The tiny Fiat 500 was introduced a few years ago to rave reviews, and it was followed by the longer but unpraised 500L, and cool little electric 500E. Now comes the 500X, about five inches shorter and one inch wider than the 500L.
The new 2016 Fiat 500X is called a crossover because it’s available with all-wheel drive, and it shares running gear with the rugged little Jeep Renegade (both of them built in Italy). The Renegade just won Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year at an event called Mudfest, a good sign for the components of the 500X.
If you don’t want to drive your 500X like a crossover, you might see it as more of a five-seat hot hatchback. Then it would compete against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class or Audi Q3, or maybe the Nissan Juke. Less ambitious thinkers might cross-shop the 500X with the Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax, or the all-new Honda HR-V. But the Fiat clearly has spirit on those three. It is Italian, after all.
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