“Of course, you’re not buying something in this class for track days, and the 500X is more successful in its primary mission of offering stylish transportation. But as is often the case with current Fiat-Chrysler products, the 500X has the feeling of being unfinished, like nobody was really sweating the details as much as just trying to get the final product out the door. Nowhere is that more apparent than in its transmission. Unlike every other vehicle we’ve driven with this nine-speed, we did see the 500X actually shift into its highest gear. But like the others, it was constantly shifting back and forth between seventh and eighth on the highway to maintain speed, and dynamic driving situations had it hunting around for the right gear. At one point, we even felt the 500X almost stall because of the transmission’s eagerness to be in a higher gear. We found that choosing Sport mode on the 500X’s three-position drive-mode selector -- the others are Auto and Traction+ -- cures much of the indecision.” -- Car and Driver
Fiat 500X: Spacious, parkable, tidy handling but a rough gearbox
“In city driving, the 500X feels firmly planted on the road without feeling overly stiff, with the generous space in the wheelarches providing plenty of travel for the wheels when the road surface, or lack thereof, calls for it. With the wheels at the four corners, the car feels reasonably nimble in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive form, without feeling light. Just as in the Renegade the steering response is easy to predict, and with the car set in Sport mode, the steering becomes a little heavier without slowing down response time.
“As dial-a-driving-mode systems go, the Sport mode’s offer of a livelier throttle response and a sportier steering feel is easy to detect even without the more dramatic exhaust sound, but it doesn’t make us want to keep the car in Sport mode the whole time -- the default mode is just fine for city driving. On curvy backs roads, we kept it in Sport, and the 500X rewards us with a genuinely fun engine response and an entertaining soundtrack, with the automatic transmission proving to be intuitive in tasks seemingly made for roadsters equipped with manual gearboxes.” -- Autoweek
“The fire-engine red “Lounge FWD” version of the 500X I drove around New York for a week was a study in contrasts. (Lounge denotes one of the trim-level names that also include Pop, Easy, and Trekking.) It parked like a dream -- fitting into even the tightest spots like some collapsible folding umbrella -- and felt spacious inside, with ample headroom and a rear storage compartment large enough to satisfy the most suburban of semi-retirees or young-30s singles, who I believe are the ones most likely to buy this car. Those are two seriously nice attributes.” -- Bloomberg
“Having tried versions on both 17in and 18in wheels, if you value ride comfort we’d definitely say less is more. Fiat was brave enough to let us test the car on some pretty beaten-up Buckinghamshire roads, and it’s noticeably smoother on the smaller wheels. Even so, it still fidgets slightly over bumps, but a Skoda Yeti or Kia Soul are comparable.
“The Fiat is pretty tidy through the bends, too. It has decent grip and resists understeer and roll fairly effectively for a crossover. The ESP’s interventions are subtle, as well.
“The steering won’t tell you much about the friction force beneath, and it sometimes feels woolly during ambitious cornering, but its weighting and basic accuracy are good.
“As a result, instead of it being instinctive, you steer the 500X reactively like a computer game, estimating the lock required, seeing where this puts you, then readjusting your line accordingly.” -- Autocar
“In terms of interior space, the 500X measures up against most rivals. Front-seat space and comfort are generally good, though the available leather seats could use more definition at the bottom and less at the headrest. In back, knee and headroom can feel scant behind a tall driver and underneath the optional sunroof. Cargo space is competitive, and though the 500X’s rear seat doesn’t fold quite flat, the resulting space has a nice, low load floor and a regular shape.” – The Car Connection
“The 500X’s throttle response is good. The little SUV has enough power for fast highway runs and maneuvers in traffic. The “sport” mode adjusts the engine, transmission and steering for quicker response. The normal setting is adequate, but it exacerbates the transmission’s tendency for rough shifts.
“The gearbox repeatedly bounced my head back and forth with rough shifts up and down, particularly shortly after starting. Tuning the new gearbox for the best has bedeviled Fiat Chrysler engineers.
“The 500X’s interior is roomy and comfortable with plenty of headroom. The front seat has a couple of storage bins. An exposed tray for devices linked to the USB and 12-volt ports looks sloppy compared to those in cars that allow you to store them out of sight.” -- Detroit Free Press
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