Why would a car manufacturer fly several bloggers out to Los Angeles just to take a look at a car?
Great question. I’m glad you asked.
Let’s start with the obvious. They want to get us in the car and driving the car and talking about the car. But true auto enthusiasts know that a car is more than just facts, figures, features, and safety ratings. It’s an experience.
For the Fiat 500X, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) wanted to give us an experience true to the brand and its origin: Italy.
The host city for this ride & drive experience was none other than Beverly Hills.
If you’re thinking that’s about as far from Italy as you can get, you’d be wrong. Our host hotel was Mr. C, part of a luxury collections of hotels and restaurants owned by Cipriani. If that name doesn’t sound Italian enough, it was actually founded by Giuseppe Cipriani who started with a bar in Venice in 1931.
While there were no views of grand canals, I couldn’t ask for a better view. Imagine my delight when I took a casual glance off of my balcony and could actually see the Hollywood sign!
And when in Rome, eat like the Romans. So I headed downstairs for an early lunch at the famed restaurant Cipriani where, at the recommendation of the Maître’D, I had the most amazing sausage pasta I’ve ever had.
Italian owned hotel – CHECK. Amazing Italian restaurant – CHECK. But what about the car? Hold on. Just wait a second. I can’t mention Beverly Hills without shopping.
So after stuffing myself, I took a walk through some of the most exclusive parts of Beverly Hills, known for its high fashion, much like Italy.
In addition to the well-known luxury brands and, um, interesting fashion, I was able to window shop an amazing amount of exotic sports cars just casually driving around Beverly Hills.
But we weren’t there for an exotic sports car. We were there for the latest in the lineup of Fiat.
This little iconic car is fairly recognizable. It has its origins in Italy in 1957 but it became a part of American car culture when an updated version debuted 50 years later in 2007.
It’s cute, right? But if you’re like me, you can’t imagine sticking a kid in the back seat and groceries in the trunk. No worries. Fiat has a FIAT 500 just for you!
Committed to expanding the Fiat family, the next addition to the lineup is the Fiat 500X. As the ‘X’ might imply, it’s eXtra large (for a Fiat, that is). Look! I can even lay down and take a nap in the back!
But before I got well-acquainted with the Fiat 500X, I had a chance to listen to Fiat N.A. Brand Manager Nicole Longhini-McElroy explain all of the things that make the new Fiat 500X not only unique but consistent with the brand.
Side note: She really does look just like Julianne Moore.
My key takeaways were this: it has functionality, performance (we drove the 2.4-liter engine which had plenty of pep), and style. Starting at $20,000, the Fiat 500X offers five different trim levels:
- Pop: $20,000
- Easy: $22,300
- Trekking: $23,100
- Lounge: $24,850
- Trekking Plus: $27,100
The Easy, Trekking, Lounge and Trekking Plus models are all available with the Fiat 500X’s advanced all-wheel-drive system for an additional $1,900.
Sounds fabulous but it made it tough to choose just one to drive. But my partner Dawn (from Simply Sassy Style) and I picked a Trekking trim and headed up into the Santa Monica Mountains. And I, of course, took the first shift.
The driving experience was fun and zippy and rivaled only by the scenery. So I thought I’d take you along for that part.