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New 2019 Fiat 500X bows with standard AWD, 1.3-liter turbo four

Autoblog logo Autoblog 11/26/2018 Sven Gustafson
a red car parked in a parking lot: post.metadata.leadImageDesc© FCA post.metadata.leadImageDesc

Fiat is unveiling the U.S. version of the new 2019 500X all-wheel-drive subcompact crossover this week in Los Angeles, and it deviates slightly from the European refresh version we previewed in August and its U.S. predecessor, with a new engine and standard all-wheel drive.

a red car parked in a parking lot: 2019 Fiat 500X

Instead of the three gasoline engines on offer across the pond or the two stateside, U.S. consumers will get a standard 1.3-liter, direct-injection turbocharged engine that produces 177 horsepower and a best-in-class 210 pound-feet of torque. Those are higher output figures than either the comparable European 1.3-liter or the 1.4-liter, and they compare with the 180 hp and 175 lb-ft offered by the outgoing 2.4-liter Tigershark engine. The new four-cylinder is fitted with stop-start technology and the third generation of FCA's MultiAir valve-actuation technology, which controls intake-valve timing and opening to recycle exhaust gas to offer improved power and fuel efficiency.

Also reflecting American trends—and don't let the gear shifter knob fool you—there's no manual transmission on offer, with power instead mated to a nine-speed fully electronic automatic transmission. Three driving modes are on offer: a baseline Auto, performance-oriented Sport, and Traction +, which maximizes low-speed traction.

Looks-wise, the basics are the same, with sharper creases, new LED head- and taillights, and redesigned front and rear fascias. The U.S. version continues the plastic body cladding defining the grille surround, a shape echoed at the rear. There are three wheel options — 17-inch silver aluminum for the Trekking model, 17-inch matte black machined wheels for the Trekking Plus, and 18-inch matte anthracite machined aluminum for Trekking and Trekking Plus (Pop is the entry-level trim). There are also three new exterior colors: Italia blue, green and ivory.

Fiat designers refreshed the cockpit with new seat fabrics, a new instrument cluster and a new steering wheel with mounted radio controls. It comes with standard Connect 4 with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Bluetooth features.

Safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection and a rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines. Adaptive cruise control is offered as an option.

The 500X will start at $25,785 including destination when it goes on sale next spring.

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