2020 Fiat 500X Sport AWD

Sporty, comfortable, and fun to drive
October 29, 2020 Updated: October 29, 2020

The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport crossover features standard intelligent all-wheel drive with automatic rear-axle disconnect. Power is provided by a 1.3L direct-injection MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine coupled to a standard nine-speed automatic transmission.

The 500X Sport delivers 177-horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 210 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,200 rpm. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, for a combined 26-mpg average.

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Seeing the 500X from the back. (Courtesy of Fiat)

What I admired most about the Fiat was its great Italian design. Examples of such design elements include the LED daytime running lamps and rear taillights, plus other engaging dynamics that are synonymous with the Fiat brand.

Outside, the 500X Sport features a new front and rear fascia design, body color painted side moldings, and dark-finish exterior accents. My tester had a beautiful “Rovente Red” exterior paint.

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Body-color wheel arch molding on Rovente Red 500X Sport. (Courtesy of Fiat)

The smartly dressed interior featured dark headliners and pillars. The sport-inspired seating was a little tight for me. Nevertheless, the refined console bezel finishes, a new flat-bottom techno-leather steering wheel, handcrafted red stitching along with Alcantara inserts, and paddle shifter helped make for a near perfect driving experience.

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Black sport cloth seats in the Sport model. (Courtesy of Fiat)

Fiat 500X Sport has more than 70 available safety and driver assist features. These include Adaptive Cruise Control and Park Sense parking assistance, and they all add to the convenience and protection for the driver and passengers.

What I like about the Adaptive Cruise Control is it could be activated to automatically slow down when your vehicle is approaching another vehicle ahead, or when another vehicle moves into the same lane. Then it returns to the set speed when the when the front is clear up to a distance set by the driver. This feature in effect keeps the car at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

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Distinctive instrument panel finish with an Alcantara gauge cluster brow. (Courtesy of Fiat)

Adaptive Cruise Control was wonderful when driving on Interstate 35 South from Dallas to Austin. Traffic was heavy with a fast pace being standard, but this Fiat handled quite nicely and always with an attitude towards safety.

There are a number of other useful safety features, including Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection, and Park View rear back up camera with dynamic grid lines. Park Sense Rear Park-Assist and Front Park-Assist can be individually added. Admittedly the front sensors seemed a little too sensitive. There is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation, and seven standard air bags as the last line of protection.

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Available dual-pane panoramic sunroof. (Courtesy of Fiat)

These are wonderful features when in a large parking lot during a rain storm, with folks running all directions for their cars and leaving hurriedly.

I was genuinely impressed with all this technology in the Sport AWD model with a list price of $26,895.

I would recommend a few optional equipment groups. One is the $795 Comfort Group with 8-way power adjustable seats, 4-way power lumbar adjustable driver seat, A/C Auto Temperature Control with Dual-Zone Control, and overhead ambient lightning. Another one is the $295 Cold Weather Group which provides heated front seats and windshield wipers deicer.

For my journey to Austin, I found the latest Uconnect 4 infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen a good road companion. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard, and can be furthered optioned with navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Beats premium audio system, and automatic climate control. Even though the touchscreen was clear with good color texture, I would have preferred a little more screen area.

Driving the Fiat 500 X Sport was a fun experience. The vehicle held the curve well, had plenty of torque, and steered easily through heavy traffic. There was little or no noise and performance as smooth as sailing.

Key Dimensions
Overall length: 167.2″
Overall width: 79.7″ (inc mirrors)
Overall height: 63.7″
Wheelbase: 101.2″
Curb weight: 3,305 lbs.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.