2019 Fiat 500X: New Engine, New Standard Equipment, Same Overall Look

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2019 fiat 500x new engine new standard equipment same overall look

Having already revealed the updated European version, Fiat is unveiling North America’s take on the facelifted 500X. While the subcompact crossover’s official LA Auto Show debut isn’t for another day or so, FCA decided not to sit on it. Likely a wise move, as the model will assuredly be overshadowed by higher profile vehicles appearing later this week.

As with its European counterpart, the North American changes are barely noticeable. While Fiat says the exterior has been updated, with new fascias incorporating LED running lights, the tweaks aren’t immediately apparent to onlookers. In fact, most are unlikely to notice any significant changes to the model before climbing into the driver’s seat or spending some time with a corporate dossier outlining all the alterations.

Fortunately, we can give you the abridged version — a list that includes standard all-wheel drive and a new engine.

The 2019 Fiat 500X’s adoption of a Euro-spec powerplant swaps the old, base 1.4-liter unit (160 hp, 184 lb-ft) for a 1.3-liter turbocharged inline-four engine producing 177 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. It also appears to scrap the manual option, as FCA has decided to pair the engine with a sole nine-speed automatic gearbox and driveline disconnect to pare down fuel consumption.

Trims have also been culled, with the Lounge variant vanishing from the lineup. The 500X can now be had in the entry-level Pop, “rugged” Trekking, or flashy Trekking Plus trim. Your choice between the three is largely dependent on how interested you are in a “lifestyle vehicle,” as Fiat has made most desirable equipment standard for 2019.

New 500X buyers will be pleased to learn FCA updated the vehicle’s instrumentation to include a central 3.5-inch digital display while maintaining the 7-inch Uconnect infotainment system (which comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM).

Navigation remains an optional extra, however, as are the LED headlamps the manufacturer is making a sizable fuss over. According to the automaker, the lights add a football field-worth of forward visibility at 56 mph. That’s apparently good for roughly 4 seconds of added time to spot obstacles in the dark vs the standard halogen units. They’re also said to be vastly more energy efficient, if you were worried about that. Shoppers can also add Bluetooth connectivity and a BeatsAudio premium sound system for some extra coin.

While the visual redesign isn’t particularly ambitious (the fog lamps are round… wow), Fiat appears to be building a better base model by most metrics. However, this results in a significant price increase. The starting MSRP for the 2019 Fiat 500X is now $25,785 with destination.

That’s quite a bit more than last year’s pre-destination base price of $19,995. However, you are getting more standard equipment and a new, fuel-sipping powertrain that looks comparable (if not superior) to the 2.4-liter Tigershark that’s available for the current model year. Still, if you’re seriously concerned with pinching pennies, we advise you to examine the 2019 Jeep Renegade — which also adopts the 1.3-liter turbo and starts about two grand cheaper than the Fiat, despite basically being the same car.

[Images: FCA]

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  • JoDa JoDa on Nov 27, 2018

    Surprising to see this not selling in the USA. What is wrong?

    • See 1 previous
    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Nov 28, 2018

      Brand/lack of exposure. If it were branded as a Dodge or Chrysler available at all dealers, it would sell many multiples more. Though in this form, it's basically a low cost as-is export. The same car shaped as a Jeep sells into six figure volume.

  • Slavuta Slavuta on Nov 27, 2018

    NONE!!! No manual - no car

    • INeon INeon on Nov 28, 2018

      There are manuals available in the Jeep models— the manuals are pretty junky and illy-integrated with the rear axles on AWD/4x4 models. Mine is a 2.4 Compass 4x4 6-speed manual. The automatic is going to be more reliable and feel more mature, which is likely why they’ve chosen to offer only that configuration on this version. Jeep owners are going to be more forgiving of the strange mechanical feelings on manually-shifted FWD, automated rear axle drive systems. I guess?

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.