Lucie Loves... Cars // A very brief encounter: my afternoon jaunt with Adventure52 mag test-driving the new Fiat 500x Cross Plus SUV around Bristol & The Mendips
It appears that over the last few years I’ve managed to find myself on a fair few car launch and car blogger automotive-based press trips. I’m not complaining; I adore a good road trip —although I should say that very few of them ever happen to be around the English countryside… until now!
I was invited along to Bristol to meet the team behind the new SUV offering from Fiat. Say hello to the new generation of Fiat 500x. There are three siblings to this new Fiat family, the Urban, City Cross and Cross Plus. All unique in their own way.
Dan, from Adventure52 Mag, and I were given the most adventurous of the trio — the Fiat 500x Cross Plus — to test-drive on our road trip around the beautiful Somerset countryside and by ‘eck! did we have fun.
The night before I’d flown back from a short social media consultancy trip to Mallorca, where I’d been whizzing around the north-east of the Island in a hire car (on the right-hand side of the road). Fast-forward less than 24-hours and I’m waking up at the gorgeous Hotel du Vin in Bristol. A couple of very tasty cups of Italian flat white coffee later – from the specially shipped in Italian Barista – and I’m ready to take in turns getting behind the wheel of a brand spanking new Fiat 500x Cross Plus, in a very classy shade of Techno Green.
Slightly nervous (that I’d forget what side of the road I was meant to be driving on) I turned down Dan’s kind offer for me to drive first, and insisted that I was happy enough to play passenger, as we drove the first part of our route from Bristol through the Somerset countryside, to our Italian lunch stop.
I have to say, as far as press trips go – scrap that… what I mean to say is… as far as meeting new people goes… being given a car and then being told to drive around together, for a few hours, whilst striking up a conversation… with someone you’ve never met before… is pretty intense, but extremely good fun!
We scrapped the small talk, and quickly found ourselves diving into the deep and meaningfuls. Love, family, adventures and heartache were all for up for discussion, as we wiggled our way smoothly down winding country lanes, ogling the gorgeous autumnal scenery at Cheddar Gorge whizzing past our windows.
A quick stop off at Cheddar Gorge with Dan from Adventure 52 Mag
I don’t know about you, but there’s something pretty romantic about a road trip. Dan and I kept laughing at the fact that, as the journey progressed and the hours rolled by, it just got more and more breath-taking outside. It was definitely the kind of drive that you would do with someone very dear to you.
What I noticed most, when I took my seat behind the wheel of the Cross Plus, as we changed drivers in a small seafront carpark at Clevedon Pier, was how much more robust the Cross Plus feels to drive, over the original Fiat 500. Earlier this year I’d had the pleasure of driving the smaller Fiat 500, whilst in France — and as novel as that was, in hindsight, it wasn’t anywhere near as roomy or as bump-free as this experience.
For lunch we stopped off at a rather charming Italian restaurant called Rugantinos in Wells, Somerset – Britain’s smallest city and the filming location for Hot Fuzz.
We were given a taste of Italy at home in the British countryside, in the form of very well-made, freshly baked pizzas. It’s high of my travel wish list to do a nice long road trip (filling my belly) around Italy.
I mentioned over dinner of these life-long desires to visit Italy, and little did I know that I’d soon find myself in Milan on another press trip with Fiat. This time for the launch of their new AW18 Fiat 500 Collezione. Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment!
If you’re looking for a brand new SUV and fancy being part of the Fiat 500 family, take a peek at the Fiat 500x and maybe even arrange your own test drive around the English countryside.
Want more car specs? Check out Petrol Ped’s YouTube video and give him a follow! He’s a gem.
Find out more about The Next Generation Fiat 500x: https://www.fiat.co.uk/fiat-500x
Photography ~ Lucie Kerley