Fiat adds to its U.S. lineup with the all-new 500X, a vehicle the automaker says will be a player in the growing small CUV segment.

“The Fiat 500X will significantly expand the reach of the Fiat brand in North America,” Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat for North America, says in a statement. “It will be the first vehicle in our portfolio to offer an advanced all-wheel-drive system that will provide customers with peace of mind in all driving conditions.”

Unveiled at the L.A. auto show today, the ’16 Fiat 500X shares a platform with the all-new Jeep Renegade small SUV. The CUV comes equipped with a 1.4L MultiAir 4-cyl. engine making 160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. (249 Nm) of torque, or the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir2 producing 180 hp and 175 lb.-ft. (237 Nm).

The 1.4L mill comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 2.4L engine is paired to a 9-speed automatic gearbox on all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive models.

A disconnecting rear axle allows for reduced parasitic loss when AWD is not needed, improving fuel efficiency. Fiat’s “Dynamic Selector” system allows the driver to choose from three modes – auto, sport or traction – for different driving conditions.

The ’16 Fiat 500X comes with a bevy of safety features, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure alert, blindspot monitoring and rear cross-path detection. Electronic stability control with hill-start assist and electronic roll mitigation is standard on all models, as are seven air bags.

Infotainment and convenience features include the automaker’s UConnect system with 6.5-in. touchscreen and navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio, a 3.5-in. color thin-film transistor cluster display, keyless entry and heated front seats and steering wheel.

The Fiat 500X was designed in Centro Stile in Turin, Italy. Designers leveraged features from the flagship Fiat 500, including double headlamps, a trapezoidal nose, the signature “whiskers and logo” face and a rounded clamshell hood.

The interior also echoes the 500 with a body-colored instrument panel and a circular cluster display.

The CUV will come in five trim levels: Pop, Easy, Lounge and the more rugged Trekking and Trekking Plus, both of which feature unique front and rear fascias and satin silver accents.

The 500X will be assembled at Fiat’s Melfi, Italy, assembly plant, and launch in North America in first-half 2015. The CUV eventually will expand global sales to more than 100 countries.

bpope@wardsauto.com