Fiat sells many cars in Europe, especially the popular 500X. However, the automaker usually performs poorly in the United States, selling less than 1,000 cars this year. Of course, it doesn’t help that the automaker has drastically limited its U.S. lineup to a single model: the 500X.
A Stellantis press release welcomes the latest model with the debut of a new Yacht Club Capri special edition trim. Why is the Fiat 500X still around, and what’s new for 2022?
A brief history of the Fiat 500X
The Fiat 500X was originally released in 2014, but it wouldn’t debut in the U.S. until its 2016 model year. Although it has the same underpinnings as a Jeep Renegade, it’s intended to be more of a stylish commuter vehicle. It was available with either a turbocharged or naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine upon release, as well as optional AWD.
According to Kelley Blue Book, a new 2016 Fiat 500X was priced around $21,000 for the base trim. That’s an average price for the segment, though it only came with a handful of standard features. The 2021 Fiat 500X costs a little over $26,000, but at least that now includes standard smartphone integration.
The subcompact SUV class has boomed in recent years, which is likely the only reason the 500X is still here in the States. It’s also hard to find one in the segment that offers a turbocharged engine and AWD. However, the Fiat 500X is still panned by American critics, who cite its horrible drive quality and uncomfortable seats.
The 2022 Fiat 500X and the Yacht Club Capri edition
The latest Fiat 500X now only has one engine option, a turbocharged four-cylinder capable of 177 horsepower. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and makes an estimated 30 mpg combined city/highway rating. AWD comes standard, complete with three drive modes that provide more traction in hazardous conditions.
The Fiat 500X has four trims, each slightly different from the rest. For example, the Trekking model has silver exterior accents, while the Sport trim features Alcantara seat inserts. Four kinds of upholstery are on offer, including premium ivory-colored leather.
All models come standard with smartphone integration and a 7-inch touchscreen. Stellantis boasts that the newest Uconnect system has been tweaked to allow for faster startup times, higher resolution, and more processing power. Higher trims also feature a premium Beats audio system with a subwoofer, and up to 75 safety features are available.
For 2022, drivers can have a retractable fabric roof with four color options. The Fiat 500X Yacht Club Capri special edition model is the only one that can have a blue fabric roof. This model is only available in Venezia Blue and includes 18-inch sport wheels, a satin-robed gearshift, and a faux-woodgrain dash.
A look back at some forgotten Fiat models
In Europe, Fiat currently carries eight models, some of which used to be sold in the States. The Fiat 500, a slimmer and underpowered version of the 500X, only recently left us in 2019. The Fiat 500L, described as a “compact minivan,” only had six years on our side of the globe. There was also the Fiat 500e, though it wasn’t available nationwide. It was never a big hit due to its slow powertrain (maxing out at 111 horsepower) and subpar electric driving range (155 miles).
The Fiat 124 Spider was only available in the U.S. from 2017 to 2020. While it had fun handling and a decently peppy engine, it only produced around 164 hp and couldn’t keep up with rival sports cars. Some Fiat SUVs never even made it stateside, including the cutesy Panda.
The Tipo sedan has been relatively popular since its release in 2015, and the Doblo van is currently in its second generation. Sadly, it’s already hard enough for the 500X to establish its place in the United States. As such, we may never see another Fiat vehicle get a stateside release, even with the Yacht Club Capri’s appeal.