Fiat's Renegade Revealed

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

What you’re looking at is the Fiat 500X, the sister car to the Jeep Renegade and the most important Fiat-brand product in memory.

This leaked shot of the new subcompact Fiat SUV shows what Fiat’s third North American vehicle will look like. Expect it to use the FCA 1.4L MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine, along with front or all-wheel drive (though it won’t be as rugged as the Renegade Trailhawk’s off-road oriented AWD).

Why is the 500X so crucial for Fiat? Simple. The Fiat brand is struggling globally – its push into the American market has been less than successful, and it has little traction outside of South America. Fiat recently idled its Serbian factory (which produces the 500L) due to weak demand, and American dealers are crying out for new product. The small crossover market is the one global bright spot in the automotive industry and this is Fiat’s chance to capture some market share in the segment. The Renegade might be a little too bold, brash or “American” for some consumers both at home and abroad. This is FCA’s chance to give them an alternative.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Fishiftstick Fishiftstick on Sep 16, 2014

    Isn't this exactly the kind of brand engineering that this blog used to rightly excoriate GM for? Building two cars on the same platform is fine. But all this is is a restyled Jeep. If all FIAT can offer is vanilla versions of Chrysler products or 500 variants, what future can the brand possibly have in North America? MINI developed its variants after the Cooper was a hit. The 500 was never as popular or cool enough to share the cool factor with its not-so-cool siblings.

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    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Sep 18, 2014

      @danio3834 Yep, get more bang for the buck spent on developing new platforms that cost just so much.

  • Honda_lawn_art Honda_lawn_art on Sep 16, 2014

    It's a stretch of our imagination to call that a 500. If they want to sell more cars in North America, why not sell more cars in North America? I mean, introduce the Alfa range. Looks like a mid-range MiTo is 14.5K British Pounds, so about $24K in the US.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Sep 16, 2014

    What I'm seeing through the commentary here is a lot of hate on a product that they know nothing about, but think they do. They're putting hate out based on a grossly obsolete reputation and they're commenting on power and performance without ever ONCE sitting down in one. I'm at least willing to keep an open mind and to be quite honest if I hadn't already committed to getting a 'Tigershark' Renegade I would be tempted by this as a nearly ideal couple's car. Come on now, it's a bloomin' 5-door hatchback that actually looks decent without any aspirations towards pretentiousness. Small? yes. But I think you'll be surprised how many of these actually hit the roads. Its biggest competition will be the Renegade itself.

  • Turvo Turvo on Sep 16, 2014

    Lets cut to the chase. Fiat as a brand will never, ever be truly successful here as long as it only brings over, and my apologies to the ladies, "chick cars". Most self respecting males and many women are not going to plunk down 15-25 grand on a cute urban car styled, lets be honest here, for young women. Imagine Volkswagen's lineup consisting of only Beetle variants, you get the picture.My wife, the girly girl that she is despises the 500's styling as well. How about some Bravos, Pandas or Puntos thrown in the mix? Just leave the Freemont, we're all good with that gem.

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    • Turvo Turvo on Sep 16, 2014

      @Vulpine I suppose I was not clear enough. I love me a small, nice handling compact or subcompact. Refer to the " imagine if VW sold only Beetle derivatives" line. For background I own a full service car wash and detail shop and see 100's of vehicles every day. The new Fiat's, what few we see get a universal thumbs down from my staff, male and female. Fiat could bring over their other offerings and call them whatever they want here, the Panda could be called the Fiat Wombat for all I care, just change it up a bit! My point is the styling isn't sexy, it's polarizing. Should they sell the 500 here? Hell yes, it fills a niche but to be successful for the love of God bring over some fresh product. Or better yet the entire Alfa lineup. That I could get behind. There are so many cool European offerings that don't get a chance here which is a shame. If Honda can sell Fits by the boat load why can't VW sell Polos by at least the truck loads? I rented a stylish Peugeot 307 or something a couple of years ago in Spain, small on the outside, big on the inside, insanely comfy seats and a nice ride. Thought to myself " why can't we get this in the states"? Maybe it was the scent of anti-freeze wafting its way through the ventilation system of this sub 10,000km car that was the answer.