2020 Fiat 500X - Driven
The Fiat 500X is somewhat of a quirky vehicle. For starters, Fiat isn’t exactly the most popular brand here in the United States, and when you pair that with the fact that it’s really more of a jacked-up hatchback than a true crossover. As you’ll read a little later on in this in-depth review, the 500X, outside of its standard all-wheel-drive actually fails when it comes to doing a lot of usual crossover things – like carrying lots of cargo. But we’ll discuss that a little further down the page. For now, I want to want to talk to you about what it’s like to drive the 500X and a little more of that quirkiness that, honestly, intrigues me so much.
The Fiat 500 L is classified as a Compact MPV – Minivan, as we know the term here in the United States – but it’s really more of a compact SUV or large hatchback. It’s been on the global market since 2012, but Fiat didn’t bring it to the states until the 2014 model year. It’s been on the market ever since, and was updated in 2018, but the truth of the matter is that the 500 L is still nearly eight years old. With this in mind, we’re kind of curious if the city car on steroids – remember, it’s based on the 500 city car – is still a viable choice in today’s market.
So, we spoke with our press fleet coordinator and managed to get our hands on a 2019 Fiat 500 L. A couple of weeks later, a 2019 Fiat 500 L Trekking showed up at Top Speed headquarters. This trim level sits above the entry-level Pop trim, but below the upper-class Urbana and Lounge trim levels with a starting price of $23,575. It is certainly positioned right in the middle of the affordable price bracket, but how does it drive? Is the aging 500 L comfortable and up to par with the competition? Does it provide the same thrills and entertaining experience as the smaller 500 that it’s based on? Well, after spending a week with the 2019 Fiat 500 L, we have answers to these questions and more – this is our story.
2019 Fiat 124 Abarth and 500 Abarth
2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept
For its 120th birthday, Fiat went to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to present a concept car, except it’s really not a concept car. It’s called the Centoventi Concept, which literally translates to “one hundred and twenty” in our language. It’s not the most creative concept name in the world, but it’ll do, especially when you begin to understand what it’s really all about. Fiat’s press release calls the Centoventi Concept a vehicle that “perfectly expresses the Italian brand’s idea of electric mass mobility in the near future.” What that phrase doesn’t tell you is that the Centoventi Concept is a lot more than just a representation of Fiat’s vision for its future electric. The concept is also a blank canvas that invites user customization. It’s a design-your-own ride that lets you personalize the car’s design from the ground up. Future urban mobility? Sure, the concept is that, too. But it’s really a modular platform for creativity. The Centoventi Concept doesn’t really have a “look,” in large part because that “look” will depend on how you design it.
2019 Abarth 595 Esseesse
Fiat will launch a new performance flagship model for the 500 range in the form of the new, 2019 Abarth 595 esseesse that’s set to debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show. The Italian brand is also not only celebrating its 120th anniversary this year but the 70th anniversary of Abarth too, hence why it’s bringing this 500 and a limited series version of the Abarth 124 roadster to the auto show.
2019 Fiat 500X
Fiat has revealed its revised 500X crossover which has been nipped and tucked for the first time since its 2014 European debut (in the US for the 2016 model year it was launched). It comes with a refreshed exterior with new front and rear light clusters, more tech, and improved engines.
Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in our gallery below!
2018 Fiat 500 1957 Edition
Fans of the Fiat 500 can’t seem to get enough of the 500 1957 Edition, so much so that the Italian automaker is rolling out a new version of the special edition model. The “new” 500 1957 Edition arrives this fall at a starting price of $20,740. There’s no stated cap on the model’s volume, but the package is available on hardtop and convertible versions of the 500.
2018 Fiat 500L S-Design
Fiat adds another name to its line of S-Design models, this time the family-friendly 500L. Based on the crossover-inspired 500L Cross, the aim of the S-Design version is to inject some extra style into the package, like it’s already done with the Tipo, 500X and 124 Spider.
2018 Fiat 500 Spiaggina by Garage Italia and Pinninfarina
Marking the 60th anniversary since the unveiling of the first special edition car based on the model 500 - the 500 Jolly, known as "Spiaggina," Fiat showcased their new limited edition of the latest Fiat 500. Called the Fiat 500 Spiaggina ’58, the new model is limited to 1958 units. A number which is an homage to the year Fiat showcased the original 500 Jolly, a car adored by rich and famous of the time.
However, apart from Fiat showcasing a rather cool Spiaggina ‘58 production model based on the 500C with a 1.2-liter, 69 horsepower engine, Garage Italia and Pininfarina prepared their own celebration model. It is a better one.
2018 Fiat 500 Urbana Edition
Originally introduced in 1957, the Fiat 500 remained in production for nearly 20 years, during which it became one of the most iconic vehicles in history. The nameplate was revived in 2007 as a competitor for the modern Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper and was received with great enthusiasm. However, Fiat didn’t do much to upgrade it over the last 11 years, with only two minor facelifts launched as of 2018. The latest update was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, where Fiat also brought the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine back to the U.S. in a non-Abarth model. Two months later and the Italian brand launched a new special edition model called the Urbana Edition.
It’s become quite common for automakers to add special edition models when their facelifts aren’t very consistent, and this is exactly what the Urbana Edition is all about. With add-ons that include black trim, new wheels, and a limited color palette, the Urbana Edition was designed to keep things interesting for a vehicle that’s getting a bit long in the tooth. The 500 is not alone in this though, as both the 500L and 500X received identical packages. The 500 Urbana Edition will become available this spring.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Urbana Edition.
2018 Fiat 500 Abarth
Without a doubt, the Fiat 500 is an absolutely iconic automobile. First rolling off the production line way back in 1957, this tiny little go-getter found owners across Italy, eventually selling nearly 4 million units by the time it was discontinued in 1975. In 2007, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reintroduced the nameplate as a modern front-engine, FWD city car, infusing it with as much charm and fun as possible in an attempt to rekindle the old Cinquecento flame. Although bigger and heavier than those first 500’s, the new model managed to offer some real smiles behind the wheel, especially with the go-faster Abarth versions. Taking cues from the old school sport models, the new 500 Abarth gets more power, firmer suspension, and nippier steering, not to mention every aesthetic performance nod possible in such a small package. Fast forward to today, and the entire Fiat 500 lineup was upgraded for the 2018 model year with a turbo engine and a new look, but the fastest and most aggressive of the bunch remains the Abarth model. Upgrades over the normal 500 once again include all the right stuff – big wheels, big brakes, hard suspension, and more power, not to mention the requisite go-faster stripes in the flanks.
All told, the Fiat 500 remains a quirky and fun little city car with a decent splash of performance, a modern take on a classic micro machine. However, with so many other killer hot hatches on the market, such as the Ford Fiesta ST and Mini Cooper S, can the 500 Abarth keep pace, or has the scorpion lost some of its sting?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth.
2018 Fiat 500
One of Fiat’s most iconic nameplates, the 500 was originally introduced in 1957 and kept in production for almost two decades, until 1975. The nameplate was revived in 2007 as a neo-retro design based on the first mini car. It was Fiat’s answer to the modern Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper, introduced in 1997 and 2000, respectively. The new 500 was received with great enthusiasm, and the addition of convertible and Abarth models made it that much more popular. However, unlike the Mini Cooper, the 500 soldiered on unchanged for years, with its first update launched in 2015. Three years have passed, and Fiat is again updating the small hatchback.
Unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show alongside the rest of Fiat’s North American lineup, the update is far from spectacular, but it does add a few new features to the 500’s cute exterior. The interior carries over unchanged, which is somewhat disappointing, but the drivetrain department has a new engine to brag about. It’s not as new as it is rehashed from an old model, but it’s significantly more powerful than the outgoing unit. More about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500.
2017 Fiat 500L City Cross Edition
The Fiat 500L is effectively an oversized version of the 500 hatchback so, in essence, its identity is tied to the 500 name. Don’t mistake the 500L though for not having its own appeal because it has that in abundance, or at least enough to have become the subject of a string of special edition models over the years. Harken back to versions like the Beats Edition, the Urbana Trekking, and the Panoramic Edition, and you’ll see what’s up with the 500. Today, a new special edition version is added to the list. It’s called the City Cross Edition, and as the name suggests, it’s coming to the party with a host of rugged features.
There’s a lot to like with the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition. Apart from receiving new exterior bits and pieces, it also carries an exclusive paint color, upgrades to the interior, and a set of new wheels that can be availed in as many as nine different color options. There are no engine upgrades to speak of so don’t even bother looking for one. If that isn’t a problem, the 500L City Cross Edition holds a lot of appeal, especially to those who want to see more personality out of the high-riding 500 SUV. At least then, in that regard, Fiat did its work on this new special edition. It may not be the flashiest SE we’ve seen out of the 500, but it’s certainly bubbling with identity. That should be more than enough for a lot of people.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition
2017 Fiat 500X Urbana Edition
The Fiat 500 is, without a doubt, the Italian automaker’s most famous and popular model. Drawing from the legendary and hugely successful model of the same name produced between 1957 and 1975, the modern 500 is a small, quirky little runabout designed for faultless urban transportation duty. The diminutive dimensions assist in tight parking spots, while a fun-loving attitude and nippy suspension set-up make it a blast behind the wheel. Don’t forget a stylish exterior as well. In 2014, Fiat reimagined the 500 as an ultra-compact crossover, and thus, the high-riding 500X was created. Given the popularity of compacts crossovers like the 500X, it makes sense that Fiat is giving it a new aesthetics package. It’s called the Urbana Edition, and it adds unique trim and colors to help it stand out from non-Urbana’d editions.
Based on the Trekking trim level, which Fiat has declared as the most popular trim level for the 500X, the Urbana Edition keeps all the same bits and pieces buyers have come to expect, including a functional interior with lots of space for hauling things, and the option for AWD as well. Mechanically, the Urbana Edition goes unchanged, and still gets the same 2.4-liter gas-burning engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque through a nine-speed automatic transmission (lower trim levels get a 1.4-liter engine with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque). If you’re looking for a unique take on this Italian compact crossover, then continue reading for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X Urbana Edition.
2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing
The Fiat 500 Abarth is a cute little ride, isn’t it? It certainly looks the part of one, but being cute and cuddly isn’t the only thing appealing about the 500. It’s also understatedly customizable, which is why we’ve seen so many special edition iterations of the car, not to mention tuning programs from some of the best tuners in the business. Pogea Racing counts itself in the latter group, and it has a real doozy of a kit for the 500 that gives the subcompact hatchback an output of 405 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque. Seems fitting then that Pogea Racing has dubbed this creation as “Ares,” after the Greek god of war. This Fiat 500 Abarth is ready to rumble with the best of them.
The program has more than just a fancy name and ridiculous power at its disposal. It also has an extensive menu of carbon fiber parts for the exterior, a well-dressed interior that brings some life to the hatchback’s cabin, and suspension upgrades to help the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder handle all that extra power.
The bad news is that this isn’t a program that Pogea Racing is producing in big quantities. On the contrary, the tuner only plans to build five such 500 Ares models and the cost of building one doesn’t come cheap. The upgrades to the engine alone cost more than the car itself so you can imagine what the whole thing will fetch for, donor car and all.
Then again, a 405-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Fiat 500 60th Anniversary
The modern Fiat 500 has been around for 10 years as of 2017 and so far it has done a great job keeping the original car’s legacy alive. The small size and the vintage design help, but Fiat also launched several special-edition models that paid tribute to the first 500 over the last decade. Come 2017 and the Italian firm has developed yet another anniversary model, this time around to celebrate the 500’s 60th anniversary.
One of the most iconic vehicles of all time, the Fiat 500 was launched in 1957 and the first unit was produced in the city of Turin on July 4. Fiat sold over four million examples until the car was discontinued in 1975, making way for the equally successful 126 model. The 500 nameplate was revived in 2007 and the second-generation city car became a success story too. Fiat says that the new 500, which is sold in around 100 countries, will reach sales of two million units in the first half of 2017. This is an impressive figure for a ten-year-old model in this day and age, and needless to say, it wouldn’t have been possible without the legacy of the original Fiat 500.
Limited to only 560 units, the 60th anniversary model was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and goes on sale starting March, meaning it will hit the streets just in time for the day the first-ever 500 left the factory back in 1957. Let’s find out what this limited-edition model is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Special Series.
2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special
There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.
Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.
Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.
Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition