There’s a fairly new category in the auto industry called the “subcompact SUV class” which includes cars like the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and the Mazda CX-3. This is not an attractive category as these cars look boring and chunky, but the class is growing largely due to pricing, versatile cargo and passenger capacities, and good fuel economy. I spent 7 days driving through the city of New York with one of these subcompact cars; the 2017 Fiat 500x. One of the things I learned was, never judge a car by its body.

An interior and exterior look at the 2017 Fiat 500x

The outside of this Fiat is typical of a Fiat frame, but the 500x includes a dual-pane power sunroof great for those summer road trips. I drove what I like to call a Cherry Red Firebird because, in the summer sun, the red pops and leaves your eyes begging for sunglasses. One of my favorite features in the car is the leather seats as well as the heated seats and steering wheel as well as the Beats Audio sound system.

Let's break down some other important specs:

  • Beats Audio premium sound system, this system includes an eight-channel 506-watt amplifier and nine speakers, including a subwoofer.
  • Full-color driver information digital cluster display with a 3.5-inch customizable digital screen.
  • 2.4L Tigershark® MultiAir® provides a 2 engine, 180 horsepower with a 175 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 in 7.8 seconds
  • 25-city/33 highway
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • "ParkSense" with a rear park assist system that will detect objects behind the vehicle, along with ‘ParkView’, which will display a wide-angle view of the area behind the vehicle.

What are the pros and the cons of the Fiat 500x?

Pros, the car handles great, easy to maneuver and park.

The pickup speed will surprise you and it's great on gas. The sound system really cranks out your favorite tunes. The safety features are elite compared to the rest of the cars in its class. The high-end interior is comfortable and the infotainment system is easy to use.

Cons, compared to its competitors, the engine does not compare as well as it has fewer standard features than the others in the category.

The price with everything included tops at over 30k, which is a bit much for a mini SUV.

The Fiat 500x versus the competition

The U.S News ranked the Fiat 500X 10th among the 13 best subcompact (mini SUVs) in the world. The top three cars are the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Jeep Renegade. In a head to head, the Fiat comes in 4th in pricing, 3rd in MPG and 3rd in horsepower.

Overall, the Fiat 500x is perfect for empty nesters, millennials, and first-time car buyers. Parents with a small family can take the kids to school in the morning, and carry a week's worth of groceries in the trunk. Although the 500x doesn’t stack well on paper, it’s all about personal style, and one thing the 500x doesn’t lack is style.

I give it a three out of five stars.

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