WHICH car ‘expertly blends space and convenience, comfort, plenty of room and class-leading equipment levels, while at the same time providing a footprint suitable for navigating city streets’ ?
The answer is Fiat, which has just launched its 2018 500X range in two, well-equipped trim levels of Pop and Pop Star, priced from $24,990.
An upspec Special Launch Edition, limited to 100 models, is also available, from $32,990.
The new range still looks pretty much the same, but it’s had a marked upgrade in infotainment with the addition of Uconnect 7 as standard for both Pop and Pop Star variants.
Uconnect 7 has satellite navigation, Bluetooth interface, Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone replication, and voice command functionality.
“The new 500X is a shining example of Fiat’s designers and engineers seamlessly combining an unmistakable creative flair with the latest in automotive technology,“Fiat Australia chief Fulvio Antonelli said.
The cabin makes extensive use of high-grade materials, top-quality finishes and practical storage compartments, including a 350-litre cargo area which can be extended via the split-fold rear seats and fold-forward front passenger seat.
The instrument cluster is made up of three, circular, cowled displays, with the large, central one featuring a reconfigurable 3.5-inch TFT display, flanked by the speedometer and rev-counter.
The dash panel retains the retro look of the 500, while bespoke switchgear and a new 7.0-inch touchscreen Uconnect system sets the new car apart from earlier versions.
All models use a 1.4litre turbo MultiAir2 engine with 103kW/230Nm on tap but there’s a choice ofs-speed manual or 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel consumption is 7.0l/100km.
The 500X rides of independent MacPherson struts suspension front and rear and comes with the full suite of safety bits, among them Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which uses radar and video sensors to warns the driver if it detects an excessive speed difference between the Fiat and the vehicle in front, and if the driver doesn’t take any action, the system automatically activates the braking system.
The Pop manual is $24,990, the auto is $2000 more, and the Pop Star, which has the self shifter as standard, is $29,990.