For the first time, the Fiat 500X looks masculine enough to hold its own in a testosterone-filled bar. Previous iterations of the Italian crossover have always been soft in appearance, and recently, Fiat launched the updated 500X in three new variants. So what's new?

Exterior looks & design

The minor tweaks that Fiat has made to the updated 500X are adequate, its headlamps now have daytime running LED lights in the shape of the zero in its name (500). Fiat has also treated this latest version to a vibrant colour palette - none of the new colours look mundane and conventional. In the Sports variants, the cladding around the wheel arches is now coloured too, in place of the cladding found in the 500X Cross. This gatekeeping variant is kitted with roof rails, skid plates, and a set of 18-inch wheels, while the Sports models rock a set of 19-inch rubbers with chrome exhaust tips at the rear. The larger wheel size makes a noticeable difference and gives the Fiat 500X Sport a beefed-up stance.


What’s changed inside?

For starters, the updated Fiat 500X range is now a safer vehicle with the new safety and convenience upgrades that fiat has made to it. Lane Assist and six airbags are standard across the range. A miniature infotainment screen (7-inch) is host to smartphone mirroring through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In the Fiat 500X Cross, the cabin is covered in a quality textile material, while the Fiat 500X Sport and Sport EST interiors are dropped in a combination of leather and Alcantara to accentuate the sporty look.

Fiat 500X EST

The Italians have tinkered around with the retractable roof system in the 500X, and come up with what they now refer to as the Extended Soft Top. What makes EST distinctive is that it's a combination of a sunroof and a convertible. This means that the soft top roof once retracted, is large enough to give both front and rear occupants the feeling of being in a convertible, while retaining the C-pillars and rear windshield. This feature is the only distinguishing element between the Fiat 500X Sport and the 500X Sport EST.


2023 Fiat 500X engine specs

Probably the only thing that Fiat didn't change is the engine. The Fiat 500X still makes use of its original 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with 103kW and 230 Nm of torque, sent to the front wheels through a 6-speed DDCT transmission. This motor and its output are sufficient for a life in the city, where zipping around from one point to the other is the goal. Where speed and highway overtaking are required, the little 1400cc doesn't feel as punchy as it does on the lower end of the spectrum.

How much is the Fiat 500X?

For a crossover going up against the likes of the Mini Cooper Countryman, the Fiat 500X has a starting price of R509 900, while the range-topping Fiat 500X EST rings in at R580 900. Pound for pound, the Fiat comes in over R100 000 less than its British competitor.


Gugu Masuku.