker's impressive Uconnect infotainment technology.

Under the skin, the 500X offers the same two engine options as the Renegade: a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. The base engine offers manual or automatic options, while the 2.4-liter comes equipped with only a 9-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.

As for equipment, the 500X offers a plentiful list of options, from upgraded leather to a larger central touchscreen and high-tech features, including rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry with a push-button start, Bluetooth, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning.

How Much?

Although FIAT has not yet announced pricing, we expect the 500X to start below $20,000 when it reaches dealers.

When Can You Get It?

Spring 2015

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

The 2016 FIAT 500X looks like a capable compact crossover for shoppers interested in combining SUV benefits -- such as all-wheel drive and a higher seating position -- with compact-car amenities, including excellent fuel economy and eye-catching FIAT styling. As the compact crossover segment continues to heat up, we're excited to check out the 500X and its Jeep Renegade stablemate along with a wide range of other new models from Chevrolet, Honda and others.

Other Cars to Consider

Chevrolet Trax -- The all-new Chevrolet Trax should begin reaching dealers this year with a starting price of around $22,000 or less. Based on the subcompact Sonic, it features a standard 4-cylinder engine and tiny-car dimensions.

Honda HR-V -- Also officially revealed here in Los Angeles, the HR-V should reach dealers sometime next spring or summer. The Fit-based HR-V won't offer as much power as the 500X will, but it comes with Honda's impressive reputation for reliability and longevity.

Used MINI Countryman -- If it's standout styling you're after, you might want to consider the slightly larger -- and more expensive -- MINI Countryman. Prices are steep, which is why we suggest a used model, but the Countryman offers engaging handling and bold styling.

Used Mazda CX-5 -- If the 500X isn't quite big enough for your tastes, you might want to consider Mazda's slightly larger CX-5 crossover instead. Featuring an excellent driving experience and two 4-cylinder engine options, it's one of our favorite compact crossovers.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 FIAT 500X: LA Auto Show - Autotrader