Buy FIAT, or Buy Used?

2016-fiat-500x-

“It’s an ugly little thing, isn’t it?”

The FIAT 500L was stopped at a light, one car length ahead, in the lane next to us. My wife, an aficionado of sexy car design, thinks the standard 500 is somewhat cute, but finds the 500L to be a disproportioned beast not unlike a freakishly large baby hippopotamus.

The 500L is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s supposed to be the “big” version of a tiny car. The result is a car that isn’t big but isn’t tiny and ended up caught somewhere in the middle. It’s really quite an unfortunate sight.

When the new 500X hits the streets later this year, I’m wondering if FIAT will finally have its sales superstar or just another marginally popular niche vehicle.

Car and Driver says,

Grown up but still cheeky, the 500X complements its minuscule sibling, the Fiat 500, by offering more space and all-weather capability while retaining its classic Italian style. A 160-hp 1.4-liter turbo four drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual; a 180-hp 2.4-liter four and nine-speed automatic power the front or all four wheels.

Pictures of the small new crossover show a car that has smoother lines and a more proportionate overall look. It could even be described as athletic if viewed from certain angles.

The Detroit News says,

The 500X, company executives say, combines American comfort and amenities with Italian styling and a new all-wheel-drive system for the brand that will likely move the product outside of the sunbelt states. Not to mention, it’s entering one of the fastest-growing market segments in the United States.

I don’t know that the teeny ute could handle a Boston blizzard, but for typical winter driving on plowed roads, it would do just fine.

We don’t know what the 500X will cost yet, but since the 500L starts at just under $20,000, we can expect somewhere north of that. At that price there’s lots of competition, especially from used cars with a reputable history. So here’s the question:

If you’re looking for a small crossover, would the FIAT 500X be on your list, or would you rather buy something used?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used FIAT 500
Used FIAT 500L

1 Comment

  1. I am intrigued by the 500X. I used to have a 500 Abarth, so perhaps my view is a bit biased. I loved that car but when I moved from CA to the snow belt I realized it wouldn’t suit my needs any more. Frankly, a front wheel drive car with good tires is more than capable of getting around in the winter, even in Northern Michigan (that’s what I have now). But, since the 500X shares it’s underpinnings with the new Jeep Renegade, which apparently is quite capable off road, why wouldn’t the Fiat version be more than adequate?

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