FIAT Kills Most Of Its Lineup In North America For 2021 Model Year:

500X Will Be Only Vehicle To Live On In North America...

It’s no secret that the FIAT brand has struggled to gain traction in the North American market since the brand was re-introduced just over a decade ago. The brand’s small car lineup simply doesn’t compete against a majority of other automakers, due to the market’s infatuation with trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. But is the Italian experiment over in North America?

2021 Fiat 500X Pop with Sport Appearance Package. (FIAT).

Last year, FIAT pulled production of its North American 500 City Car taking away the brand’s best-selling and halo vehicle from the mix. Going into the 2021 model year, the brand is making even more big changes to its lineup including the discontinuation of its Mazda Miata-based 124 Spider and the very European-styled 500L. This means the only vehicle left for the brand will be the 2021 Fiat 500X crossover (a direct sibling of the Jeep Renegade).

So what does this mean for the 2021 Fiat 500X crossover?

2021 Fiat 500X Pop with Sport Appearance Package. (FIAT).

Starting with the ability of four different trim levels for the new model year (Pop, Trekking, Sport, and Trekking Plus), all of which come standard with the 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline-four-cylinder using MultiAir III valve-actuation technology and Engine Stop/Start (ESS) technology. This is the same engine that is optional on the 2021 Jeep® Renegade. The engine delivers an impressive 177 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. The combo is good enough for 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined according to the EPA.

Another thing, that sets the 500X apart from its Renegade sibling is the addition of standard all-wheel-drive (AWD). That is right, there is no more rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or front-wheel-drive (FWD) offering from the Italian brand in North America anymore.

2021 Fiat 500X Sport. (FIAT).

Last year, FIAT introduced the all-new Fiat 500X Sport which included new front and rear fascia designs and body-color painted side-moldings along with a “Sport” badge displayed on the front fender. Dark-finish exterior accents on mirror caps, door handles, and the rear license plate brow further defined its appearance. A darkened=theme interior also helped to at a more menacing appeal to the compact crossover.

For 2021, FIAT is adding more value to the Sport with the addition of the “Sport Value Package”. It includes the following equipment…

  • Dual-Pane Sunroof
  • BeatsAudio Premium Sound System
  • 19-Inch Aluminum Wheels
  • LED Headlamps
  • LED Fog Lamps
  • ParkSense Front & Rear Parking Assist
  • Navigation
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Windshield Wiper Deicer

The new package has a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $700 and represents a value of $3,400.

2021 Fiat 500X Pop with Sport Appearance Package. (FIAT).

For the Canadian market, there is the introduction of the “Sport Appearance Package” on Pop models. This package was introduced back in March in the United States. The package includes…

  • Sport Model Exterior Fascias
  • Front Fog Lamps
  • 18-Inch Sport Aluminum Wheels
  • Body-Colored Wheel Arch Moldings
  • Dual Bright Exhaust Tips
  • Dark Gray Accent Exterior Trim
2021 Fiat 500X Pop with Sport Appearance Package

The package is available in five exterior colors including Rovente Red, Italia Blue, Nero Cinema, Grigio Moda, and Bianco White. The Sport Appearance Package will set Canadians back $795.

Both markets will get new seat fabric and dash inserts on Pop and Trekking trim levels later in the year. 

Is it enough to keep the Italian brand going in the North American market? It seems doubtful. Tell us your thoughts and join in on the conversation in the MoparInsiders.com forums.

2021 Fiat 500X Pop with Sport Appearance Package Image Gallery:

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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What can you say, Fiat blew their return to North America big time. Launching with one model, with a mini compact yet, a proven poor market already, was just a blunder. Placing Alfa Romeo in Fiat dealerships was another blunder for both brands. This now makes the chances, even with new products, very questionable. Fiat with more product at launch may have had a shot, today, what can you say.

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FIAT's fate in North America is on hold until the Stellantis merger is finalised in coming months. If it is decided that Peugeot will not now be launched as another new brand in the market, it may be decided to badge Peugeot's as FIATs. That will give access to some more appealing products to be sold in North America using an existing established dealer network. Over time expect new FIATs to be built on PSA platforms expanding the potential sales in Europe (particularly Italy) for the FIAT brand. The script has already been written in what PSA has done with OPEL since they acquired mit from GM.

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There is one very important and huge difference between Fiat and Opel or FCA and Opel.

Opel didn't own any IP on platforms and engines while FCA has lot of them.

In addition to this FCA has all new eMini platform launched with the all new Fiat 500. This platform was planned for future Jeep, Alfa and Fiat brands B segment SUVs. IMO it is more advanced than PSA CMP especially when it comes to BEV subversion, eMini has much better battery integration.

What worries me with PSA platforms is bad packaging. Most of their products are at the bottom when it comes to rear passenger knee room, both 208 II on CMP and 308 II on EMP2 has this issue.
But even more worrying is mechanical decontent of PSA platforms. How to built proper Jeep or Alfa on them?

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There is room in our market for the new 500 BEV. Hopefully Fiat can figure out a way to to import a small allotment for North America. The 500X should be a PHEV companion to the battery electric 2 door and modified towards that mission.

It makes no sense to me why small Jeeps can be front drive while the sport Fiat 500X is AWD only.

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Stellantis will not spend the money pull a brand from North America given the various state laws in the United States.

That's $600 million or greater cost.

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