Fiat has more character and style than competing small crossovers

Overall the 2020 500X Trekking Plus has enough performance and Italian panache to make it well worth a look for consumers in the subcompact crossover segment.
Overall the 2020 500X Trekking Plus has enough performance and Italian panache to make it well worth a look for consumers in the subcompact crossover segment.

The 2020 subcompact crossover segment is hot, and competitors constantly work to outdo each other in performance and practicality. Here you’ll find the 500X, which is clearly among the best-looking options in the segment.

Introduced for the 2016 model year, it has undeniably cute styling and standard AWD – adding a bit of adventurous spirit to Fiat’s lineup.

The interior is as vibrant as the outside, with nice shapes all around and pretty colors available for the trim and upholstery – and really comfortable and supportive seats. And on the highway, the 500X is quiet and smooth, and it easily irons out bumpy road surfaces and imperfections.

The 2020 Fiat 500X is available in four trim levels: Pop, Trekking, Sport, and Trekking Plus. Every 500X comes with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. With output measuring 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, and paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, driving the 500X is enjoyable. Oh, and before trekking any further, let me note that all models can now be optioned with a black-painted roof.

So let’s go through all the features of the lower trims leading up to the test vehicle I got to drive, the top-trim Trekking Plus.

Standard equipment on the Pop trim includes keyless entry and ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and a six-speaker sound system.

The Trekking trim has the above features plus rear privacy glass, upgraded cloth upholstery, and an upgraded information display. Tucked closely into the trim category is the Sport version. Added to the lineup in 2020, the Sport has model-specific exterior and interior styling details to back up its name.

While the Sport and Trekking are similar, the Sport has bigger wheels, a Sport-specific steering wheel, unique front seats, and a few aesthetic upgrades. Options for the Sport and Trekking include LED foglights, front- and rear-parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, integrated navigation and a premium audio system.

And now we arrive at my test vehicle, the range-topping Trekking Plus. It gets 17-inch wheels with a two-tone finish, illuminated door handles, chrome window trim, and LED headlights.

The interior on the Plus gets leather seating upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and soft-touch door panel surfaces. Infotainment is upgraded with navigation and the eight-speaker audio system.

Here also are convenience features that include automatic two-zone climate control, a windshield wiper deicer, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a driver’s seatback pocket, as well as front and rear parking sensors.

My Fiat 500X Trekking Plus got 24 city and 30 highway MPG – not as good others in the segment but respectable.

This top trim Fiat is base priced at 29,495. It jumped up to $34,375, with the optional Premium Group package included, featuring 18-inch x 7.0-inch matte anthracite alum wheels, Beats premium audio system, dual-pane power sunroof; and features grouped into the Advanced Driver-Assist Package, it topped out including just over $1,000 in destination and delivery charges.

Overall the 500X has enough performance and Italian panache to make it worth a look.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at

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