Why would the Fiat 500X Cross Plus with the latest dual dry clutch transmission bring on thoughts of a Norwegian pop group? Because when you drive it up a twisty hill that new gearbox hunts high and low trying to find the right ratio. And, unlike the Norwegian pop group’s hit song on the same theme, it scores nul points for harmonious progress. It’s a shame because the car has such promise. About 18 months ago we tested the 500X Cross with the 1.4 litre DCT gearbox, as it was called then. The engine has now got smaller, becoming the 1.3 litre T4 FireFly, yet offers more power and torque, with 150 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 270 Nm at 1,850 rpm. The torque is now up by 15 per cent on the previous car and power by 6.6 per cent but it’s the torque that really counts in day-to-day responsiveness. Maybe it’s just a bit more than the gearbox wants to cope with, because changes could sometimes be jerky. Take-up from a standstill could also suffer from a delay, making manoeuvring more complicated than is comfortable in tight parking spaces and pulling away smartly from a junction a bit… Read full this story
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