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2020 Fiat 500X Sport Design Driveway Test

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The Fiat 500X received a big update for 2019 with a new 1.3-liter turbocharged engine. As such, it’s no surprise the 2020 Fiat 500X only sees minor updates, but one of them is rather striking, the introduction of the Sport trim level.

However, it’s only an appearance change, so it doesn’t drive any better than the base model. The changes are impressively effective at evoking sportiness, though. All of the fender flares and side skirts are changed to body color, giving the car a lower, wider look. This is aided by the revised front and rear bumpers. At the front, the bumper gets larger grilles, and at the rear is a faux diffuser and vent design instead of a faux skid plate finish. Adding a bit of contrast are satin grey metallic accents on the front bumper, door handles and mirrors. The same color is applied to the large 19-inch alloy wheels. The look is smart and sporty all around, and really helps distinguish the 500X in a sea of tiny crossovers cosplaying as more rugged SUVs.

Our particular example also came with the optional contrasting black roof. It’s $445 and seems worth it, particularly with one of the bright gloss colors such as our Rovente Red — Italia Blue or Bianco Gelato are also acceptable alternatives. It highlights those bright colors effectively and adds some visual interest to the package.

Fiat also added some interior touches to complement the sporty character. The Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and Alcantara wrappings on the instrument cluster are both immediately noticeable. And, with how common Alcantara has become in high-end sports cars, these are effective at conveying a sporty feeling, as do the paddle shifters that the package also adds. The dashboard’s satin gray paint is another highlight that matches the exterior accents. While body color panels would be brighter and more cheerful, this satin paint feels more premium than gloss paint when running your hands across it. The embroidered 500 logo in the seats is another premium-feeling accent. These are appreciated in a cabin where there are less prominent plastics that feel especially low rent.

Now, the Sport trim is easily our favorite looking version of the 500X, but there’s an added cost for the improved looks. It’s $2,305 above the base trim, not including the two-tone paint, and it really only nets you the appearance items and the shift paddles. Also, those shift paddles are a questionable value, since the transmission is slow and awkward when shifted manually, even more than it is in auto mode. That makes the less costly base Pop and Trekking trims a better value than this sporting version. But if style is important to you, as it may be when selecting the retro-chic 500X over the competition, the Sport is a solid way to go.

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