Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Model update: Fiat 500X Hybrid
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Model update: Fiat 500X Hybrid

Date: 24 June 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Electrified small SUV has clever elements, but ultimately falls short.
What's new:
Small SUV gains mild hybrid power.
Standard equipment on Red:
17in alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED tail lights and DRLs, LED front fog lights with cornering function, dark tinted rear windows, roof rails, automatic wipers, electrically adjustable door mirrors, driver seat electric lumbar support, ambient lighting, automatic dual-zone climate control, 7in touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, 3.5in TFT display, front and rear USB ports, cruise control, reversing camera, lane assist, intelligent speed assist, traffic sign recognition, brake assist, drowsy driver detection, tyre pressure monitoring system.

Inspired by Fiat's iconic 500 city car, the 500X small SUV is getting on a bit now. It was initially launched in the UK in 2015, and received its last significant facelift in 2018. But we're driving it again because along with the Tipo lower-medium car, it has been given a new powertrain which allows Fiat to now boast of a range in which every model can be had with some form of electrification. 

Although the new powertrain is, strictly speaking, only a 48V mild hybrid, unlike with other mild hybrids it is capable of moving the car on electric power alone, albeit in a very limited way. What it does is use battery power to replicate the 'creeping' function normally seen from automatic cars when moving at low speed, without using the engine. It sounds like a clever idea, and we found it worked well in practice, making it easy to imagine saving decent amounts of fuel when stuck in a traffic jam, for instance. 

Other functions of the mild hybrid system include the more usual assisting of the petrol engine when accelerating, and also allowing the engine to switch off briefly when the driver lifts off the accelerator at speed. This also works well on the road, although we did find the mild hybrid functions rather dependent on battery charge level and seemingly a lot more willing to activate when the car's air conditioning was turned off - not ideal during our test drive on a warm day in Italy. Although possibly less of a hardship for much of the year in the UK. As for the petrol engine, it's OK for power, but a bit noisy under heavy acceleration. 

There are problems with the rest of the driving experience too. The steering is vague, making it difficult to place the car on the road during cornering, where there's a fair amount of wallow and roll and a tendency towards understeer. Ride comfort is reasonable, but not impressive enough to compensate for the various handling deficiencies.

More likely to win favour is the 500X's interior. With the aptly-named Red equipment grade tested here, we liked the stylish big red retro dashboard fascia, as well as the sporty red-piped seats, which as well as looking good are nicely supportive, and the quality-feeling artificial techno-leather steering wheel, with that material also deployed on the doors and armrest and soft touch plastics also liberally used. Overall, the material quality feels pretty decent for a mainstream brand model. The only real letdown with the interior is a small 7in infotainment touchscreen, which seems outdated, and the lack of a full digital instrument cluster. There is a decent amount of space in the back, and good headroom, but the boot opening is quite high off the ground.

Unfortunately, considering the 500X's running costs reveals more disappointment. Although the Fiat's clever powertrain sneaks it one BIK band lower than an equivalent mild hybrid Ford Puma, the 500X's more expensive P11D value means it incurs marginally pricier monthly payments. More concerningly for a fleet manager, poor expected residual values make the 500X eight pence per mile more expensive to run than the Ford. Therefore, while we like the 500X's sense of style, and the mild hybrid creeping function has some merit, it's difficult to recommend.

Fiat 500X Hybrid 48V Red 

P11D: £28,350

Residual value: 31.2% 

Depreciation: £19,503

Fuel: £8,926

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,458

Cost per mile: 51.47p

Fuel consumption: 49.6mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 129g/km (29%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: £142/£284

Luggage capacity: 350 litres

Engine size/power: 1,469cc/130hp


  • Clever MHEV creeping function
  • Stylish interior
  • Poor residual values
  • Not cheap to buy
  • Disappointing handling