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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.2

The 500X takes the retro styling of Fiat's popular 500 hatchback and transfers it to a compact SUV format. Customers for this type of car have lots of choice, including cars that are objectively better, but if you're sold on the looks and prepared to overlook its flaws, the 500X has much to like about it.

Reasons to buy

  • Stylish and distinctive
  • Strong engines
  • Good level of equipment

Running costs for a Fiat 500X 3/5

Prices for the 500X are average for the class, being more or less on a par with the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur but lower than those of the Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Roc.

However, the 500X doesn’t have particularly great predicted resale values compared with these rivals, which over the course of several years of ownership could mean higher overall costs.

The cost of service, maintenance and repair is also likely to be higher, while . comparing fuel economy figures for the 1.0-litre engine in the 500X with rival equivalents doesn’t reflect well on the Fiat either. Overall, the 500X won’t cost too much to own but it doesn’t make as much financial sense as its key rivals.

Reliability of a Fiat 500X 3/5

Fiat’s recent reliability record as a brand isn’t especially good, as evidenced by a second-from-bottom ranking in the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study. The Warranty Direct Reliability Index, which ranks vehicles and manufacturers post-factory warranty, makes for better reading, placing Fiat solidly in mid-table for its older cars. Should anything go wrong, the 500X does come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

Safety for a Fiat 500X 3/5

All versions of the updated 500X come with Traffic Sign Recognition and Speed Advisor systems, which use a camera to read road signs and display the information in the cockpit, to help stop you speeding inadvertently, as well as Lane Assist to warn you if you drift out of your lane. However, automatic emergency braking is an optional extra, which is a shame when some newer rivals offer this as standard, such as the Volkswagen T-Roc.

The 500X scored a reasonable, but not spectacular, four stars during tests by safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2015. All cars come with six airbags, and there are two Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer back seats.

How comfortable is the Fiat 500X 3/5

The 500X isn’t a particularly big car, but as a car for those that want a regular 500 but with a bit more space it fits the bill. Space up front is absolutely fine, and it’ll house two tall-ish adults in the back without too many problems.

While the boot, at 350 litres, is fairly small for the class, it’s a decent shape and has a movable floor to create extra space and an almost-flat surface when the rear seats are folded down.

A smattering of retro details give the 500C’s cabin a different feel to most rival compact SUVs. Quality isn’t a match for the class leaders, but it’s quite appealing nonetheless. It’s mostly easy to use too, despite an infotainment system that feels a little dated and uses a rather small screen.

The driving experience of the 500X is best described as competent, without excelling in any particular area. The ride is generally smooth enough, but a few lumps and bumps will make themselves known through the suspension when the road gets rougher. However, it’s still within the boundaries of comfort. It feels solid and stable through corners, too, and although the light steering means it doesn’t feel particularly sharp it does make manoeuvring at low speeds – and parking – easy.

Features of the Fiat 500X 3/5

All three versions of the 500X have a reasonable level of standard equipment, with entry-level models featuring a leather steering wheel, two USB ports, manual air conditioning, cruise control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Move above this basic trim level and you get automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and front parking sensors. At the higher end of the range you get a lot of kit for the money, with features such as LED headlights, a rear parking camera and sat-nav.

Power for a Fiat 500X 3/5

There’s a choice of three petrol engines for the 500X, all of which provide respectable – if not thrilling – performance. We’ve tried the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine with 120 horsepower, which despite its small size is impressively punchy and should suit the needs of most customers.

If you do want more power, there’s a 1.3-litre turbo engine with 150 horsepower, which is the only model to come with an automatic gearbox. There’s also a entry-level non-turbo, 1.5-litre engine with 110 horsepower and a manual gearbox.

Anyone with plans to go off-road should probably reconsider, because Fiat has discontinued four-wheel drive 500Xs in the UK, so all models are front-wheel drive only.