I was excited about my test drive of the Fiat 500X. Perhaps it was because of the adverts!
They feature a little blue pill falling in the fuel tank and an impressive transformation.
You’ll get the picture soon enough with my poorly executed puns.
The few times I had seen the pumped up Fiat 500 in the flesh I reserved my judgement on its looks.
While impressed by the concept of a bigger, bolder, harder looking 500, I was unsure the designers had pulled it off.
But after getting up close and personal with the 500X, I reckon the designers have done a pretty decent job of getting all the bulges in all the right places.
And they’ve done a good job of dressing it too with plenty of sharp and showy looking features mixed in with the practicality of room to move in the cabin.
Fiat have made a good fist of producing a family sized vehicle while staying true to the Fiat way and at a reasonable, if not outstanding, starting price of $28,000 for the manual front-wheel drive Pop and heading up to $39,000 for the Cross Plus all-wheel drive.
But stripped back and under the skin, for me, the 500X was a letdown when it came to performance and handling.
I found it to be erratic when in auto mode… much like it had more than one of those little blue pills in its fuel tank.
It raced and searched for gears… never really got into a rhythm with the around town driving and was a bit rougher ride than I thought it would be.
The 500X was a bit better behaved in manual mode and did seem to like a bit of affection to get the most out of its 1.4-litre MultiAir engine which produces 103kW and 230Nm in the Pop and Pop Star trim and 125kW/250Nm in the heavier Lounge and Cross Plus AWD.
While the 500X didn’t blow my mind, the virgin entry into the family market by Fiat is to be commended and hopefully we get to see the time when this model gets the job done as well as it looks like it could.