You'll want to wrap Fiat's wee 500X crossover in a loving embrace, thanks to adorable styling that makes it look like a real-life version of Luigi from the movie "Cars." But after a too-short while, that initial thrill evolves into the disenchantment of an ill-advised fling.
With its cute design and cool interior, the 500X has loads of appeal in the showroom or on a quick test drive, but a long-term relationship is likely to be fraught with frustration.
We've grown accustomed to the slow acceleration of this new crop of subcompact crossovers. But anyone expecting la dolce vita will wind up yelling made-up Italian curses at the reluctant engine and obstinate transmission. Even if the engine had enough power to deliver acceleration with any gusto, the 500X feels bogged down by its nine-speed automatic, which is neither smooth nor responsive. Shifts are stiff, and there's a reluctance to downshift.