Fiat 500X Hybrid (2022): Grandma finally plugs in

Briefly speaking

City SUV

mild hybridization

From 30 290 euros

At Fiat, we love making cars that last. At least we appreciate that they stay in the catalog for a long time. This is the case of 500X, which was already born 8 years ago. Released in 2014 and restyled in 2018, it continues its journey from limited edition to special edition, but one that at launch was one of the forerunners of urban SUVs before nearly every brand took on the theme. trying to catch up with the new slightly hybridized engine.

But before you open the hood to discover the new unit, you need to take a little tour of this 500X. Surprisingly, the small 4.24 m SUV has not aged at all, despite its advanced age. it was the most successful version of the 500 at the time of its creation, and has remained so, furthermore, following a facelift earlier in the year, it received an almost complete grille that displays the new “500”. ” is similar to his younger sister and in no way spoils the overall line.

500 X trying to get back in”a game“with a hybrid engine, a first for an 8-year-old urban SUV.

In the cabin, the same impression: the dashboard, which adopts body colors, albeit in an approximate and too thin plastic, is still cheerful and gives a smile to passengers. However, the center screen shows his age. He looks big and from the looks of it, you can swear he’s 12 inches tall just like his recent siblings. But when we turn on the ignition, we are faced with a small 7-inch slab, only outlined in black. For vintage lovers, the effect is guaranteed, and they return to the good old days of the first tom-toms. Even if today’s small slab accepts both Carplay and Android connections.

Aging interior

They’ll be comforted by a small 3.5″ slab nestled between real uprights, quite nicely placed. But on the other hand, they will be disappointed in the trunk, the size of which is no longer relevant at all, since it holds only 350 liters. Just like the rear seats, frankly, nothing more. On the other hand, the roof railing is very respectable and can accommodate two adults regardless of their height.

The dashboard, always attractive, does not hide the outdated screen.
The dashboard, always attractive, does not hide the outdated screen.

So the 500X’s cabin is outdated, but its chassis is also from the previous decade. If at that time it could no longer compete with the 2008 Peugeot’s compromise of comfort and handling on the road, it is even less so today. The dryness of suspensions is comparable only to their flutter, whatever the coating. Fortunately, the direction remains well controlled, even if it does not reach the heights of accuracy. And braking does the same.

Counters that have aged well with a small 3.5-inch center screen.
Counters that have aged well with a small 3.5-inch center screen.
The small 7-inch screen is hidden in a large panel.
The small 7-inch screen is hidden in a large panel.

The two main elements of this mechanical part remain: the engine and the gearbox. To hybridize its small SUV, Fiat didn’t look far, restoring elements of the Jeep Compass e-hybrid. Like the American compact SUV, the 500X has a 4-cylinder turbo engine and a 48v hybrid powertrain. And like it, it has something extra: an electric motor mated to a Getrag 7-speed automatic transmission. This small “plus” allows you to drive a little in electric mode. With what autonomy? Silent shopping should be avoided, as it was not possible to travel more than 5m during our tests in zero emission mode. This is useful when manoeuvring, according to Fiat management. Go to a clean niche.

Disappointing trunk, only 350 liters.
Disappointing trunk, only 350 liters.
Good rear seats, but respectable headroom.
Good rear seats, but respectable headroom.

Thus, the interest of this 500 X hybrid is not in the possibility of silent driving. So his advantage is necessarily at the level of his consumption and penalty reduction? As for the latter, the contract is quite complete, since it does not exceed 70 euros in the basic configuration. On the other hand, on the consumer side, the matter is less relevant. In the maximum WLTP measurements, the manufacturer indicates an average of 5.6 l / 100 km. We noted 6.4 liters on the route combining city and highway, and more than 9 liters in the mountains. The score is not a concern, even if some motors achieve the same performance without the support of an electric crutch.

However, performance comes at the cost of a lack of engine dynamics, which struggles to stay in corners despite 240 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm. A box called DCT7 won’t help him much. She tends to get lost between two records as soon as she gets a little hardened. Therefore, father driving is highly recommended, which is, after all, the purpose of an SUV, no matter how urban.