Small cars I like, able to do all the daily chores a family car needs to do without necessarily shouting about it. So the car makers created the Crossover, a kind of slightly bigger small car with added ride height, enough room for 4/5 people plus the dog or shopping. The crossover also came with one other thing, AWD, OK this was often the top of the range model with the rest of the range being FWD but it was a good ‘added bonus’.
It is true that an AWD Crossover would not have seen much action off road but then that wasn’t it’s primary role, AWD was there for when the going got a little bit tough on the school run in the winter months. Waking up to a blanket of snow and whilst the kids got excited thinking of a day off school terrorising neighbours with snowballs you could smugly smile knowing in fact they would still be going to school and you could escape the little ‘horrid henrys’ in a warm office at work, as the AWD Crossover parked on your driveway could tackle the white fluffy stuff on the housing estate.
Now we have a new Fiat 500X crossover – https://bit.ly/2C6yrQf , launched this week it is an updated version of the existing model, with a nip and tuck in the design front, more importantly it comes with a range of new lower emission engines, diesel not included, yes diesel has been dropped. But that I don’t particularly care about, yes the new engines are impressive but no diesel, no bother. What I am surprised about is no AWD model?! The cute bigger sister to the 500 is now Front Wheel Drive only.
Fiat tell us this is because the market for an AWD 500X doesn’t really exist, that the previous version sold in such small amounts it is not worth bothering with. I don’t really care whether the market is a big one or small one, there are still people out there who want an AWD Crossover for that said occasion it is needed. More to the point I feel FCA wants to push that group of buyers towards the Jeep brand who do offer such a car, that is understandable from a business point of view but for those that don’t want Jeep? Those that already have a Fiat 500, love it (who doesn’t!) and wants to stay loyal to the brand, something that is common in car owners and are looking for that crossover for that bit of all wheel drive ability. Well you can have a Crossover but sorry AWD not included.
This is in my humble opinion not good, if Fiat can give us the Panda 4×4, then a 500X 4×4 can also be brought to the showroom floor. The market might be small, but a market there still is and it is up to the brand to make the market bigger, not that difficult surely when you consider the amount of 500’s on the road.
Yes the new 500X is a good car, you can read our road test here at Enzari in the coming weeks, but missing out an AWD model is a missed opportunity.