Fiat 500X Hybrid Driving Test (2022). Small hybrid system, big bill

Awaiting its successor, which is expected to arrive in 2023, the Fiat 500X is equipped with a mild hybrid engine. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to justify the still high prices, while noting the lack of novelty.

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Leo Mingot

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Fiat 500X hybrid RED. Power: 130 hp. Price: € 30,290. Release: June 2022.

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Despite its nearly eight years of racing, the Fiat 500X will still have to wait before claiming its retirement rights. Precisely, its replacement, which will share much with the 2008 Peugeot within the Stellantis galaxy, will not enter the market until the summer of 2023. As a result, the Italian urban SUV launched in late 2014 is forced to play the extensions. , at an age when most models tend to give up.

Fortunately, the 500X can be proud of the arrival under the hood of a new “greener” engine, with the 1.5 hp 1.5 Firefly equipped with a microhybridization. A set recently opened by cousin Jeep Renegade. Thanks to its 20 hp electric motor combined with the DCT7 dual-clutch gearbox, this system even allows the 500X to drive electrically over very short distances and at low speeds.

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Although a smooth hybrid, the 500X’s on-board system allows for all-electric driving at low speeds over very short distances.

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Aesthetically, no real evolution. The only visible change is the abandonment of the traditional Fiat shield on the grille in favor of a “500” logo, identical to the electric 500. However, it must be acknowledged that the small SUV has not aged a bit and that its silhouette still looks attractive. Finally, despite the arrival of this microhybrid engine, the 120 hp Firefly petrol and 130 hp Multijet diesel units are still available in the catalog.

Fiat 500X Hybrid Price

Although the 500X is available from € 25,790 with the 120 hp 1.0 Firefly three-cylinder petrol engine, the mild hybrid 130 hp version we are interested in requires an additional € 4,500. A significant additional cost that could be justified in part by the DCT7 dual-clutch gearbox, which must be associated with this engine. Only with a minimum price of € 30,290, the 500X Hybrid doesn’t seem particularly given. In comparison, a Renault Captur E-Tech, which has a true full hybrid system, is priced at 28,400 euros. In addition, despite its hybridization, this 500X Hybrid requires the payment of a slight ecological penalty, which ranges between 75 and 540 € depending on the equipment.

Fortunately, the RED finish, which now represents the first tier of the 500X range, is properly equipped, which includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and speed limiter, or the system Uconnect with 7-inch screen. , Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Dolcevita convertible version requires an additional € 3,000.

Driving

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Fiat 500X hybrid overhaul

On paper, this hybrid version is the most efficient of the 500X. Only the slow, unresponsive ATM encourages quieter driving.

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A micro-hybrid vehicle capable of going fully electric is something unusual. However, from the first meters, the 500X fulfills its promise and allows you to leave your parking space in silence. It is even possible to extend the experience by about a hundred meters, as long as you keep your foot very light and do not exceed 30 km / h. Therefore, the performance is not comparable to that of a true “full hybrid”. but it will make a difference in the city, especially compared to other gentle hybrids, less competent at this point. In addition, the average consumption of 5.4 l / 100 km shown by the on-board computer after a short urban journey seems to confirm the benefit of this technology. But we have to admit that we didn’t really rush the mechanics on this trip …

The concern is that even when leaving the city centers, it will be preferable to keep a smooth route to compensate for the slowness and lack of response of the DCT7 box. Reminders are laborious, and it’s best to anticipate overtaking, as this transmission seems overwhelmed by events as soon as the right pedal is strongly requested. At acceleration, the momentum provided by the 20 hp of the small electric motor is hardly noticeable, while the four-cylinder turbo struggles to climb the towers. Something more surprising: this engine has a certain inertia and tends to maintain its speed for a while when you release the throttle.

Therefore, to put it bluntly: it is not because of its approval or performance that we will choose this hybrid version. Not even for your convenience. Because, on the chassis side, the 500X doesn’t seem to have evolved as much since its launch in 2014. We find a particularly dry suspension, which transmits to passengers the slightest roughness of the road. And if the steering lacks a bit of naturalness in the feel, it’s the braking that at the end seems most confusing, because it’s generally hard to dose.

On board

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fiat 500X hybrid front seats

The front seats are well designed. Too bad the overall comfort isn’t there.

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Competition

If Fiat started the hybrid late, some 500X competitors still don’t have any hybridization. This is the case of the 2008 Peugeot, Citroën C3 Aircross or Volkswagen T-Roc. Only, others do better than the Italian and have a complete hybrid system that is more efficient and convincing to use. Think of the Renault Captur, the Toyota Yaris Cross, the Hyundai Kona, but also the Nissan Juke, which is about to recover the engine of the Captur. Above all, these complete hybrid models are not necessarily more expensive and often even more affordable.

Thus, the Captur E-Tech starts at € 28,400, the Yaris Cross Hybrid at € 26,100 and the Kona Hybrid at € 27,000. We can also look at the Suzuki Vitara, recently converted into a full hybrid (1.5 Dualjet Hybrid from € 28,390), or even the Honda HR-V e: HEV, more expensive than the Fiat (from € 32,210) but also more efficient, more spacious and better equipped. Finally, we can mention the Ford Puma, which like the 500X has a mild hybrid version (Ecoboost 125) with DCT7 automatic gearbox, on display from € 24,900. In short, the game seems complicated for the small Fiat SUV.

Find out the test results, data sheet, and options on the next page

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