What's New for 2017
The 500X debuted in 2016, and not much has changed for its second model year. Fiat has done away with the Easy and Trekking Plus trim levels, which simplifies things for buyers. There are now only three trim levels available: the Pop, the Lounge, and the Trekking.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 Fiat 500X – The Pros
1. Stylish Exterior
The 2017 Fiat 500X's exterior styling sets it apart from many competitors in the compact and subcompact SUV category. It's grille and chrome-accented Fiat badge give the front end a modern appearance, and the overall size makes it appear sleeker than many larger SUVs. There are ten exterior colors to choose from, which include orange, yellow, and two different shades of red.
2. Upscale Interior
When it comes to interior style, the 2017 Fiat 500X exceeds expectations. The soft-touch materials in the cabin help create an elegant atmosphere, which is impressive given the model's low starting price. Both back and front seats offer a high level of comfort.
3. Reasonable Starting Price
The 2017 Fiat 500X has a relatively low starting price, so drivers can get the functionality of an SUV for the cost of a midsize sedan. The Pop trim has a starting MSRP of $19,995, while the Lounge trim starts at $25,135. With all of the extra features added on, the price comes in around $28,000.
5. Generous Cargo Space
The 500X may look small from the outside, but it offers cargo volume that's on par with competing SUVs. There's 18.5 cubic feet of space behind with backseats, and 31.2 cubic feet of volume with the seats folded down. The overall interior spaces measures 50.8 cubic feet.
6. User-Friendly Infotainment System
The higher trim levels of the 500X come standard with Fiat's Uconnect infotainment system, which is known being one of the best on the market. The Uconnect system is easy to set up, with the digital buttons making it simple to switch between the different features. Buyers can choose between a 5- or 6.5-inch touchscreen, and satellite navigation is available.
7. Safety Features
Safety features are important to most car buyers, and the 500X uses state-of-the-art technology to help you avoid accidents. Among other options, this model offers blindspot detection, a lanekeep assist system, and a backup camera. The forward collision protective system can alert you if a crash is imminent and will even apply the brakes for you.
8. Good Crash Test Ratings
For 2017, the Fiat 500X has been named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. It earned the IIHS's best score of “good” on all five of their tests. The 500X comes standard with seven airbags, including driver’s knee airbag and front seat-mounted side pelvic-thoracic airbags.
9. All-Wheel Drive
If you love the style and practicality of the Fiat 500 but want an all-wheel-drive system, the 500X is the answer for you. It's Fiat's only model that comes with AWD. If you live in a region where AWD isn't necessary, you can choose the front-wheel drive option.
10. Strong 2.4-Liter Engine
The upper trim levels of the 2017 Fiat 500X come standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cynlinder engine that creates 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This can also be paired with AWD, and it gets decent gas mileage at 21/29 mpg.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 Fiat 500X – The Cons
1. Uncertain Resale Value
Given that the 500X was introduced in 2016, the model's long-term desirability is an unknown. Additionally, Fiat models tend to have a weak resale value in the U.S. If you're interested in buying an SUV that has guaranteed resale value, you may want to consider a Mini Countryman or the larger Honda HR-V.
2. Weak Standard Engine
Although the 2.4-liter engine should provide enough power for buyers who choose the upper trim levels, the 1.4-liter engine that comes standard on the Pop may feel weak to some drivers. It creates 160 horsepower and can only be paired with a manual transmission.
3. Not Ideal for Going Off-Road
Although the 500X is technically a sport utility vehicle, it's design is more suited for driving in the suburbs than going off-road. On rough surfaces, the ride may start to feel uncomfortable, and the engine may not produce enough power. Drivers who want an SUV that goes off-road may want to look at competitors like the Jeep Renegade.
4. Best Features Don't Come Standard
The 2017 Fiat 500X comes with many appealing features, but in order to get most of them, you'll have to upgrade to the higher trim levels. If you choose the base Pop, you'll most notably be missing out on Bluetooth connectivity, the backup camera, and the Uconnect infotainment system.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
The 500X offers several advantages over its sub-compact SUV competitors. It's staring price of $19,995 makes it the most appealing option to value-focused buyers. Even if you add extra features like a backup camera and infotainment system, you'll still be paying a relatively low price. The similarly sized Mini Countryman has a significantly higher starting price of $26,100. The Nissan Juke is also similar in terms of size, but its interior quality is lacking, and the ride is considerably rougher.
Buyers who are looking for a small, practical SUV with fun style won't do much better than the 2017 Fiat 500X. It's upscale interior and easy-to-use infotainment system make it a pleasure to drive on a day-to-day basis. Plus, it's good fuel economy and low starting price mean that it won't drain your wallet.
• Why buy a 2016 Fiat 500X? w/ pros vs cons