“We fixed it!” There’s nothing like taking the skeleton out of your closet and rattling it around for comic effect to (hopefully) dispel a few stereotypes. In a commercial previewed for North American audiences in Los Angeles today, Fiat poked fun at the whole Fix It Again Tony trope with a visit to a fictional Tony’s garage. A befuddled looking gent driving what looks like a Suzuki Aerio with a busted mirror has his car ridiculed by a team of over-the-top mechanics – “Where is the sexy? Is no sexy!” – who then present him with a brand-new 500X.
The new crossover Fiat reveals here today delivers on the promise the 500L failed to: it’s a larger version of the stylish 500 that maintains some of those good looks in a larger package. Sharing platforms with the Jeep Renegade, the 500X gets a 2.4L four-cylinder “Tigershark” engine making 180 hp, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front- or all-wheel-drive.
The inside retains some of those 500 features like the faux-metal dash accents and semi-circular styling, but there’s now an integrated touchscreen, a big improvement over the stuck-in-dash Garmin navigation the compact 500 had. Customization is another big theme for the 500X, which has eight exterior colours, and twelve different accents. You can also add in Mopar graphics for an even wilder-looking ride.
Fiat debuted the car alongside a modern art sculpture from artist Ron Arad, but never mind all the flights of fancy. If Chrysler/Fiat has figured out their nine-speed automatic for smoothness and efficiency, this little crossover could be a winner for Fiat. If, that is, the reliability proves the ghost of Tony has finally been exorcised.