Refreshed 2024 Fiat 500X

Refreshed 2024 Fiat 500X

Fiat’s crossover Refreshed. Is Fiat’s 500X still competitive in a sea of monotonous crossovers? We find out, this time with an open top.

Fiat 500X Extended Soft Top

Launching locally in 2015, Fiat has now introduced its latest version of the subcompact 500X SUV. We spent the day with the snazzy Italian model to determine if it has what it takes to battle the newer offerings on the market. First things first: As with many Italian products under the Stellantis umbrella, it does not seem to age as harshly as some of its newer, fresher competitors.

Refreshed 2024 Fiat 500X

In South Africa, the 500X has been available in more or less the same form for close to eight years. While its evolution in this time speaks volumes, what remains is a fashionable crossover that stands out visually in its segment. That being said, Fiat has decided to introduce a completely new derivative into the simplified three-model line-up. Serving as an entry-level offering is the Cross.

Refreshed 2024 Fiat 500X

A well-equipped Sport derivative caters to the middle-of-the-road segment. Want to have a topdown experience in an affordable subcompact SUV? Fiat has you covered with a range-topping Sport Extended Soft Top (EST) model unrivalled in the segment. The open-air experience of the EST provides a single-colour fabric sunroof that extends almost the entire length. Rain fell throughout the day of launch, so its 15-second closing time on the panoramic addition was frequently and often frantically called upon. Thankfully, this operation can be done on the fly when the 500X is doing less than 100 km/h.

Inside, the Italian boasts an impressive combination of soft-touch materials on all surfaces the driver handles, such as the steering wheel and gear knob. The dashboard and doors boast the same supple feel, finished in a variety of materials, which is something the Fiat excels at when compared with some chief rivals. However, the interior does have its drawbacks. The most obvious is the relatively small seven-inch infotainment screen, which offers screen replication through both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Screen clarity and operation are fast and unhindered, but the size will yield a limited experience, particularly for any with impaired vision. Once in the driver’s seat, the most noticeable aspect of the display is two periscope analogue clusters that indicate the speedometer and tachometer.

Spaciousness in the front row of seats is more than expected; however, tall passengers up front will compromise legroom in the rear. There is plenty of storage, with two cubby holes in front of the passenger seat.

On the open road, the peppy 1,4-litre turbocharged petrol motor achieved commendable fuel consumption. At a claimed 5,7 L/100 km in a combined cycle, after the first stint of the journey to Roodeplaat Dam, the digital display indicated 6,3 L/100 km, despite momentary bursts of acceleration and a heavy right foot. With less than 800 km on the odometer, this would likely improve once the engine had been properly run in. This alone proves it a worthy adversary against the much thirstier, but value-priced Chinese competitors.

Slight turbo lag is present under 2 000 r/min on the 103 kW, 230 N.m unit, but once this mass got moving and the six-speed twin-clutch transmission was comfortably shifting cogs, the drive proved pleasant and refined.

The latest iteration of the 500X has been modernised to better align itself with the rest of Fiat’s line-up, namely the fashionable and far smaller 500, with which it shares its design aesthetic. Up front, the standard LED headlamps and LED fog lamps flank a new 500 logo, replacing the previous Fiat lettering. While the entry-level Cross model boasts black cladding on its extremities and roof rails better suited to urban adventuring, the Sport and Sport EST models include colour-coded wheel-arch mouldings, side skirts and dual chrome exhaust tips at the rear. On the outside of both, it hardly looks like a nearly decade-old platform.

Like many other offerings from Stellantis, the Fiat 500X models will include all derivative-specific niceties as standard. This means prospective buyers will not have to complete a shopping list worth of add-ons bloating the base price by a significant amount. However, with the 500X Cross starting at R509 900 and the range-topping 500X Sport EST completing the line-up at R580 900, the Italian SUV will have to bat its eyelashes to win over buyers in this cutthroat segment.

  • 01 Although the design of the 500X has been around for a while now, it still offers a unique shape inspired by its little brother.
  • 02 Fashionable alloy wheels add to its presence.
  • 03 Clear and easy-to-read analogue dails match the retro aesthetic.
  • 04 Thankfully, physical HVAC dails remain, with dual zones for front occupants and a pair of USB-C ports
  • 01 Interior cabin quality is higher than expected, with the leather-wrapped steering wheel a pleasure to hold.
  • 02 The convoy of Italian crossovers makes a statement.
  • 03 Front seats are well formed, comfortable and supportive, but taller drivers will eat into rear passenger space.
  • 04 The essence of the regular 500’s design remains intact; this will be great for some and less so for others.
  • 05 Six-speed transmission and turbocharged engine combine for reasonable performance.


  • Price: From R509 900
  • Engine: 1,4-litre, inline-four, turbocharged petrol
  • Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Max Power: 103 kW @ 5 000 r/min
  • Max Torque: 230 N.m @1 750 r/min
  • Driven wheels: Front
  • Fuel consumption: 5,7 L/100 km (combined)* Ground clearance: 163 mm
  • Rivals: Volkswagen T-Cross, Kia Sonet, Opel Mokka, Volkswagen Taigo
  • + stylish design, torquey turbo
  • engine infotainment screenis on the small side
Article type:
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
Drives TODAY use cookie