LA Auto Show 2014: 2016 Fiat 500X Breaks the Mold

A very un-Fiat like Fiat 500 announced its present at the 2014 LA Auto Show, looking to challenge the likes of the MINI Countryman or the new Mazda CX-3.

The Fiat 500X is the automaker’s first four wheel drive vehicle — lurching far afield from its tiny Italian roots to land itself in the very popular and very competitive small urban crossover market. In addition to its four wheel drive capability, the 500X will offer a 1.4 liter MultiAir turbo engine with 160 horsepower or 2.4 liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine with 180 horsepower. The former will come with a wonderful six speed manual, while the bigger engine will settle for an automatic gearbox.

Related: LA Auto Show 2014: New Ford Explorer

I admit I overheard other automotive writers admiring the 500X as an example of a small car on steroids that maintained the lines of its original model. In other words, they seemed to think the bigger, brawnier 500X still resembles the original little 500. I don’t see the resemblance in profile or nose to nose. The 500X looks to me more like a Nissan crossover than the classic Italian compact car that inspired it

We’ll see how she sells next year.