2016 Fiat 500 X MultiAir Turbo (1110)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Fiat 500 X MultiAir Turbo that is an all new model. It is an unbelievably impressive car and I don’t think the Viagra had anything to do with its growth. It was made that way. It is classified as a Small SUV but to me it is a 4-door hatchback and more car like than SUV.

What was most impressive was the general handling characteristics. It was especially noticed on my Crest Test mountain course through the San Gabriel Mountains separating greater Los Angeles from the desert communities directly north.

Literally it could blow the socks off most cars on that mountain course. It hugs the curves like a sailor who has been to sea too long time and finally makes port for liberty. This Fiat has great acceleration when pulling even the steepest hills. Outstanding ride if you enjoy performance.

General Information: It is assembled in Melfi Italy; Parts – US/Canadian 29%, Italy 52%   Engine and transmission – Italy; Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Fiat: 500, 500c, 500e, 500L and 500 X.

Handling & Performance:

Excellent handling. It is a perfect size for running about town. Easy to park in tight places and when you get on the highway it is very comfortable.

Something that is a long running fact is that Fiat (and most of Europe’s auto products) have been able to generate about a hundred horsepower per liter. This is not true generally of non-European cars. I’m sure you can think of some exceptions.

You can opt for a 2.4 liter 180 hp engine mated to an automatic transmission and an AWD (all wheel drive) model option. I don’t think the extra horsepower is needed but the AWD would only add to an already great road handling FWD car. The standard 1.4 liter 160 hp is more than enough and I like it just the way it is.

Styling:

Design is typical European where function over form has always been most important. I’ve owned a few VW Beetles over the early lean years for the very reason that ‘transportation’ was the reason to buy a car. It is way easier on the wallet or purse. After college I was able to justify more luxury. But compared to this Fiat 500 I gave up a lot of performance.

Those Beetles weren’t as pretty as this Fiat but you gotta love the little buggers anyway. I’ve also owned a few Fiat’s… and the 124 Spider was one of my all-time favorite cars. Neither the Bugs nor the Fiat had as much passenger and cargo space as this 500 X.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly of this fairly basic car is very good.

Cost:

$20,000. For a brand-spank’n new car this also has to be impressive.

Conveniences and comfort:

It has most of the basic necessities but I did miss not having Nav and Bluetooth. Because I have Nav on my cell phone and carry a portable Hands free device I was ok with that. I think Hands Free should be required on all cars just like seat belts. Frankly the seat belts are not as important as the safety accorded by preventing texting use in today’s world.

Although this test vehicle didn’t include ‘state of the art’ high tech stuff like lane departure and frontal collision and blind spot warnings these and others are available in other trim levels.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you are looking for an affordable commuter that carries four comfortably and efficiently don’t miss including Fiat in your comparison. It will surprise you. Its closest rival is the MINI Cooper Countryman and will cost less than the MINI.

Recognized Competition:

Fiat 500 X $20,000, Honda HR V $21,000, Mazda CX 3 $21,000, MINI Countryman $23,000 Jeep Renegade $21,000, Kia Sportage $22,000.

Good News:

Very good fuel economy, priced right, great handling and performance and a comfortable ride. Flat fun to drive.

Bad News:

Radio reception was poor but I didn’t look into why. It’s like it didn’t have an antenna.

Standard Equipment:

1.4 liter 160 HP 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, front and side seat mounted airbags, driver knee airbag, LATCH child seat anchor system, Remote keyless entry, speed sensitive power locks, electric park brake, 4-wheel ABS brakes, stability control, security alarm, tire specific pressure monitor, rear window defroster, wiper and washer, hill start assist, air conditioning, radio, outside temperature display,  USB/Aux ports, steering wheel mounted audio controls, tilt and telescopic steering column, manual 6-way driver and passenger seats, front passenger fold flat seat, 60/40split folding rear seat, power windows, 12 volt auxiliary outlet, to glove boxes.

Gas Stats:

$2.89/ Gal avg. October 18, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

25 City and 34 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $20,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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