What is it?
Everything might seem like a bit part in Fiat's plans next to the small but mighty 500, yet as the 500X turns five, its global sales have now passed the 500,000 mark. With a slew of new rivals chipping away at its market share, Fiat’s response includes the new Firefly petrol engines and now this, the 500X Sport.
Although stopping well short of applying the Abarth tag, the Sport takes a few steps further than creative badging and a price hike. It's available with the 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 148bhp 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, the latter offered exclusively with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
Where the Sport goes its own way is with a unique chassis tune. Front and rear springs are around 10% stiffer, with a 13mm reduction in ride height, while the dampers have been retuned to match and the electric power steering gets revised mapping for a sharper feel. As standard, you get 18in alloy wheels, but the optional 19in items are likely to be the most popular.
Visually, the Sport gets a number of changes inside and out. Dark grey highlights, body-coloured side skirts and wheel arch trims, unique alloy wheels, a chromed dual exhaust and a pseudo-diffuser give a big lift – especially in the new red paint finish. Step inside and there's a dark roof lining and a dark A-pillar trim, attractive grey paint across the dashboard and flashes of Alcantara on the steering wheel and instrument cowling.