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2016 FIAT 500X Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 FIAT 500X was new.


Interior: 7.7

The 2016 Fiat 500X earns praise for its upscale interior. Test drivers say the 2016 Fiat 500X's back seats have good headroom, but legroom is poor. Reviewers agree that outward visibility is great in most directions. Critics say the infotainment system and audio controls are easy to use, but some complain that the gauges are confusing, and the climate controls can be hard to reach.

  • "It may come down to your taste for various interior trims -- all from Pop to Trekking Plus have nicer material finishes than this price segment would suggest, with thickly padded door panels and armrests." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Inside, the difference is even more pronounced. Where the 500 and 500L have chintzy-feeling interiors filled with hard plastic, the 500X's soft-touch surfaces on the dash and armrests, very good fit and finish, and a generally upscale feel belie the base Pop model's starting price of $20,900, including the $900 destination charge." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 500X is big enough for four full-grown adults inside, but that's not what makes the interior good. Fiat nailed the material choices in the upper trims, including gorgeous brown premium leather seats on Trekking Plus models." -- Road and Track
  • "Both outside and in, it looks to be built to a higher standard and of nicer materials than the 500L, if the preproduction models we just drove in and around Los Angeles are indicative of the cars that should arrive in U.S. dealerships in May." -- Car and Driver
  • "Since its return to the United States, FIAT's interiors have been dominated by Playskool-grade hard plastics, but that's not the case here." -- AutoTrader


The 2016 Fiat 500X seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and six-way manually adjustable front seats. Premium cloth upholstery, leather seats, heated front seats and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat are available. Reviewers agree that the front seats are comfortable and roomy, and both the standard and upgraded upholstery are high-quality. Test drivers report that the rear seats have good headroom for tall adults, but that legroom is limited. Most automotive writers find that the 500X's high seating position makes it easy to enter and exit the SUV and gives the 500X great outward visibility in most directions, though thick roof pillars block some views.

  • "The rear seat has enough space for 6-footers thanks to a tall seat cushion, though with just a fraction of an inch [of] space below the headliner." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 500X's interior retains the high-mounted seating of the Renegade, not only making getting in and out easy but also providing a better field of view than other vehicles in this class. One would expect that the tradeoff would be slightly snug headroom in the back, but the 500X largely avoids this due to its curved roof. Legroom in the rear seats is a bit of a snug fit, but we found it to be generally comparable to the room offered in the Countryman." -- AutoWeek
  • "Speaking of seats, we tested both cloth- and leather-covered ones, and found them to be unusually comfortable and supportive in a Barcalounger sort of way. Visibility isn't quite as impressive, with rather thick front pillars (which block more to the right than to the left), and moderate side and rear pillars." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The big cloth and leather seats are comfortable, and better than what's found in the other 500s. This a pleasant place to spend time, even after several hours behind the wheel." -- Autoblog
  • "Both my co-driver and I had plenty of headroom up front, and I had no issues even in the models equipped with the panoramic sunroof, which often eats up headroom. The backseat is not as spacious with 34.8 inches of legroom, but my knees didn't graze the front seat and my head didn't touch the roof. Larger passengers will want to avoid the backseat for any substantial length of time." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Fiat 500X include a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, an eight-speaker Beats audio system, a Uconnect infotainment system with navigation and a 6.5-inch touch screen, a sunroof, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and rear parking sensors.

Reviewers say the available Uconnect infotainment system is straightforward, and the audio controls are well-placed. Some also report that the climate controls can be difficult to reach, but are still easier to use than the controls some rivals have. A few critics complain that the 500X's gauges are small and confusing.

See 2016 Fiat 500X specs »

  • "The Uconnect 6.5 system comes with a 6.5-in touchscreen, access to Internet radio and Yelp local search apps on owners' smartphones, as well as an optional navigation system. It's an easy system to use and a welcome option in such an affordable vehicle." -- AutoTrader
  • "The control layout is mostly good. Audio controls include a volume and tuning knob, with station and source selection done through the touchscreen, which is easy to reach; buttons on the back of the steering wheel allow easy control of volume and station presets. Less easy to reach are the low-mounted climate controls, but they redeem themselves with a simple, three-dial arrangement that's far easier to use than the tedious repetitive-step pushbuttons found in many other cars." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Nestled behind the wheel is a three-pod gauge cluster that is frustratingly Italian. The speedometer is small and set off to the left while rarely used gauges like fuel and temperature get a spot at center stage." -- Left Lane News
  • "Still, there are a few ergononomic miscues, such as the distance of the Uconnect touchscreen from your hand. And unless you drive with the steering wheel close to your chest, like a goggle-wearing 1930s Lagonda race car driver, you'll have to lean forward a fair bit to play with some of the infotainment functions that aren't accessible via steering-wheel buttons, which are directly from the FCA parts bin, we might add." -- AutoWeek


With the rear seats in use, the 2016 500X has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space and 50.8 cubic feet of space with them folded. Those capacities are similar to what most rival subcompact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade and Chevrolet Trax offer. Test drivers say the 500X has a good amount of cargo space, including room for long items thanks to a flip-forward front passenger seat. They also appreciate convenient storage features like a cargo shelf and under-floor compartments. Still, a few critics caution that the cargo opening may be too narrow to accommodate some items.

  • Behind the rear seats, the 500X offers 18.5 cu ft. of cargo space, and those seats can fold down in a 60/40 split to expand that to 50.8 cu ft. That lies between the Honda HR-V's 58.8 cu ft. and the 48.4 cubes offered by the Chevy Trax." -- AutoTrader
  • "The rear hatch offers up a good amount of room, and the folding seat backs make space for longer items. Likewise, the floor has two positions to accommodate taller cargo." -- Road and Track
  • "… the generous cargo area expands not just by folding the rear seats, but with a long-object accommodation thanks to the flip-forward front seat." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "A cargo shelf can be lowered to add more height, if needed, or to create a cargo well to better hold items that tend to roll around such as grocery bags." -- Cars.com
  • "Cargo capacity is greater than might be expected of such a small vehicle, largely due to a tall roof and the ability of the front-passenger seat back to be folded down to create a long channel. The rear seat backs fold level with the load floor and nearly flat, and there's lots of storage space under the floor, which can be removed to create a taller load area. The only sore spot is that the cargo area is quite narrow at the back-only as wide as the hatch opening-which likely means that golf clubs can't be laid sideways." -- Consumer Guide

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