Crossover & Midsize

2020 Fiat 500X: Why You Might Want to Think Twice Before Buying

The 2020 Fiat 500X is one option for people searching for a great-looking crossover SUV. Kelley Blue Book recently reviewed the 2020 Fiat 500X and said it could be the “best-looking Fiat you can buy in the U.S. outside of the dashing Fiat 124 convertible.” Despite the love for the design, overall, the review raised some questions about the model year. While its performance, design, and safety were positives, its resale value and reliability might make buyers think twice.

Performance

The 2020 Fiat 500X has what Kelley Blue Book calls a “peppy turbocharged engine.” It has a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 177 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque – more torque than any of its competitors. The nine-speed transmission has been improved and doesn’t have the problems found in previous model years. It has good acceleration, though its handling is “not thrilling” since the electric power steering isn’t that responsive.

The standard all-wheel drive improves its traction. It can’t do extreme off-roading, but it does have a ground clearance of 7.9 inches for limited off-road driving. All four trims have the three-model Dynamic Selector, which lets the driver choose between Auto, Sport, and Traction+ driving modes. The fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway is OK, but it’s not as good as some of its competitors.

Design

FIAT 500X compact crossover SUV on display at Brussels Expo
The 2020 Fiat 500X | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Kelley Blue Book describes the 2020 Fiat 500X evocatively as “oozing Italian design and performance.” The four trims offer slightly different appearances, with the Sport giving a more monochromatic look and the Trekking looking the most rugged with its dominant front fascia. Pop is the base trim, and Trekking Plus is the top configuration.

Kelley Blue Book really likes the interior, calling it “stylish and surprisingly refined.” It’s comfortable and arranged well. There is good headroom but not much legroom or passenger space. For technology, the display between the gauges can be configured and the 7-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety

The 2020 Fiat 500X hasn’t yet been rated in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It does have positive ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), receiving a Good rating for its roof strength in a crash. It has the middle rating of Advanced for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention. The headlights, though, did get a Poor rating.

The 2020 Fiat 500X has available driver-assist technologies, including blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, full-speed collision warning, and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and rain-sensing wipers. Most of the 500X’s competitors offer more standard features, but it does come standard with daytime running lights.

The Fiat 500X’s resale value and reliability

Resale value and reliability have been improving for the Fiat 500X, but they still aren’t great yet. Car and Driver agrees with Kelley Blue Book’s assessment, saying, “There’s plenty of Italian flair here but not much utility or value.”

Consumer Reports supports the assessment of the 2020 500X, giving it an overall score of 35, a 50 out of 100 on their road test, a one out of five for predicted reliability, and another one out of five for predicted owner satisfaction. The Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek do better with their resale value.

Other vehicles to consider buying instead of the Fiat 500X

The 2020 Fiat 500X has a higher price than its competitors along with lower reliability and fuel economy. It does, however, have all-wheel drive, which the competition doesn’t always offer. It has a similar price to the Buick Encore, Jeep Renegade, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-30, and Chevrolet Trax but a higher price than the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V. The 500X starts at $24,740 for the Pop trim, while the Kona starts at $19,300 and the HR-V starts at $20,820.

Of the group, Consumer Reports rates the reliability of the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2020 Hyundai Kona as the best with scores of five out of five for both. The 500X is in line with its competitors for fuel economy with a combined 26 mpg. The standouts of the group are just slightly better: the Crosstrek is rated for an estimated 30 mpg combined, and the HR-V for 28 mpg combined.

Although it has fabulous style, buyers should also know that the 2020 Fiat 500X has a higher price than its competitors along with lower resale value and reliability.