Which Fiat 500X Model Is Your Favorite?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Crash Test

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Crash Test

Crash test results for the European Fiat 500X were just released by Euro NCAP, the organization that assesses the safety of new cars in Europe. The Fiat 500X received four stars, just missing a five star rating. Recently, Euro NCAP has included crash avoidance technology in their assessment and that has significantly altered the meaning of the stars; this renders any comparison to previous year's ratings not comparable. Now to get a five-star crash rating a car has to be equipped with the most advanced collision avoidance equipment - normally reserved for high-end vehicles.

Interpreting the current star ratings:

5 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection. Well equipped with robust crash avoidance technology

4 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection; additional crash avoidance technology may be present

3 stars safety: Average to good occupant protection but lacking crash avoidance technology

2 stars safety: Nominal crash protection but lacking crash avoidance technology

1 star safety: Marginal crash protection

One can infer that a car currently receiving a four-star crash rating from Euro NCAP would be arguably equivalent to receiving a five star rating prior to 2014.

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Side Crash Test

The European Fiat 500X received good marks on Adult and Child Occupant Safety but was let down on the Safety Assist assessment. As with other cars in the Small MPV Class, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is optional, however, because Fiat doesn't believe it will be fitted to most cars, its higher-speed functionality was not included in the assessment and the 500X received zero points for it.

Interestingly, the top rated VW Golf Sportsvan AEB system is also optional, but it was included in its assessment. If it weren't, the 500X would be the top rated car in its segment. You can read about the testing protocols here on the Euro NCAP website.

Below are the crash test results for the European Fiat 500X.  Keep in mind, the Euro NCAP uses different testing procedures than the test performed in the United States. We'll have the US Fiat 500X crash test results as soon as they are available.

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Test Results

ADULT OCCUPANT Total 33.0 Pts / 86%

Comments on Adult Occupant
The passenger compartment of the 500X remained stable in the frontal offset test. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger. Fiat showed that a similar level of protection would be provided to occupants of different sizes and to those sat in different positions.

In the full-width rigid barrier test, protection of the driver dummy was good for all critical body areas and, for the rear passenger dummy, it was good apart from the chest, protection of which was adequate. In the side barrier impact, the 500X scored maximum points with good protection of all body regions. In the more severe side pole impact, protection of the chest was
adequate and that of other body areas was good.

Tests done on the front seats indicated a good level of protection against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision. A geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated marginal whiplash protection. An autonomous emergency braking system is available as an option. As it is not standard equipment, its performance at the low speeds typical of city driving was not assessed.

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Side Pole Crash Test

CHILD OCCUPANT Total 42.0 Pts / 85%

Comments on Child Occupant
The 500X scored maximum points for its protection of the 1½ year dummy in the dynamic tests and lost only a fraction of a point for the 3 year dummy, for chest acceleration slightly over the good performance limit. Both dummies were sat in rearward-facing restraints. In the side impact, both were properly contained within the protective shells of their restraints, minimising the likelihood of head contact with parts of the car interior. The front passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward-facing child restraint to be used in that seating position.

Clear information is provided to the driver regarding the status of the airbag and the system was rewarded. All of the child restraint types for which the car is designed could be properly installed and accommodated in the vehicle.

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Crash Test Car


Comments on Pedestrian
The bumper provided predominantly good protection to pedestrians' legs. Protection of the pelvis area was good and the car scored maximum points in these tests. The bonnet surface provided predominantly good or adequate protection to the head of a struck pedestrian, with poor results recorded along the edge of the windscreen and on the stiff windscreen pillars.

Fiat 500X Euro NCAP Test Car

SAFETY ASSIST Total 8.3 Pts / 64%

Comments on Safety Assist
Electronic stability control is standard equipment, as is a seatbelt reminder for the front and rear seats. The optional autonomous emergency braking system operates from low speeds, typical of city driving, to the higher speeds normal for driving on the open road.

However, Fiat does not expect most cars to be equipped with the system so its higher-speed functionality was not included in the assessment. A driver-set speed limitation device is standard equipment and met Euro NCAP's requirements for systems of this type. A lane departure warning system is available as an option. As it is expected to be fitted to most cars sold, it was included in the assessment.

Source: Interpreting the star ratings

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fiat 500X Desktop Wallpaper and Backgrounds

Fiat 500X Trekking Plus

The Fiat 500X is due to arrive at Fiat Studios sometime in May. While we are waiting, here is an album with over 170 images of the Fiat 500X, many of which can be used as desktop wallpaper, backgrounds and screen savers, etc. Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fiat 500X Media Presentation

2016 Fiat 500X Media Drive

Fiat gathered members of the media from all around North America to sample the new 2016 Fiat 500X this week. I'll have more information and driving impressions up shortly after the embargo deadline has past, but while we are waiting, here is the media briefing on the Fiat 500X.

Jason Stoicevich, Head of Fiat Brand North America,

These presentations were given by Jason Stoicevich, Head of Fiat Brand North America, Matt Davis, Head of Product Marketing, and Danilo Tosetti, a Senior Designer at Fiat Centro Stile, and the man who penned the exterior of the 500X. Finally Art Anderson, Engineering Vehicle Line Executive in charge discusses the technical aspects of the 500X.

Where the Fiat 500X fits into the Fiat lineup

Note in some of the videos the sound isn't great, but it is worth sitting through. I'll work on getting better videos in the meantime.

Jason Stoicevich, Head of Fiat Brand North America

Matt Davis, Head of Product Planning

Danilo Tosetti, a Senior Designer at Fiat Centro Stile

Art Anderson, Engineering Vehicle Line Executive in charge of the Fiat 500X.

Fiat 500X US Production Beginning, Reserve Yours Today

Fiat 500X Detailed Images
Fiat 500X Safety Features
Fiat 500X Full Features and Options
Fiat 500X Overview Video

Fiat 500X Design Explained
Fiat 500X Photo Album
2016 Fiat 500X Full Specifications
2016 Fiat 500X Engineering

2016 Fiat 500X Overview and Design
Mopar Gears Up With Fiat 500X Accessories
Poll: Fiat 500X Trekking or Street?
Fiat 500X Marketing Discussed
Fiat 500X Driving Videos

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Alfa Romeo at the 2015 New York Auto Show

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and 1963 Alfa TZ2

Alfa Romeo had a spectacular display at the 2015 New York Auto Show. In addition to the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and Coupe, already considered modern classics, Alfa treated visitors to three of their legendary performance cars. On display was a 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2, 1933 8C 2300 Monza, and a 1968 T33 Stradale. Seeing these cars in person is a rare opportunity - probably a once in a lifetime event.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider in Giallo Prototipo

Alfa Romeo had their tantalizing new 4C Spider on hand at the show. The production version of the open-top Alfa Romeo 4C made its world debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January and is due out this summer. The 4C Spider shown was finished in Giallo Prototipo and looked gorgeous.

Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe in Rosso Competizione

Hand made at the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy, the 4C is constructed largely out of exotic materials typically reserved for cars that cost well over six figures. The performance of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is nearly identical to the 4C Coupe because the weight gain from adding the convertible top is just 22 lbs over the coupe.

Alfa Romeo 4C Chasis

A 4C Coupe in Rosso Competizione was displayed alongside the carbon fiber chassis that makes up the backbone of the car and is a key to the 4C's outstanding performance.

Alfa Romeo 4C Overview
Click to view larger image

Alfa Romeo: The Future Belongs to Those With a Great Past

1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2

The Alfa Romeo TZ2 above is one of only 12 built. This purpose built sports racing car is powered by a 1,570 cc, 4 cylinder all aluminum, double overhead cam engine with a twin plug head, which produces 170 hp at 7,000 rpm. When combined with a weight of only 1,367 lbs, you have a car with outstanding performance and a top speed of over 150 mph.

The initials TZ2 stand for Tubolare Zagato and refer to the tubular space frame chassis used and the designer - Zagato. The number 2 in the name designates this is a second version TZ that sports updated bodywork. The original Alfa Romeo TZ debuted in 1963. The Alfa Romeo TZ2 is valued in the range of $2.25 million to $4 million or more.

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

The 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza displayed is a member of automotive royalty. A legendary race car, the 8C 2300 used a straight 8 cylinder, all aluminum double-overhead cam engine complete with supercharger, to power the car to a top speed reportedly in the vicinity of 140 mph. Few cars in its era matched the performance and handling of the 8C, and it was virtually unbeatable on a race track. The exact number of cars built is in question, maybe fewer than 10 and they are valued somewhere between $6.5 - $8.5 million.

1968 T33 Stradale Prototipo

The 1968 T33 Stradale. It would be enough to say that the Alfa Romeo T33 Stradale is considered by many automotive designers as the most beautiful car ever, but this automobile is more than just looks. In 1968, it was the quickest commercially available car in terms of the standing start kilometer with a time of 24.0 seconds according to Auto, Motor und Sport magazine in Germany.

Designed by Franco Scaglione, the aluminum-bodied T33 Stradale weighed approximately 1,543 lbs and used an all aluminum, 2 liter, 4 cam V8 that produced between 230 - 254 horsepower. The lightweight concept and overall shape is the inspiration for the modern 4C coupe we have today. The T33 Stradale is valued at over $10 million.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and Coupe

Today, Alfa Romeo is for all intents a standalone company in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire. Run by ex-Ferrari managers and engineers, the company has been charged with producing a range of new cars that set the standard as they have done in the past and live up to the legendary name of Alfa Romeo.

8C 2300 Monza image courtesy of Alfa Romeo USA
Gooding and Company
The Rob Report
Top Car Ratings
Alfa Romeo Guide, Joe Benson, Motorbooks International

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fiat at the 2015 New York Auto Show

2016 Fiat 500X with Fiat Brand Ambassador Megan Agrusa

The Fiat 500X will be the star attraction for Fiat fans at the 2015 New York Auto Show (April 3 - 12). Besides the new 500X crossover, Fiat will also have a few of its special editions, plus a couple of Mopar accessorized 500L show cars to keep Fiat enthusiasts, and the public entertained.

Fiat Display at the New York Auto Show

Visitors will be greeted by a Fiat 500X Trekking painted in Rosso Amore (Red Tri-Coat) and a 500X Lounge model in Bronzo Magnetico Opaco (Matte Bronze). Fiat dealers have a list of 500X models they will be receiving in their first shipment, so make sure you contact them to reserve yours now.

2016 Fiat 500X Trekking in  Rosso Amore (Red Tri-Coat)

Fiat 500L Custom by Mopar Show Car

The Fiat 500L Custom by Mopar debuted at the 2014 SEMA last November and showed what some imagination can achieve. A classy two-tone dark red and black paint job is paired with the darkened exterior trim. Featured on the 500L Custom are prototype Mopar designed 18 inch alloy wheels in a black-chrome finish along with a front air-splitter that is also a prototype piece. Mopar lowered the 500L and fitted their cat-back exhaust system.

Fiat 500L Custom by Mopar Interior

Inside the Fiat 500L Custom, the red and black exterior theme is continued and showcased with red leather and black Alcantara suede Katzkin seat covers.

Fiat 500L Urbana

The Fiat 500L Urbana turns up the heat on the standard 500L Trekking with special trim. For the show, the 500L Urbana was finished in Matte Nero trim for a rugged, urban look. A satin black finish is applied to the front and rear fascia, side sills, and body-side moldings as well as the exterior mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Satin chrome finish accents the exterior door handles, tail lamp bezels and smaller trim on the front and rear fascia.

Fiat 500L Models at the NY Auto Show

The 500L Urbana Trekking is available to order in six exterior colors: Verde Bosco Perla (Forest Green Pearl), Rosso Perla (Deep Lava Red), Giallo (yellow), Bianco (white), Grigio Scuro (Gray Metallic) and Blue Tornado, paired with a Nero (black) roof.

Fiat 500 Ribelle

The Fiat 500 Ribelle is named for the rebellious nature of the 500. Based on the 500 Pop, the Ribelle features a Rosso (red) painted roof, spoiler and mirror caps, along with Nero Puro (Gloss Black) headlamp and tail lamp bezels. Nero-painted wheels with Rosso wheel caps round out the exterior customizations.

Fiat 500 Ribelle Interior

Fiat 500L Vans Concept Car

Fiat 500L-Vans design concept was designed in collaboration with the Vans athletic gear company. This 500L concept car sports huge off-road LED daytime running lamps in an integrated brush guard and unique body cladding. The matte blue and gloss white two-tone paint is topped with a Vans checkerboard pattern. Vans signature shoe sole waffle pattern accents are used for the grille, step pad and rear cladding.

Fiat 500L Vans Concept Car

The Fiat 500L-Vans concept features a raised ride height along with 18 inch blacked out wheels and gives the car a rugged appearance. A roof mounted double decker surf board carrier with basket complete the look.

Fiat 500 1957 Edition

The retro-cool Fiat 500 1957 Edition is back again for 2015. This year, Fiat will introduce a new Cabrio version. Fiat dealers are taking orders now and it should be a big hit.

Fiat 500 1957 Edition Interior 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fiat Sales for March 2015

Fiat 500C in New York

Overall Fiat brand sales for March 2015 totaled 4,494, down 5% compared to the 4,738 cars sold during March of last year. Fiat sales were not helped by bad weather affecting a large portion of the country and a month with fewer selling days compared to March 2014.

Sales of the Fiat 500 hatch and Cabrio models just missed equaling last year's performance by 40 cars - 3,276 vs. 3,316. Below is a look at how sales of the Fiat 500 stack up against its popular competitors:

  • Fiat 500 March sales = 3,276, year-to-date total = 7,995
  • Mitsubishi Mirage March sales = 2,488, year-to-date total = 6,056
  • VW Beetle March sales = 2,244, year-to-date total = 5,735
  • Toyota Yaris March sales = 2,518, year-to-date total = 5,324
  • Hyundai Veloster March sales = 2,380, year-to-date total = 5,237
  • Scion tC March sales = 1,777, year-to-date total = 4,373
  • Smart ForTwo March sales = 583, year-to-date total = 1,533
  • Scion iQ March sales = 65, year-to-date total = 232
Fiat 500L Trekking

However, sales of the versatile Fiat 500L MPV were down an appreciable amount last month. Fiat sold a total of 1,218 500Ls in March - off 14% compared to the same month last year. The Fiat 500L is the largest selling car in its segment in Europe, but its popularity there has yet to transfer over to this side of the Atlantic. Enhancements to the 2015 500L - seat and transmission changes as well as a retuned suspension - are expected to increase sales, but these new cars have yet to arrive at dealers in significant numbers.

So far, 2015 year-to-date Fiat sales total 11,038, down 3 % compared to the 11,425 recorded during the same period last year. With more 2015 500L models heading to showrooms and the upcoming 500X CUV possibly hitting Fiat Studios next month, there is anticipation that 2015 sales will turn around and even beat the record-breaking sales of last year. This will be an interesting year for sure!

March Fiat News
The popular Fiat 500 1957 Edition will again be available in 2015 and this time a Cabrio version will be offered.

Fiat Big Italian Family TV Ad

Fiat has a new television ad playing that brings home the message that the Fiat 500 is no longer the only car they offer anymore. There are now multiple Fiat models available at your local dealership. In fact, by the time the 500X arrives at Fiat showrooms (or Studios as they are called), there will be somewhere around 25 different models to choose from. There is something for everyone!

March also brought another award to the Fiat 500 Abarth trophy case. This time, it made KBB.com’s list of the “10 Coolest Cars Under $25,000.”

Abarth 595 Competizione

Finally, Fiat and Abarth in Europe displayed their new 2015 product line-up at the Geneva Motor Show. Below are links to the highlights:

Fiat 2015 Geneva Show Highlights

Fiat 500 Sales in the United States, January - March 2015
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTD TotalLast Year YTD TotalVol Change
March 2015






Feb 2015






Jan 2015