2016 Fiat 500X – a Solid Contender

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2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus2016 Fiat 500X Trekking PlusShared Platform with Renegade – Different Mission  At a glance, the 2016 Fiat 500X is a solid addition to the Fiat lineup in the USA. Built alongside the Jeep Renegade at FCA’s Melfi, Italy plant the 500X shares the Renegade’s platform but has a dramatically different mission that demands tuning and settings to be very different.  While the Renegade Trailhawk is at home off-road, the 500X is for the cities and suburbs.

Riding on the same wheelbase of the Renegade, the 2016 Fiat 500X is slightly longer, lower, and wider.  It does have slightly more cargo volume than the Renegade.  Base engine is the 160-horsepower 1.4L 4-cylinder with a manual transmission.  A nine-speed automatic is optional.  Also option and fitted to the upper models is FCA’s Tigershark 180-horsepower 2.4L 4-cylinder engine with the nine-speed auto.

Styling is out of the Fiat 500 playbook, with similar front end style and a bodyside that apes the 500s style – cute, round and sporty.  Frankly, the styling of the 500X is much better than the Jeep Renegade – not as cartoonish – in fact, not cartoonish at all.  The interior package is typical Fiat with bright accents and flowing lines.  There are five trim levels and twelve exterior colors.  The package is comfortable and spacious for a vehicle this size.2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus

Price and Volume  Premium priced above the base Jeep Renegade, the 2016 Fiat 500X has a base price of $20,000 (with an additional $900 destination charge). That is for the Pop package.  Moving through the Easy, Trekking, Lounge and Trekking Plus models you can reach $27,100. Adding all available options can get the price to $30,000.  All Fiat management will say is that the USA is getting 25% of global 500X production.  So, the math goes like this, the Melfi assembly plant is a large plant with capacity of 2000 vehicles per day.  It produces the 500X, Renegade and Fiat Punto.  Assuming that its capacity totals 480,000 units per year, and the 500X and Renegade get half that capacity or 240,000 units per year.  If Fiat gets 40% of the capacity that gives them about 100,000 units worldwide and the USA gets 25,000.  That would make the 500X Fiat’s top selling vehicle in the USA and take the brand’s volume over 75,000. Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat in the USA won’t confirm that arithmetic saying that there may be some cannibalization from the 500L, but the vehicle is certainly a welcome addition to the line.

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