Fiat 500X 1.6 Multijet 120hp Cross

Fab styling, great interior – the 500X looks a smart buy. Based on the top-selling 500 supermini, it has the pedigree and chic to be a massive hit. Along the same lines as the Mini Countryman but cheaper, the Fiat is available with either two or four-wheel drive. Our 1.6 diesel Cross is near the top of the range at £21,055 but you could opt for the faster 1.4 Multiair or 2.0 diesel version which both cost even more. 0-60mph is dispatched in a modest 10.5 seconds but the economy is an impressive 68.9mpg (combined). A puffed up handbag or a serious crossover car? Join us for a week to find out…

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SUV = silly useless vehicle

Look, I know we all have different tastes and needs when it comes to cars but I am struggling to understand why anybody would want to pay £23,000 for a compact SUV.

I live in the country and my ancient Land Rover hasn’t engaged full four-wheel drive in three years. Sometimes I long to get stuck in a snow drift but global warming seems to have put pay to that.

All-wheel drive cars like th Fiat 500X are great for surefooted exiting of a junction in the wet. It’s reassuring to know that your BMW has X Drive to cross sleeping policemen when it rains.

But really, if you passed a driving test then what the cluck do you really need four driven wheels for, unless you are retarded in the gear department.

So adding all-wheel drive to the cute little Fiat 500 and then bastardising the bodywork to make it look butch is akin to drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.  Pointless.

I can’t say the 500X is bad at anything, apart from being rather dull to drive compared to a bin lorry. And in our Bank Holiday test car guise it really is £23k to own.

Please think long and hard before you buy an SUV because I bet you don’t really need one…

The sweet, non-threatening Fiat 500X…

We’ve had the summer off at Car Couture, driving a Lamborghini Huracan across the USA. Fun? Yes but actually quite stressful on American roads often designed for tractors.

So to get home and find a sweet, none threatening 500X on the drive is actually quite refreshing. Let’s face it, nobody is going to try and race me in a mini SUV or video my every move on a cell phone.

Somehow the 500X has passed me by, until now. I rather wish Fiat had sent a more zippy 1.4-litre turbo petrol but most people will probably opt for diesel unit.

I know it’s going to serve up masses of economy but the Multijet sounds a bit agricultural by comparison. It’s a harsh ride too but I’m already warming to the tiny Fiat…

The bipolar Biposta… Is it a Fiat supercar or what?

The madness of this particular Biposta is that it’s a car that doesn’t quite know what it is.

On the one hand, it’s £37,000 of uncompromising, full-fat rally car, minus proper door handles, sat nav, air con – or even a radio.

On the other, our test car doesn’t come with the bonkers dog ring gearbox – you have to pay extra for that pleasure.

So instead, our test car features a fairly conventional, dash stick like a normal Fiat 500. Surely you’d expect that for this sort of money?

Just who is going to buy a Biposta remains to be seen. I think the enthusiast will want ALL the extra lightweight, slick gearchange kit included in the price.

Seems a bit rich charging £37k then asking for more for the fun bits!

The Fiat 500 handbag finally gets a brick to give it some clout

 

A car with a 1.4-litre turbo engine has no right to be this fast. But because the stripped out Biposta weighs just 997kg, Fiat would claim it can provide enough thrills to justify costing more than a BMW M235i.

Less is more in this case. Which explains the lightweight Oz alloy wheels and carbon-fibre shells for the two seats. There’s even a titanium frame where the back bench normally sits in a Fiat 500.

Sadly, our May test car isn’t fitted with the track-inspired, dog-ring gearbox. That’s an option enthusiasts would go for. Me? I prefer a gearstick that actually works properly on the road.

The best bits so far? Overtaking a bemused Golf GTI driver and the sound from the Akrapovic exhaust. Especially meaty when the ‘Sport’ button is pressed.

Why would you buy a tiny car costing this much when there are better options out there for the same money? Simply – it’s bloody great fun.

 

Fiat 500C – Roofless

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Cats are discerning creatures – they find the warmest, most comfortable spot and nest for the day. Hubble, my Burmese terrorist, is no exception. After 11 years of following me around the place, he’s become a creature of habit.

His favourite spot, from 12.30 until 4pm, is on the roof on my canvass-topped Land Rover. It’s warm, he can eye up the bird population, and there’s no chance of a scrap with the village hounds.

This morning I found him on the roof of the 500C. He’s never taken to the roof of any other car before but the canvass soft-top of the Fiat appears to have been one temptation too far. In a word, Hubble has defected. He’s sold out to a small, cute Italian Shameful.

To keep him off, I’ve had to leave the roof open. It folds back in stages, and takes about 20 seconds to crumple up. It’s not a true soft-top, in that you still have the sides of the car in place but it’s actually rather good in that you don’t get blown away at speed and small people in the back aren’t buffeted around in a hurricane.

Good choice Hubble…