Our long-run 2016 fiat 500X could be a fine little crossover that is nearly undone by a underwhelming and often frustrating powertrain. The 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder/nine-speed automatic combo is found in a number of FCA products. In every single application I’ve used this engine, the takeaway has been the same: it is a boat anchor. I like our 500X, i actually do.
I have not spent as much time behind the wheel as i’d like, however I’ve put thousands of miles on its platform twin, the jeep Renegade, and 2 vehicles are essentially the same underneath. The Tigershark 2.4-liter makes 180 Horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torsion, good numbers on paper, but in practice the engine is buzzy and slow to rev. The engine feels dated.
Issues Of Fiat 500X Engine
In contrast, the base 1.4-liter turbocharged engine feels rather more lively despite being down 20 Horsepower. The low-end grunt is owed to the 9 additional pound-feet of torsion the engine makes over the 2.4-liter. It may not match it on the top end, but not many folks are running a 500X to redline. The issue I have is that the 2.4-liter is the only available choice on the higher-spec models like our Trekking plus, so if you want some choices you are stuck with this engine.
The 2.4-liter is completely paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission that is designed by ZF. As great as some of ZF’s other gearboxes are, this 9-speed is varying degrees of bad in every application that I’ve used it, including the Honda Pilot, Acura TLX, and jeep Cherokee and Renegade. Shifts may be abrupt, and the manic transmission is consistently hunting in an effort to find the most fuel-efficient gear.
More than once i have been left waiting for a kick down in order to move with some gusto. Don’t let my reiteration about the powertrain warp your vision of the 500X. It is a fun little vehicle and arguably Fiat’s best product (the 124 Spider is mostly Mazda), however it’s frustrating when a pleasant little crossover is brought down by such a lackluster powertrain, created worse by knowing the 1.4-liter is so much better. There is an easy fix, Fiat: provide the 1.4-liter in all engine trims.