Review: 2017 Fiat 500X Lounge AWD – Part 4

The technology in the Fiat 500x Lounge AWD is an interesting mix. Let’s start with the safety technology:

  • You get 7 airbags
  • There’s a rear back up camera with backup sensors. The camera has great viewing angles and clarity. You also get backup sensors tossed in as well so that you don’t hit anything when backing up.
  • Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist. In short, if you drift out of your lane, you’ll get a notification on the dash. If you don’t do anything, the car will gently put you back to where you should be. One thing that I noted is that if you don’t have both hands on the steering wheel if you drift out of your lane, the car will get very upset at you by making a very loud and shrill beep and telling you via the TFT screen in the dash to put both hands on the wheel.
  • While not a piece of technology as such, the fact that when you use a turn signal or turn the wheel while the headlights are on, the corresponding foglamp will turn on to give you additional visibility is an excellent safety feature.
  • Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking.
  • The usual traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring systems.

The next thing is the key. It’s a proximity key that allows you to walk up, open the door, press the start button, and drive away. You can also remote start the 500X, and unlock the doors. Like other FCA vehicles I’ve reviewed, there’s also a real key on the inside of the fob. When you want to lock the car, simply press a button on the door handle when you get out of the car. Net result: You never have to take the proximity key out of your pocket.

Now on to the UConnect infotainment system. It’s now into its fifth iteration and it’s still very good. Navigation is still provided by Garmin which is a good thing. And as usual, it took me seconds to pair my iPhone via Bluetooth and make everything work the way I expected. Plugging in my iPhone via either of the USB ports allowed me access to all the music and playlists on it. The voice recognition was good, though I had trouble with street names. The system is powered by a 6.5″ touchscreen which while smaller than I am used to, it is clear and easy to read in all lighting conditions. There are redundant controls that are well designed and easy to reach. When it comes to the design part, I’ll use the controls on the steering wheel as an example. Individual buttons have their own feel so that once you know what the functions are, you can use them purely based on feel. A key feature is the fact that it comes with Siri Eyes Free for those of you who have iPhones. What’s cool about this is that when you pair your iPhone to the system, it gives you a tutorial on how to use Siri Eyes Free. That’s something that I’ve never seen before and I am sure will help iPhone users who drive this vehicle.

No matter where I was sitting, the audio was fantastic thanks to it being powered by Beats Audio. It has crisp highs and well defined bass with zero distortion. I was very impressed by that. Kudos to FCA for providing a top notch stereo.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it on Friday.

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