The 2016 Fiat 500X crossover has made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, offering a preview of Fiat’s first all-wheel-drive offering for cold weather areas in the United States. Jason Stoicevich, head of the Fiat brand for North America, remarked that while California, Texas and Florida – all warm-weather states – are the brand’s major markets in the US, the 500X gives Fiat the biggest opportunity to compete in areas where there is “some inclement weather.”
Stoicevich told Automotive News that he expects Fiat dealers in the northeast US to “do best” with the subcompact crossover. The 500X now allows Fiat to offer larger size, better functionality, and an all-wheel drive capability.
The five-passenger 500X – built in Italy -- shares a platform and a number components with the Jeep Renegade but features Fiat styling. It is available in two powertrain options. Coming as standard is a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four engine that provides 160 hp of output and 184 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Coming as an option is a 2.4-liter inline-four that produces 180 hp of output and 175 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Also coming as an option is the disconnecting awd system that engages power to the two rear wheels automatically when additional traction is needed. The driver can activate one of three modes -- auto, sport and traction+ -- through a selector in the cabin.
Standard and available safety and security features include forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection. It also features seven airbags.
Also coming as an option is a 6.5-inch touch screen; a navigation infotainment system; and a 3.5-inch configurable display in the instrument cluster. It will be available in in five trim levels: Pop, Easy, Lounge, Trekking and Trekking Plus. Fiat will start selling the 2016 Fiat 500X in the US in the second quarter of 2015.