Styled from the 500 city car, the larger (4.25m L x 1.8m W x 1.61m H) 500X adds AWD ability, additional ground clearance, bespoke bodywork and other unique touches.
Competing primarily against the Mini Countryman and, to a lesser extent, the Skoda Yeti, Nissan Juke and Jeep's new Renegade, the 500X is more a compact crossover than a true off-road SUV.
The 500X is available in Pop, Pop Star, Lounge and Cross Plus trim levels, the latter of which is the most 'off-road' of the bunch. Pop and Pop Star 500Xs are only available in 2WD, while AWD is standard on the Lounge and Cross Plus, as is a more powerful (125kW/250Nm) version of the 1.4-litre Turbo MultiAir II four-cylinder petrol engine and nine-speed ZF auto transmission.
A 'mood selector' (on Pop Star and up) adjusts engine, transmission, braking and steering response across three settings - Auto, Sport and All Weather - with the Cross Plus replacing All Weather with a special 'Traction' mode that increases low-speed traction for off-road work.
Standard features on the five-seat 500X include a rear-view camera, 350-litre luggage capacity, Uconnect infotainment system, and paddle shift controls on variants equipped with the Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT). The Cross Plus features its own front and rear fascia design (that increases ramp and departure angles), as well as integral roof racks, satin chrome exterior accents, 18-inch wheels and xenon projector headlights.
Pricing starts from $28,000 for the manual transmission Pop 500X, rising through $30,000 for the same variant with DDCT auto, to $33,000 for the Pop Star, $38,000 for the Lounge and $39,000 for the Cross Plus. (all prices are MSRP and exclude on-road costs).
See your Fiat dealer for further details, or go to: fiat.com.au/500X.