New in the Fiat lineup for 2020 is the Fiat 500X Sport AWD. The 500X is one of five Fiat models sold in the United States for 2020, though the baby 500 will cease to be sold beyond the remaining inventory of 2019s on dealer lots.
That will leave just four models to support the entire Fiat dealer network for 2020 and beyond, so it’s more important than ever to bring Fiat’s Italian appeal to the masses. The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport AWD is a good attempt at this, if not a perfect one.
Most of the Fiat owners I’ve come across over the years have purchased their vehicles as more of a fashion statement than any other group of owners I’ve come across. One look at the entire lineup shows that these cars aren’t built to blend in with a crowd but rather stand out in one. This is evident in this 2020 Fiat 500X, which underwent a mid-cycle refresh, which added the Sport trim level featured on our test car.
The new Sport trim includes unique front and rear fascias with LED DRLs and rear taillights. The Rovente Red paint makes the little CUV pop in a crowd and is one of the best reds I’ve seen on a car in the non-luxury segment. Body-color matching side skirts and panels help differentiate the 500X Sport from the Trekking and POP 500X trim levels.
The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport interior is actually much nicer than I expected it to be based on previous Fiats I’ve driven. The layout is unmistakably European, with a strong emphasis on cafe styling. The dash layout is relatively clean and built with more soft-touch surfaces than before. Front and rear seats are leather-trimmed with contrast stitching, and a new flat(ish) bottom multi-function steering wheel with Alcantara sides feels nice in the hands. My favorite interior touch is the dark headliner and pillars. This is usually found only in much more upscale vehicles and adds to the 500X’s interior ambiance.
The instrument cluster is modern, functional, and easy to read. A 7-inch Uconnect 4 NAV infotainment system sits atop the 500X Sport’s center stack and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. While the screen feels small compared to the bezel’s size, the layout is crisp and easy to read. For some reason, though, this screen felt more fingerprint prone than other touch screens I’ve used recently.
Given the size of the 500X, it’s no surprise that while the front two seats offer plenty of leg and shoulder room, the back seats get cramped if anyone above 6-foot tall occupies the front seats.
Under the hood of the 2020 500X Sport AWD is a new 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that passes power to all four wheels using a 9-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes a respectable 177-horsepower and 210lb-ft of torque. A Dynamic Selector allows drivers to choose between more eco-friendly driving and sporty driving. I don’t see why anyone would choose anything besides Sport mode, though. While the 500X Sport won’t set any speed records, the car’s compact nature makes for a fun driving experience. The engine is buzzy, which is to be expected with an engine of its size.
One thing to note is the 2020 500X is the first Fiat model to offer standard all-wheel-drive.
The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport comes with several nice safety features, including front and rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection rain-sensing wipers. That’s an impressive list of safety equipment in a car of this class.
With a base price of $26,895 plus $1,495 destination, the 500X Sport AWD is competitively priced in the segment. Our tester had about $5,700 in options added to it, putting the as-tested price right around $34k. While the Fiat 500X Sport is a good car, that price point is crowded with several other good cars. Some of the competition has a more proven resale history and reputations for being reliable. These are both areas Fiat has not managed to build consumer confidence.
That being said, the 500X Sport has a certain charm and style that is absent from many of the other competitors. It’s unique as a fashion statement, and everyone should own an Italian car at least once in their life.