Driven: 2016 Fiat 500 X Pop Star Review
We tested the Fiat 500 X Pop Star for one week and here is what we learnt about this small but very practical car.
What is the 2016 Fiat 500 X Pop Star all About?
The Fiat 500 X is derived from the Fiat 500 and is the biggest brother in the Fiat 500 family. Straight away you can tell it has a bigger, bulkier and more off-road look about the car but still maintains its slick city style.
The Fiat 500 looks very good, with the proportions of the car having been beautifully designed. The car is clearly from the 500 family but the looks of the car have not been stretched and spoiled but in fact redeveloped to work in the new body shape.
The car we had had a 1.6 litre diesel engine which creates 120hp and 320NM of torque, this power goes to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox. This means that the car is capable of doing 0 to 60mph in 10.5 seconds and will reach a top speed of 115mph.
How Does it Drive?
The Fiat 500 X is a lot different to what I expected. Rather than driving like a micro SUV, the car feels a lot more like a hatchback. However, this doesn’t mean you miss out on all of the SUV benefits.
The 1.6 litre engine that powers the 500 X does feel a bit ordinary and bland, but you have to remember that this is a high efficiency engine that is carrying around a relatively tall car, so with that in mind, it does do pretty well. The 500 X 1.6 litre MultiJet engine does genuinely deliver high mpg. During my testing I drove on both the motorway and in the city centre and in both environments it drove very well and, to me, it makes perfect sense to match the engine with a manual gearbox.
Behind the wheel of the Fiat 500 X it is actually pretty fun, as driver experiences go. You get a bold steering wheel and an even bolder gear stick knob to shift gears. All the controls feel relatively lightweight, making the car very little effort to manoeuvre in the city, while on the motorway it seems well balanced to help you maintain a steady line. Sticking with the motorway setting, the Fiat 500 X has a very nifty system called lane assist which is a very handy feature that helps you stay in your lane. If you sway outside the lane, the car will encourage you back to the centre of the lane with a little bit of adjustment via the steering wheel; a valuable feature to help you drive safely on the motorway.
Other clever features on the car include the blind spot detection system. This will efficiently identify if a car is in your blind spot and put an amber light on the mirror on the side of the car where it has identified the car. If you indicate into the lane where there is a car, you will be on the receiving end of a loud beep making you well aware of the potential danger. The beep is loud and easily recognisable. Where these extra safety features are great, the system was a bit over sensitive for my liking.
What is it Like Inside?
The interior of the 500 X is probably my second favourite thing about the car, after the external styling. The interior looks fantastic. It is very boldly designed and very Italian, with lots of colours showing off the design elements and lots of interesting features throughout.
The car uses a responsive touch screen which has good colour graphics and is fairly easy to work between the menus. Everything is at your fingertips including DAB radio, Bluetooth phone interaction and Sat Nav. Everything the modern driver is asking for.
The Fiat 500 X experience is like no other I’ve seen before. Getting out the car you feel modern, cool and trendy, yet you have the extra practicalities that you wouldn’t get in the smaller 500 products.
The additional real world space makes a huge difference and the chunkier looks make the 500 X appeal to those that like the cheeky Italian vibe but need more from the car. This car is Fiat responding to the market and giving the customer what they are asking for. I can see this car doing very well.
2016 Fiat 500 X Pop Star
- Price: £23,630
- Engine: 1.6 litre Turbocharged Diesel
- Power: 120 hp
- Torque: 320Nm
- Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 10.5 Seconds
- Top speed: 115 mph
- Weight: 1,320 kg
- Economy: 68 mpg
- CO2: 109 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley