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Joshdent
10-17-2015, 03:20 PM
Hello 500x enthusiasts! I recently test drove the 500x and I liked it, but the test drive was quick due to time constraints and I was really just seeing if I liked the basics of the car, if the size was ok for me, did I get a good feel, etc. I really liked the car and I am seriously considering leasing one. One of my concerns is regarding the transmission in the car. While I can attribute some of the car critics' criticisms of the transmission to pre-production model test driving, even some of the more recent reviews of the automobile complain about the transmission, and I have seen a few negative comments from owners on websites, social media, etc. I did not notice any "shiftiness" or transmission issues in my previous quick test drive (but I hadn't done much research at that point to look for it). Now that I have narrowed down my car choices to a few remaining select models, I plan to take the 500x for a more extensive test drive. I'm not a mechanical person or very knowledgeable about the inner workings of cars, so I don't really understand what the discussion about the transmission is really about- but is there something I should do during my test drive to really see how the transmission engages? When people have mentioned that there is a shiftiness or a delay in the transmission, is there some action (stopping abruptly, quick acceleration, sharp turn) that brings it out more often? Or is it something that a "non-car" person wouldn't even notice? Thanks for your help!

datasage
10-17-2015, 07:06 PM
Hello 500x enthusiasts! I recently test drove the 500x and I liked it, but the test drive was quick due to time constraints and I was really just seeing if I liked the basics of the car, if the size was ok for me, did I get a good feel, etc. I really liked the car and I am seriously considering leasing one. One of my concerns is regarding the transmission in the car. While I can attribute some of the car critics' criticisms of the transmission to pre-production model test driving, even some of the more recent reviews of the automobile complain about the transmission, and I have seen a few negative comments from owners on websites, social media, etc. I did not notice any "shiftiness" or transmission issues in my previous quick test drive (but I hadn't done much research at that point to look for it). Now that I have narrowed down my car choices to a few remaining select models, I plan to take the 500x for a more extensive test drive. I'm not a mechanical person or very knowledgeable about the inner workings of cars, so I don't really understand what the discussion about the transmission is really about- but is there something I should do during my test drive to really see how the transmission engages? When people have mentioned that there is a shiftiness or a delay in the transmission, is there some action (stopping abruptly, quick acceleration, sharp turn) that brings it out more often? Or is it something that a "non-car" person wouldn't even notice? Thanks for your help!

There is definitely at first, especially in the lower gear ranges. However the transmission has self-calibrating software and after several hundred miles the abrupt shifts are much less apparent. I still notice the shift from 1-2, but less than I used to.

ronbo10
10-20-2015, 09:55 AM
Hello Joshdent. I too am very interested in a 500X, probably will make a move come springtime next year. I think Datasage's experience will prove to be fairly representative of the 500X: in time the car will adjust, and you will adjust. My wife and I continue to enjoy our 500L nearly two years and 12,500 miles into it. Mind you, this was the car that got an absolutely scathing review by CR, "horrible transmission", "seriously flawed", paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And yet I find the transmission to be wonderful- I marvel at how well they can make an automatically shifted manual work. Do I drive it like a traditional automatic? No. And that's probably why I like it so much. And as for the rest of the car, it's my favorite of all I've owned to date, which include VW Corrado, GTI VR-6, Acura Integra GSR, etc. Not that the L competes with any of those, but I just like it more relative to my expectations than all the others. And one thing it undeniably has, which I think can be said of all Fiats sold here, is character! Whether its character works its charm on any given driver or not probably depends a lot on preconceived notions about the mark, and your willingness to keep an open mind. If you don't like what some might call 'quirky', then you may wish to stay away, but it just seems like there are so many boring cars out there, and life is short- why be saddled with a boring car?

I know I am kind of rambling here, but the point I guess I'm trying to make is that all modern cars are probably acceptable at least to some folks on some level, and the human mind and body can come to an accommodation of a great many things. In that sense I think the criticisms of many autos are overstatements by journalists, and often times their biases can show too. Here's an example of Car and Driver's take on the X: "The 500X will change nobodyís perception of Italian build quality. Many of the plastic interior surfaces are hard and hollow, and while the gray door-panel pleather feels natural, itís not the natural leather that it feels like. More like cold, dead skin before itís turned into leatheróand not necessarily cow skin. Maybe dolphin. Or fat Uncle Carl." I don't know- maybe these guys are a little jaded on cars, having driven Ferrari's, McClaren's, Lambos and the like. Or high-dollar SUV's. If they're trying to be funny, well, whatever, but I think these sorts of comments are a bit irresponsible, having an impact on some folks that have never stepped into a Fiat Studio. In any case, there are other reviewers that particularly like those door inserts. I like them, personally, and for that matter, I think the entire interior is a home run (save for the lack of a rear seat center armrest/cup holder).

If you want a very thorough, unbiased view of the 500X, check out Saabkyle04's here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267KyGBnGqA- it's about 30-plus minutes long, and he seems be quite impressed with the car. Probably the world's nicest sub-30 year old kid out there, too.

Good luck on your decision!

datasage
10-20-2015, 11:51 AM
Hello Joshdent. I too am very interested in a 500X, probably will make a move come springtime next year. I think Datasage's experience will prove to be fairly representative of the 500X: in time the car will adjust, and you will adjust. My wife and I continue to enjoy our 500L nearly two years and 12,500 miles into it. Mind you, this was the car that got an absolutely scathing review by CR, "horrible transmission", "seriously flawed", paraphrasing, but you get the idea. And yet I find the transmission to be wonderful- I marvel at how well they can make an automatically shifted manual work. Do I drive it like a traditional automatic? No. And that's probably why I like it so much. And as for the rest of the car, it's my favorite of all I've owned to date, which include VW Corrado, GTI VR-6, Acura Integra GSR, etc. Not that the L competes with any of those, but I just like it more relative to my expectations than all the others. And one thing it undeniably has, which I think can be said of all Fiats sold here, is character! Whether its character works its charm on any given driver or not probably depends a lot on preconceived notions about the mark, and your willingness to keep an open mind. If you don't like what some might call 'quirky', then you may wish to stay away, but it just seems like there are so many boring cars out there, and life is short- why be saddled with a boring car?

I know I am kind of rambling here, but the point I guess I'm trying to make is that all modern cars are probably acceptable at least to some folks on some level, and the human mind and body can come to an accommodation of a great many things. In that sense I think the criticisms of many autos are overstatements by journalists, and often times their biases can show too. Here's an example of Car and Driver's take on the X: "The 500X will change nobodyís perception of Italian build quality. Many of the plastic interior surfaces are hard and hollow, and while the gray door-panel pleather feels natural, itís not the natural leather that it feels like. More like cold, dead skin before itís turned into leatheróand not necessarily cow skin. Maybe dolphin. Or fat Uncle Carl." I don't know- maybe these guys are a little jaded on cars, having driven Ferrari's, McClaren's, Lambos and the like. Or high-dollar SUV's. If they're trying to be funny, well, whatever, but I think these sorts of comments are a bit irresponsible, having an impact on some folks that have never stepped into a Fiat Studio. In any case, there are other reviewers that particularly like those door inserts. I like them, personally, and for that matter, I think the entire interior is a home run (save for the lack of a rear seat center armrest/cup holder).

If you want a very thorough, unbiased view of the 500X, check out Saabkyle04's here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267KyGBnGqA- it's about 30-plus minutes long, and he seems be quite impressed with the car. Probably the world's nicest sub-30 year old kid out there, too.

Good luck on your decision!

Considering the price point, you are not going to get nubuck or other very high quality leather in any car within this range. It seems reasonably nice, But its probably a somewhat processed form of leather.

I don't really have a problem with the plastic/metal interior. But i have a trekking which has more of a satin finished dash. The body colored dash on the lounge models is more glossy and may look a but more cheap. Some people like that though.

I'm up to 1700 miles now, the transmission is definitely better than when I first started driving it. Still feels odd sometimes around 1-2 gear change, but no issues at any other gear changes.

hownowcb
10-30-2015, 06:58 PM
I'll try to keep this short, but it's difficult for me.

Test drives I took were fine. With 9 gears, the car wants to get into the highest one possible to deliver fuel economy, but that isn't how people drive "naturally". datasage points out that these modern transmissions "learn" what your preferred driving style is, and adjust to it in time. My wife's 500X already knows me, and we're very friendly now. My wife is still in their "getting to know you better" stage. She likes it better now, but it may take her slightly longer to train her transmission.

I think 9 gears was needless overkill, but I still prefer actual gears to CVTs, which is mainly taking the place of automatic transmissions. The only actual automatic transmission Honda offers, for example, is only available on high-end V-6s. No thanks.