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Hello everyone,

I got mine last week and so far I've done ~1000 miles. It is a 1.6 diesel, lounge edition with about 4k worth of extras. I'll write a short review about the car, then let you guys ask questions.


The good stuff

Probably the best FIAT car I've ever owned or driven. I haven't driven the FIAT Freemont (ex-Jeep Grand Cherokee) but with that exception I can easily state that this is the very best FIAT car I've seen up close and personal (and I've even owned or driven a few of the professional stuff like the Doblo/Ducato vans).

The car has a solid feel, drives nicely and rolls easily without hesitation (1.6 diesel has lots of power). I drove it in snow and in some bad weather conditions, the "all weather" mode worked as expected and the car was quick to react when driven on slippery surfaces. Much better than other 2-wheel drive cars that I've driven. The car has a lot of sound insulation than previous FIAT cars, it really feels like a more expensive car and makes long distance trips quite comfortable. 5 out of 5 for that.

The interior is larger than I expected, a bit larger than all the competitors that I tested (mini countryman, capture, juke, etc). The Italians did a great job with the leather interior, seats and the dashboard cosmetics/design. The "double" glove compartments are quite neat, the hidden led lights in all the compartments are handy and the storage spaces very impressive. The steering wheel comes with leather trim and lots of buttons, including a bunch hidden behind it! 5 out of 5 for that.

How about the centre console between the two front seats, that has a USB slot, which allows the cable to come out and stretch towards the rear passengers, for charging mobile devices. Fun.

The gadgets are quite important to the new generation of kids, so I had to have... everything. I can truly say that the blind spot assist is one of the most useful items that all cars must have (like they have ESP as compulsory). Lane assist is... interesting. Maybe not useful when driving in a busy city centre like London, or Rome, but quite helpful on motorways. Especially if you are drunk. It probably won't help if you are heavily stoned or sedated. Your mileage may vary.

The exterior is... gorgeous. Yep, sales of the 500L will plummet down to nothing, I expect FIAT to stop its production very soon. Some touches are quite cool, like the "500" badges inside the bi-xenon lights.


Now the bad stuff

I couldn't really find anything bad with the "body" of the car or anything in the mechanics of it, the car is very solid and nicely build (unlike previous fiats). But there are some things that bother me.

For example, the rear passengers have no rear air vents. If they are cold/hot, they have to deal with it and wait for the air to circulate first from the front. I've seen smaller and cheaper cars with rear air vents, so this was a disappointment for some family members.

Another issue, is the "hand resting" centre console between the two front seats. While it seems like a nice plate to store stuff and to use the USB slot (as mentioned above), it seems it was fitted waaay too much towards the rear. The rear passengers complain that it gets in the way of their feet. Plus, it has no function for the rear passengers, unlike in other cars that I've had (no rear 12V plug, no rear coffee cup holder, etc). So yes, there is no rear coffee cup holder... oh my.

The boot of the car is of average size. So what does it mean? "average"? well the way I think about it, is that its good enough for 2-3 days of luggage, but not good enough for 6-7 days. If you have one baby in the family, the car will hold all its stuff no problem, but if you have two babys (or child etc) then you are... erm... unlucky.

Finally, the gadgets are in their early stages of development. I've had the 6.5" navi crash on me once, the media bluetooth crash twice and suddenly connect to a ghost iPod that doesn't exist, and the automatic braking control went crazy with errors during the snow storm. While I paid a small fortune for the extra 6.5" screen and all its funky features, it still feels gimmicky and cheap, something that was fitted in cheap cars 5+ years ago and not something that should be fitted in a 2015 car. Probably my only real disappointment.

PS:
just for reference, here is what I've put on my car:
- bixenon
- rear view camera
- lane assist
- brake control assist
- blind spot assist
- cruise control
- drivers seat height adjustment
- 3rd rear head rest
- extra floor mats
- automatic lights day/night sensor
- electric exterior mirrors open/close
- rain sensor
- interior electrochromatic mirror
- uconnect nav 6,5" with 3d maps
- sd card, 2nd usb slot
- drivers electric lower back control (not sure what it was called)
- some other stuff that I forget...
 

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Welcome along, where are you? I didn't realise the 500x was out anywhere yet.
Thanks for the write up, I'm going to grab a cuppa and have a read through and don't worry I'll have plenty of questions for you.
I quickly noticed your disappointment in the technology, this is a major bug in all cars now, they simply don't have the skill to integrate everything properly which is why once Apple Car Play and Android Car Play come along everything should be much easier and work much better.
 

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Thanks for the information, very detailed and much better than some of the magazines. I am aware of the size of the boot from the preview nights and I think you can tell from the basic shape and outline of the car. For us it's fine and we'll get in everything we need. If you need more space I think you'll be looking at a Qashqai or X-Trail.
Did you go for one of the Opening Edition models or did you spec everything separately?
I'm not convinced Lane Assist is to help you get home straight from the pub...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@tootle, I'm based 6 months in the UK (London no car) and 6 months in Athens Greece. Yes the technology is a bit lacking. The Uconnect system (based on the QNX operating system) comes from Chrysler, in the US they fit 8" inch screens, in Europe they fit 5" and 6,5" inch. I've found several "bugs", for example when playing via Bluetooth the volume is a 20% lower than usual (as if the bitrate was lowered on purpose) and album/song covers don't show. On the other hand, playing via the USB cable has better volume, the album/song covers show up fine, but the audio is cut off at random intervals.

Oh, and the trip computer says that my average speed is... 533km/h... thats because I'm a rocket. (I had it photographed by my smartphone as proof!)


@PowerOfX, there was no option for me to get an Opening edition for some unknown reason. Since I started with the "Lounge" edition, which has many extras, I added a lot on top of that, so it all worked great.

Some years ago, I tested Lane Assist in a Volvo, it beeped, vibrated the steering wheel and played some animation on the screen. The Lane Assist in this car actually turns the steering wheel to the right direction! I tested it by driving in the middle lane of a 3-lane motorway, to see if the car could drift to another lane, but the car auto-corrected itself every time. Funky...

Oh, it also detects when your hands are not touching the steering wheel and screams at you to do so, that was fun to abuse and amuse.

Also, the Volvo has the Blind Spot Assist warning light INSIDE the cabin (on the pillars of the windscreen), but the 500X has them out on the side mirrors. This poses a problem if you install dark tinted film on your windows, the warning light may not be strong enough, so you'll be warned by beeping only.

The keyless function is also very interesting. You walk to the car, open the drivers door, get in, press button to start engine and go. No need to unlock the car, no need to remove the electronic brake (it disengages automatically).

Then after a few months, you try to drive a normal car, walk up to it, pull the door handle and nothing happens, you keep on glaring at the car, but then you realise you need a key, so you unlock, get in and look for the start button, but there is none, at which point you realise you need to use the key (again), so once the engine is started you try to drive away and something is holding the car still, then you realise (again) that there is a manual handbrake lever that needs to be disengaged. Oh this is going to be fun...

still reading? sorry for the long post :)
 

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I like the long posts! Thank you
I've not had any experience of the lane assist facilities yet (on any car) but I do think they should serve as a warning system only rather than becoming dependent on it. I'll be reporting back on how I find the one in the 500x with never having experience of it before.
The audio system is more important to me from my phone so I'm hoping you just have a couple of bugs that can be ironed out.
Any pictures to share
 

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I know what you mean about the interior screen - but I think it's just down to Fiat's design language. It's certainly not Apple or German standards.
 

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@only1man, the ride is probably the best one I've experienced for a FIAT. Sound proof levels are quite acceptable (anything below 140km/h or 86miles/h and the cabin is very quiet). It feels like a more expensive car. The suspension is a bit stiff for my taste, but others think that its nicely balanced. Of course it is nowhere near the feel of walking on a cloud, that comes with a hydro-neumatic suspension of a Merc ML500 (which costs as much as a small house). But I expected a lot less from a FIAT, so I'm quite happy with the result.

On the downside...

Apparently, the initial idea to support the MirrorLink feature (which shows your smartphone screen on the car's dashboard screen) has been dropped on this car. The Uconnect system has this feature disabled by default. I guess someone could attach an after-market dongle via the AUX video input. Sad that Uconnect has so many (but little) issues.
 

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My experience with mirror link in another car was absolutely appalling, it simply wouldn't work unless you had an ancient iphone4 or old Andriod 1!
 
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