The 2022 Detroit Auto Show is a bit weird. There are as many golf carts cosplaying as Flintstones set pieces as there are Volvos in this show, [Editor’s Note: That means there’s one of each, I’m told – JT] yet Stellantis has bravely brought a Fiat 500X. It’s not just tucked in some back corner of a booth either, it’s within earshot of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT EV Concept.
The Fiat 500X is a bit of a dead vehicle driving. Mechanically identical to the Jeep Renegade and soon to be displaced by the Alfa Romeo Tonale and Dodge Hornet, the 500X was created when someone in the Agnelli family stuck a straw into a Fiat 500 and blew. It’s not the most refined, most capable, most practical, most efficient, or even best value subcompact crossover on the market, but it has character. Bestowed with puppy dog eyes and a dash of la dolce vita, this slow-selling subcompact crossover failed incredibly hard at taking the 500 brand up a size class. With just a couple thousand sold annually some years, it seems that nobody wanted a big Fiat 500, which is a shame. Remember the wonder you felt when you were six and everything was enormous?
Anyway, this 500X is a bit special. It’s the Yacht Club Capri edition, a decidedly more upmarket name than say, Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak. It has an electric canvas roof, some bold color-matched wheels, and a swath of dark Mahogany for a dashboard. It’s old news now, but I bet if I told you that it was a new trim, you’d probably believe me. After all, does the 500X really occupy any real estate in your head?
Really, that’s the beauty of what’s going on here. Despite BMW being reduced to a dealer booth, a massive swath of empty space, and every marque that isn’t American basically giving up on the Detroit Auto Show, Fiat has brought a 500X. This tiny Italian crossover is an inspiration to everyone lacking just that little bit of confidence. It showed up when so little else did, it got shined up to go toe-to-toe with the movers and shakers of the Detroit show, and it’s ready to gleam like the best of them.
Do you want to beat Joey Chestnut in a hot dog eating competition? Let this 500X be your guiding spirit. Been meaning to ask for that much-needed raise? This 500X will help you put on a cool and composed face. While the Challenger Hellcat is chest-beating machismo, this little 500X is here to inspire real feats of courage. Go little Fiat, go.