Thousands (or should we say hundreds?) of Fiat enthusiasts got some bad news last week. The Fiat 124 Spider and Fiat 500L hatchback have been cut from the automaker's lineup for 2021. The announcement comes after the Fiat 500 suffered the same fate last year, leaving the brand with just one vehicle for the U.S. market - the 500X crossover. As the popularity of crossovers climbs while sports cars and hatchbacks continue to decline, we can't say we're shocked to hear the news. Surprisingly, sales of the 124 Spider actually outnumbered the 500X through October of this year, leaving us to wonder how much longer the crossover will survive.
The Fiat Spider 124 roadster is a sibling vehicle to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but the Miata dwarfs it in sales. According to U.S. Sales Base, Mazda sold a total of 6,652 units of the Miata through October of 2020 while Fiat only sold 1,385 of the 124 Spider in the same timeframe. To make matters worse, the Spider's lackluster sales still eclipse that of the 500L 5-door hatchback.
The 500L is the ugly duckling of Fiat's lineup, and 2020 was its swan song as the model is not returning next year. The hatchback is the brand's worst performer, selling just a measly 392 units through October. Even though the 500X crossover didn't sell as well as the Spider, Fiat has kept it off the chopping block - for now. Fiat sold a total of 1,130 units of the 500X through Q3 of 2020, and it's bringing the crossover back for 2021 with minor changes.
With hopes of riding the crossover wave, Fiat not only spares the 500X, but also gives it some updates. Available for the 2021 model year is a new Sport Value Package which adds a dual-pane power sunroof, Beats premium audio, 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps and fog lamps, front and rear park assist, navigation, heated front seats, and windshield wiper deicer.
All 500X models share a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine that makes 177 horsepower and a class-leading 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The turbo engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive comes standard. Although we wouldn't describe the 500X as aggressive, the Sport model offers slightly edgier styling with a unique front and rear fascia, body-color painted side-moldings, “Sport” badge on the front fender, plus dark-finish exterior accents on mirror caps, door handles, and the rear license plate.
“Designed and built in Italy, our fun-to-drive Fiat 500X is the only vehicle in its class to deliver a standard turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and 30 miles per gallon,” said Matt Davis, Head of FIAT – North America. “For 2021, the 500X adds the Sport Value Package to the aggressive Sport trim that debuted last year, bringing more bang for the buck to our dynamic crossover.”
Fiat has announced 2021 pricing for each of its 500X models. The base 500X Pop starts at $24,480 MSRP, the 500X Trekking starts at $26,245 MSRP, the 500X Sport starts at $27,145 MSRP, and the top 500X Trekking Plus model goes for $29,745 starting MSRP.